Multi-physics and multi-scale deterioration modelling of reinforced concrete part I: Coupling transport and corrosion at the material scale

Alexander Michel, Mette Rica Geiker, Henrik Stang, Michael Lepech

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In this paper, a cross disciplinary modelling framework is presented that combines physical, chemical, electrochemical, and fracture mechanical processes on different length and time scales in reinforced concrete. The theoretical background and application of finite element method (FEM) based models are sketched to describe (i) transport of heat and matter in porous media as well as phase assemblage in hardened Portland cement, (ii) corrosion of reinforcement, and (iii) material performance including corrosion-induced damages on the meso and macro scale. The presented modelling framework is fully coupled, i.e. information, such as temperature and moisture distribution, phase assemblage, corrosion current density, damage state of concrete cover, etc., are continuously exchanged between the models. Although not explicitly outlined in this paper, such an analysis may be further integrated within structural performance modelling and a full life cycle assessment to support comprehensive decision-making in order to minimize environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with the decades-long service life of reinforced concrete elements and structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of fib Symposium 2015
Number of pages18
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventFib Symposium 2015 : Concrete - Innovation and Design - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 May 201520 May 2015


ConferenceFib Symposium 2015
Internet address


  • Service life modelling
  • Concrete deterioration
  • Multi-scale
  • Multi-physics

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