Transport and Corrosion Behavior of Cracked Reinforced Concrete

Bradley Justin Pease

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Reinforced concrete, due to its inherent versatility and durability as a building material, has been implemented for use in a multitude of structural applications which are exposed to widely varying environmental conditions. Often times these structures are designed for lengthy service lives. The exposure conditions may vary from industrial products, chemicals, and gases, to annual variations in temperature, to chloride-rich environments such as marine structures and structures exposed to deicing salts. These chloride-rich environments are of central concern in Denmark and throughout the world. In addition, cracks develop in concrete through various physical and chemical processes, which occur at varying periods of the lifetime of a structure, resulting in varying crack parameters (i.e. width, depth, and tortuosity). These cracks provide easy access of aggressive substances from the environment to enter the concrete. This is, among others, important in the corrosion of reinforcing steel. When cracks protrude to the depth of reinforcing steel, liquids containing aggressive ions (i.e. chlorides associated with salts and sea water) may rapidly access and initiate corrosion of the reinforcing. Recently, the potential benefits of performance modeling have become more realized by the civil engineering community. However, lifetime modeling of reinforced concrete (RC) structures has until now concentrated on deterioration mechanisms of uncracked concrete, commonly an unrealistic situation in actual structures. These models currently lack some of the scientific validity to fully represent actual field structures, i.e. structures containing cracks. Further understanding, therefore is needed on the effect cracks have on transport and corrosion in reinforced concrete. The fundamental mechanisms of transport and corrosion in cracked, reinforced concrete are not yet fully understood. The scope of this study therefore is to develop a link between concrete cracks and the relevant transport mechanism(s) under particular environmental conditions. It is envisioned that a finite element model will be developed which estimates the ingress of aggressive substances by relating crack parameters and environmental conditions to transport mechanisms. Furthermore, the subsequent corrosion behavior of reinforcing steel will be characterized to determine how cracking influences the corrosion initiation and propagation in cracked RC structures.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventPhD Workshop - Narvik, Norway
Duration: 1 Jan 2006 → …


ConferencePhD Workshop
CityNarvik, Norway
Period01/01/2006 → …


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