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Construction and Building Materials 37 (2012) 277282

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Construction and Building Materials


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/conbuildmat

Corrosion resistance of self-compacting concrete incorporating quarry dust


powder, silica fume and y ash
H.A.F. Dehwah
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

h i g h l i g h t s
" The corrosion resistance of self-compacting concrete (SCC) has not been investigated yet.
" In the reported study the corrosion resistance of SCC incorporating quarry dust powder, silica fume and y ash was studied.
" The chloride permeability of the developed SCC was low to moderate and the corrosion resistance was high.

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 20 March 2012
Received in revised form 10 July 2012
Accepted 22 July 2012
Available online 3 September 2012
Keywords:
Self-compacting concrete
Quarry dust powder
Reinforcement corrosion
Chloride permeability
Coefcient of chloride diffusion

a b s t r a c t
This paper presents the results of a study conducted to evaluate the corrosion resistance of self-compacting concrete (SCC) prepared using quarry dust powder (QDP), silica fume (SF) plus QDP or y ash (FA).
SCC specimens were prepared and tested for corrosion resistance, chloride permeability and chloride diffusion. The results indicated that the time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion in M4 (8% QDP plus 5%
SF and w/c = 0.4) specimens and M2 (8% QDP and w/c = 0.38) specimens was more than that in M5 (30%
FA and w/c = 0.4) specimens. The corrosion current density on steel in the SCC specimens was very low in
the initial stage of exposure to 5% NaCl solution and it increased with increasing period of exposure. Corrosion activation was noted on steel in M1, M3, and M5 specimens. However, it was not noted in M2 and
M4 specimens even after 990 days (33 months) of exposure. The chloride permeability in SCC specimens
incorporating QDP or FA was moderate and it was low in the specimens incorporating QDP plus SF. The
lowest diffusion coefcient was noted in M2 specimens while it was the highest in M5 specimens.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Self compacting concrete (SCC) represents one of the most outstanding developments in concrete technology. Due to its ability to
compact itself by means of its own weight without the requirement of vibration, it contributes to a signicant improvement in
the quality of concrete. Furthermore, it signicantly reduces the
manpower required for the construction. The elimination of the
compaction work results in reduced costs of placement, a shortening of the construction time and improved productivity. The application of SCC also leads to a reduction of noise during casting,
better working conditions, and the possibility of reducing placing
time. Other advantages of SCC are improved homogeneity of the
concrete production and the excellent service quality without
blowholes or other surface defects [17].

Tel.: +966 3 860 4966; fax: +966 3 860 3785.


E-mail address: hdehwah@kfupm.edu.sa
0950-0618/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2012.07.078

While SCC is increasingly used in ready-mixed concrete and


precast industry, the durability aspect of such concrete has not
been thoroughly investigated. Some studies [810] have reported
a decrease in the water and air permeability of SCC produced with
mineral admixtures used as llers. Uysal et al. [10] indicated that
the use of mineral admixtures improved signicantly the workability properties of SCC and chloride ion permeability decreased considerably when mineral admixtures were used in the production of
SCC, however, pozzolanic admixtures exhibited better performance than llers. Furthermore, as the amount of mineral admixtures increased, the water impermeability also increased. In the
present study, quarry dust powder in combination with silica fume
was used as ller instead of y ash alone. Results of another study
[11] indicated that SCC produced using small quantity of silica
fume (5%) and quarry dust powder was cheap compared to that
prepared using a large quantity of y ash (30%).
In this study, the durability of SCC prepared utilizing QDP, SF
plus QDP or FA alone was evaluated by assessing the corrosion
potentials, corrosion current density, chloride permeability, and
chloride diffusion.

278

H.A.F. Dehwah / Construction and Building Materials 37 (2012) 277282


Table 3
Grading of coarse aggregates.

2. Experimental program
2.1. Cement and llers
ASTM C 150 Type I Portland cement was utilized in all the concrete mixtures.
QDP, SF, and FA were used as llers. Table 1 shows the chemical composition of
Type I Portland cement, SF, FA, and QDP.

Sieve opening (mm)

Passing (%)

ASTM C 33 (No. 67) grading limit

19
9.5
4.75
2.36

100
30
10
0

90100
2055
010
05

2.2. Aggregates
Crushed limestone was used as coarse aggregate while dune sand was used as
ne aggregate. The specic gravity and absorption of the coarse and ne aggregates
are summarized in Table 2. The grading of coarse aggregates, as shown in Table 3,
conrmed to size #67 of ASTM C 33. Potable water was used for mixing the concrete
constituents.

The concrete ingredients were mixed in a revolving drum mixer for approximately ve to seven minutes to obtain a uniform consistency and owable
characteristics.

2.3. Plasticizer and stabilizer

The corrosion resistance of steel embedded in SCC specimens (M1M5) was


evaluated by exposing them to 5% sodium chloride solution. Reinforced SCC specimens, measuring 75 mm in diameter and 150 mm high, were prepared with a
12 mm diameter steel bar placed at the center. A cover of 25 mm was provided
at the bottom. The reinforcing steel bar was coated with cement paste followed
by an epoxy coating at the bottom of the bar and at the concreteair interface to
avoid crevice corrosion. After 28 days of curing, the specimens were placed in a tank
lled with 5% NaCl solution such that the bottom 100 mm of the specimen was exposed to the solution. Reinforcement corrosion was monitored by measuring the
corrosion potentials, according to ASTM C 876, and the corrosion current density
was evaluated by the linear polarization resistance method [13]. The corrosion
measurements were conducted at regular intervals for two years. Fig. 1 illustrates
the schematic representation of the test set-up.

Suitable dosages of a commercial plasticizer and stabilizer were used to obtain


the desired ow properties. The plasticizer used is a high performance concrete
superplasticizer based on modied polycarboxylic ether that greatly improves cement dispersion and provides owable concrete with greatly reduced water demand. It is compatible with all Portland cements that meet recognized
international standards. Its relative density is 1.1@20 C and pH is 6.6. The stabilizer
used consists of a mixture of water-soluble copolymers which is adsorbed onto the
surface of the cement granules, thereby changing the viscosity of the water and
inuencing the rheological properties of the mix.

2.4. Mix design


Five concrete mixtures were designed according to the rational mix-design
method, and the proportioning of materials was carried out on weight basis [12].
The mix designation and their constituents are shown below:






Mix
Mix
Mix
Mix
Mix

#1
#2
#3
#4
#5

(M1):
(M2):
(M3):
(M4):
(M5):

8% QDP and w/c ratio of 0.40.


8% QDP and w/c ratio of 0.38.
10% QDP and w/c ratio of 0.4.
8% QDP plus 5% silica fume and w/c ratio of 0.40.
30% y ash and w/c ratio of 0.40.

The mixtures were prepared with a cementitious materials content of 400 kg/
m3 and effective water to cementitious materials ratio in the range of 0.380.40.
The coarse aggregate to total aggregate ratio was kept xed at 0.5 and the ne to
total aggregate ratio was in the range of 0.400.42 and the QDP was varied in the
range of 810% of the total aggregates. Silica fume was used as 5% replacement of
Type I Portland cement. Fly ash was used as 30% replacement of Type I Portland cement. The weights of constituents in each mixture are shown in Table 4.

2.5. Reinforcement corrosion

2.5.1. Corrosion potentials


The corrosion potentials were measured using a saturated calomel reference
electrode (SCE). The electrical lead from the reference electrode was connected to
the positive terminal of a high impedance digital voltmeter while the steel bar in
the concrete was connected to its negative terminal.
2.5.2. Corrosion current density
The three electrode method was utilized to measure the resistance to polarization (Rp) using a Potentiostat/Galvanostat. The steel rod was connected to the working electrode terminal while a steel plate and a reference electrode were connected
to the counter and reference electrode terminals of a Potentiostat/Galvanostat,
respectively. The steel was polarized to 20 mV of the corrosion potential at a scan
rate of 6 mV/min and the resulting current between the counter and the working
electrodes was measured. Rp was determined as the slope of the currentpotential
curve. It was utilized to determine the corrosion current density (Icorr) using the following relationship [13]:

Icorr
Table 1
Chemical composition of Type I Portland cement, silica fume, y ash, and quarry dust
powder.

B
Rp

where Icorr is the corrosion current density, lA/cm2, Rp is Resistance to polarization,


(DE/DI), O cm2:

ba  bc
2:3ba bc

Constituent
(wt.%)

Type I
cement

Silica
fume

Fly
ash

Quarry dust
powder

SiO2
Al2O3
Fe2O3
CaO
MgO
SO3
K2O
Na2O
L.O.I
C3S
C2S
C3A
C4AF

19.92
6.54
2.09
64.7
1.84
2.61
0.56
0.28
0.73
55.9
19
7.5
9.8

90.68
0.66
0.23
0.15
0.20
0.13

0.14
5.23

64.13
30.01

11.79
2.17
0.68
45.7
1.80

where ba and bc are the anodic and cathodic Tafel constants, mV/decade,
respectively.
The Tafel constants are normally obtained by polarizing the steel to 250 mV of
the corrosion potential (Tafel plot). However, in the absence of sufcient data on ba
and bc, a value of B equal to 26 mV for steel in active condition and 52 mV for steel
in passive condition is often used [14]. Lambert et al. [15] reported a good correlation between corrosion rates determined using these values and the gravimetric
weight loss method. A good correlation between the LPR and gravimetric weight
loss was also noted by Al-Amoudi et al. [16].

2.94
1.91

0.95
1.10

0.84
1.72
35.10

Table 2
Absorption and specic gravity of coarse and ne aggregates.
Aggregate

Absorption (%)

Bulk specic gravity (g/cm2)

Coarse (limestone)
Fine (dune sand)

1.1
0.6

2.60
2.56

2.6. Chloride diffusion


Cylindrical concrete specimens, 75 mm in diameter and 150 mm high, were
prepared from all mixtures and they were immersed in 5% sodium chloride solution
for four months. To ensure unidirectional diffusion of the chloride ions, all the faces
of the concrete specimen, except one, were coated with an epoxy coating. After four
months of exposure to the chloride solution, slices, 5 mm thick, were cut at various
depths and they were crushed to obtain powder passing #100 sieve. The powder
was soaked in deionized water for 24 h and the ltrate was analyzed to determine
the chloride concentration by the spectrophotometric method [17]. The
chloride concentration was plotted against depth of the specimen and the resulting
chloride prole was utilized to determine the chloride diffusion coefcient by solving Ficks second law of diffusion.

279

H.A.F. Dehwah / Construction and Building Materials 37 (2012) 277282


Table 4
Weights of constituents in SCC mixtures.
Mix designation

Effective w/c ratio

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5

0.40
0.38
0.40
0.40
0.40

Weights of constituents (kg/m3)

Admixture (L/100 kg cement)

Cement

Quarry dust powder

Silica fume

Fly ash

Coarse aggregate

Fine aggregate

Plasticizer

Stabilizer

400
400
400
380
280

139.2
140.8
171.2
140.3
0

0
0
0
20
0

0
0
0
0
120

870.2
880.0
842.3
876.9
974.9

731.0
739.2
684.8
736.6
974.9

1.0
1.4
1.2
1.8
1.1

0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50
0.50

Fig. 1. Schematic representation of the corrosion current density measurements set-up.

2.7. Chloride permeability

Q s Q x  95=x2

Corrosion Potentials, mV SCE

The chloride permeability was determined after curing the specimens for
28 days. After curing, a 50 mm thick disk was cut from the center of a
75  150 mm specimen. The cut specimens were coated with an epoxy resin on
the curved surface to avoid moisture evaporation during testing. They were then
vacuum saturated and clamped between two cells. The upstream cell (cathode)
was lled with 3% sodium chloride solution and the downstream (anode) cell
was lled with 0.3 M sodium hydroxide solution. The cells were connected to a rectier and a potential of 60 V DC was applied. The current owing in the electric circuit was monitored through a resistor after every 30 min for a period of 6 h. The
total charge passed through the specimen was determined from the timecurrent
plot. Since a 75 mm nominal diameter specimen was used, the test results were adjusted using the following relationship given in ASTM C 1202:

-700
-600
-500
-400
-300

ASTM C876 Threshold


Value -270 mV SCE

M1

-200

M2
M3

-100

M4
M5

0
where Qs is the charge passed through a 95 mm diameter specimen, Qx is the charge
passed in a non-standard specimen of diameter, x (in this study x is 75 mm).

3. Results
3.1. Corrosion potentials
The variation of corrosion potentials with time on steel in all the
SCC specimens exposed to 5% NaCl solution is plotted against the
period of exposure in Fig. 2. The corrosion potentials on steel in
M1 (8% QDP and w/c ratio of 0.40) specimens decreased with the
period of exposure. However, after about 90 days of exposure,
the corrosion potentials tended to be stable. The timecorrosion
potentials curve crossed the ASTM C 876 threshold value of
270 mV SCE which represents the time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion in the steel bars after about 35 days of exposure.
The corrosion potentials on steel in M2 (8% QDP and w/c = 0.38)
specimens also decreased with the period of exposure. The time

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

Period of Exposure, Days


Fig. 2. Corrosion potentials on steel in the SCC specimens exposed to 5% NaCl
solution.

corrosion potential curve crossed the ASTM C 876 threshold value


of 270 mV SCE after about 230 days of exposure. The corrosion
potentials on steel in M3, M4, and M5 specimens also exhibited a
trend similar to that noted in M1 and M2 specimens. The timecorrosion potential curves for M3 and M5 specimens crossed the
ASTM C 876 threshold value of 270 mV SCE after 125 and 25 days
of exposure, respectively, while the timecorrosion potential curve
for M4 specimens crossed the ASTM C 876 threshold value of
270 mV SCE after 350 days of exposure, which means that the
time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion in these steel bars
was much more than that in all the other specimens.
The timecorrosion potential curves presented in Fig. 2 were
utilized to evaluate the time to initiation of reinforcement corro-

280

H.A.F. Dehwah / Construction and Building Materials 37 (2012) 277282

Table 5
Time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion.

Table 6
Chloride permeability of SCC specimens after 28 days of water curing.

Mix number (composition)

Time to initiation of
reinforcement corrosion (days)

Mix
#

Mix details

Chloride
permeability (C)

Chloride permeability
classication

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5

35
230
130
350
20

M1
M2
M3

QDP: 8%; W/C: 0.40


QDP: 8%; W/C: 0.38
QDP: 10%; W/C:
0.40
QDP: 8%; SF: 5%; W/
C: 0.40
FA: 30%; W/C: 0.40

1923
1615
1793

Moderate
Moderate
Moderate

969

Low

1096

Moderate

(8% QDP and w/c = 0.4)


(8% QDP and w/c = 0.38)
(10% QDP and w/c = 0.4)
(8% QDP, 5% SF and w/c = 0.4)
(30% FA and w/c = 0.4)

M4

sion, based on the ASTM C 876 criterion. According to this criterion,


there is more than 90% probability of reinforcement corrosion if
the corrosion potentials are more negative than 350 mV CSE;
i.e. 270 mV SCE. The time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion
is summarized in Table 5. The time to initiation of corrosion was
35, 230, 130, 350 and 20 days, respectively, in M1, M2, M3, M4,
and M5 specimens.

M5

0.60
M1
M2
M3
M4
M5

0.50
0.40

3.2. Corrosion current density

0.30

Corrosion Current Density, A/cm

The corrosion current density on steel in the SCC specimens exposed to 5% NaCl solution is plotted against the period of exposure
in Fig. 3. The corrosion current density on steel in M1 specimens
was very low in the initial stages of exposure and it increased with
increasing period of exposure. The corrosion current density after
990 days (33 months) of exposure was 0.70 A/cm2. The corrosion
current density on steel in M2 specimens did not increase signicantly with the period of exposure, in these specimens, the corrosion current density was low (less than 0.3 A/cm2) which means
that the steel bars in these specimens were still in a passive state
even after 990 days (33 months) of exposure. The corrosion current
density on steel in the M3 specimens was low in the initial stages
of exposure. However, it increased rapidly up to 200 days of exposure, thereafter, it continued to increase linearly with period of
exposure and it was the maximum among all specimens. The corrosion current density after about 990 days (33 months) of exposure to 5% NaCl solution was 0.90 A/cm2. The corrosion current
density on steel in the M4 specimens also increased with the period of exposure, but the increase was not that signicant. The corrosion current density after 990 days (33 months) of exposure was
less than 0.3 A/cm2 which means that the steel bars in these specimens were still in a passive condition. The corrosion current density on steel in the M5 specimens increased rapidly up to 150 days
of exposure and thereafter it was stable up to 400 days, and then
increased again. The corrosion current density after 990 days
(33 months) of exposure was 0.63 A/cm2.

1.00

0.80

M1
M2
M3

0.70

M4
M5

0.90

0.20
0.10
0.00
0.00

1.00

2.00

3.00

4.00

5.00

6.00

7.00

8.00

Depth, cm
Fig. 4. Chloride prole in all SCC specimens.

A corrosion current density value of 0.3 A/cm2 is generally taken


to indicate corrosion activation. Based on this criterion, corrosion
activation was noted on steel in M1, M3, and M5 specimens. However, corrosion activation was not noted in M2 and M4 specimens
even after about three years of exposure to 5% NaCl solution which
means that these specimens have a high resistance to reinforcement corrosion.
3.3. Chloride permeability
The chloride permeability of SCC specimens after 28 days of
water curing is shown in Table 6. The chloride permeability of
M1, M2, M3, M4, and M5 specimens was 1923, 1615, 1793, 969,
and 1096 coulombs, respectively. According to AASHTO T-277,
the chloride permeability of M1, M2, M3, and M5 specimens is
moderate while it is low in M4 specimen.
3.4. Chloride diffusion
The chloride proles for the SCC specimens are shown in Fig. 4.
The chloride concentration decreased with depth up to almost zero
at 7.5 cm depth in all specimens. The chloride proles in Fig. 3
were utilized to determine the coefcient of chloride diffusion
according to Ficks second law of diffusion.

0.60
0.50
0.40
0.30

Table 7
Coefcient of chloride diffusion for SCC specimens.

0.20
0.10
0.00
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

900

1000

Period of Exposure, Days


Fig. 3. Corrosion current density on steel in the SCC specimens exposed to 5% NaCl
solution.

Mix number

Coefcient of chloride
diffusion (108 cm2/s)

M1
M2
M3
M4
M5

8.165
8.015
8.735
9.785
10.88

H.A.F. Dehwah / Construction and Building Materials 37 (2012) 277282

The chloride diffusion coefcients in all the SCC mixes are


shown in Table 7. The coefcients of chloride diffusion for M1,
M2, M3, M4, and M5 specimens were {8.165, 8.015, 8.735, 9.785,
and 10.88}  108 cm2/s, respectively. The lowest chloride diffusion coefcient was noted in M2 specimens while the highest chloride diffusion coefcient was noted in M5 specimens.
4. Discussion
SCC is generally produced by incorporating a ller, such as silica
fume and y ash. These materials are either used alone or together.
In the reported study QDP was used either alone or in combination
with silica fume. The performance of SCC incorporating QDP was
compared with that prepared with y ash. The time to initiation
of reinforcement corrosion (Table 5) was the highest in M4 specimen (8% QDP plus 5% SF, w/c: 0.4) followed by M2 specimens (8%
QDP; w/c: 0.38). A similar trend was indicated by these specimens
in terms of corrosion current density. As stated earlier, a corrosion
current density value of 0.3 A/cm2 is generally taken to indicate
corrosion activation. Based on this criterion, active reinforcement
corrosion was not noted in the M2 and M4 specimens.
The chloride permeability in M4 specimens was also the least,
and was in the low range according to ASTM C 1240. The chloride
permeability of other specimens is in the Moderate category. The
chloride diffusion of M2 specimens was also the least.
The corrosion data, as also the chloride permeability and chloride diffusion results, indicated the usefulness of utilizing quarry
dust power in SCC. The benecial effects of incorporating llers,
such as QDP, FA, and SF on the properties of SCC have been reported earlier [1824]. However, data were lacking on the durability, particularly reinforcement corrosion. The improved
performance of SCC with llers has been attributed to the lling effect of these materials. To obtain the benets of SCC with QDP
alone, the watercement ratio has to be reduced. In the present
study, it was decreased from 0.4 to 0.38. However, addition of 8%
QDP plus 5% silica with a w/c ratio of 0.40 has resulted in a very
dense concrete. Increased time to corrosion initiation and low rate
of corrosion indicates that the service life of structures with this
SCC will be longer than others. Further, the elimination of y ash
or a decrease in the quantity of silica fume and their replacement
with QDP decease the overall cost of SCC [11].
Another point to be noted is the combined effect of w/c ratio
and the powder content. As is evident from the performance of
M2, a combination of 8% QDP and w/c: 0.38 was only marginally
superior to M4 (8% QDP plus 5% SF, w/c: 0.40). The latter mix has
the advantage that the w/c ratio could be raised to 0.40. Even
though higher w/c may compromise the durability of M4, however,
the lling effect of the combined powder (SF plus QDP) has compensated this effect.
5. Conclusions
The time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion (350 days) in
M4 specimens was the highest followed by that in M2 (230 days)
specimens, M3 (130 days) and M1 (35 days) specimens. The lowest
time to initiation of reinforcement corrosion (20 days) was noted
in M5 specimens. The corrosion current density on steel in all
the SCC specimens was very low in the initial stages of exposure
to 5% NaCl solution and it increased with increasing period of
exposure. Corrosion activation was noted on steel in M1, M3, and
M5 specimens. However, it was not noted in M2 and M4 specimens
even after more than two years of exposure to 5% NaCl solution.
The chloride permeability in SCC specimens incorporating quarry dust powder or y ash was moderate and it was low in the
specimens incorporating silica fume plus quarry dust powder.

281

The chloride concentration decreased with depth in all SCC


specimens. The lowest diffusion coefcient was noted in M2
specimens while the highest diffusion coefcient was noted in
M5 specimens.
The performance of SCC with 8% QDP and w/c 0.38 or with 8%
QDP plus 5% SF and w/c 0.4 was better than that of specimens prepared with other proportions of QDP or FA investigated. The higher
time to corrosion initiation and lower corrosion rate leads to enhanced service life of structures built with these materials.
It is recommended to utilize easily available QDP in producing
SCC, particularly in regions where neither silica fume nor y ash
is easily available. It is preferred to use M2 (8% QDP, w/c 0.38)
and M4 (8% QDP + 5% SF, w/c 0.4) in the structures exposed to chloride-bearing environments.
Acknowledgement
The authors express their thanks and appreciation and gratefully acknowledge the support received from King Fahd University
of Petroleum & Minerals, under Project #IN070343.
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