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DURABILITY OF CONCRETE

A structure have a sufficient durability if, with ordinary maintenance,


maintains during its life, the strength and stability characteristics and its
feasibility to be used.
The durability can be defined as the conservation of the physical and
mechanical characteristics of the structure and the materials with which
the structures are constructed; this conservation must have a duration
equal to the design life of the building.
The durability is fundamental to assure the safety levels established in
the design phase.
One of the most dangerous events that can significantly reduce the
durability of the reinforced concrete structures is the corrosion of the
reinforcement.

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT


Corrosion protection of steel reinforcement depends on density, quality
and thickness of concrete cover and cracking. The cover density and
quality is achieved by controlling the maximum water/cement ratio and
minimum cement content (see EN 206-1) and may be related to a
minimum strength class of concrete.
Two phases can be individuated in the life of a reinforced concrete
structures :
- a phase of beginning of corrosion, in which the protective film of the
bars is destroyed,
- a phase of propagation of corrosion starting from the destruction of
the protective film until reaching the serviceability limit state.

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION OF THE REINFORCEMENT

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION DUE TO CARBONATION

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION DUE TO CARBONATION


The carbonation:
- reduces the pH from 13 to 9 and frees the linked chlorides,
- destroys the passive film protecting the bars,
- in presence of O2 and H2O causes generalized corrosion.

CORROSION DUE TO CARBONATION


Fenoftalein test
Fenoftalein is used to
investigate if the concrete was
carbonated or not.
If the concrete becomes
violet it was not carbonated.

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION DUE TO CHLORIDES


For structures exposed to the atmosphere, when the localized
attack begins, the corrosion velocity can vary from some tenths of
m/year to one 1 mm/year, when the humidity increases from 70 to
95% and the quantity of chlorides from 1 to 3% (in weight with
respect to the cement).
Passing to temperate to tropical climate the corrosion velocity
increases.
Compacting grade of concrete can influence the corrosion due to
chlorides.
Practically, corrosion due to chlorides, once started, can rapidly
cause unacceptable reductions of the bar cross-section.

CORROSION DUE TO CHLORIDES


The time of beginning depends on:
- the quantity of chorides on the external surface of the reinforced
concrete,
- the characteristics of the cementicious matrix,
- the thickness of the concrete cover
- the critical content of chlorides

MARINE STRUCTURES
atmospheric zone

Air

zone with sprinkles


Maximum tide
zone of the tides

Medium level of tides


Minimum tide

submerged zone

Sea water

CORROSION DUE TO CHLORIDES

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION DUE TO CHLORIDES

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

CORROSION DUE TO CHLORIDES


Localized attack (pitting)

Photos by Prof. P. Pedeferri Politecnico di Milano

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
(EUROCODE 2)

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS (EUROCODE 2)


Exposure conditions are chemical and physical conditions to which
the structure is exposed in addition to the mechanical actions.
Environmental conditions are classified according to following
Table, based on EN 206-1.
In addition to the conditions in the following Table, particular forms
of aggressive or indirect action should be considered including:
chemical attack, arising from e.g.
- the use of the building or the structure (storage of liquids, etc)
- solutions of acids or sulfate salts (EN 206-1, ISO 9690)
- chlorides contained in the concrete (EN 206-1)
- alkali-aggregate reactions (EN 206-1, National Standards)
physical attack, arising from e.g.
- temperature change
- abrasion
- water penetration (EN 206-1).

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS (EUROCODE 2)

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS (EUROCODE 2)

REQUIREMENTS FOR DURABILITY


In order to achieve the required design working life of the structure,
adequate measures shall be taken to protect each structural
element against the relevant environmental actions.
The requirements for durability shall be included when considering
the following:
- Structural conception,
- Material selection,
- Construction details,
- Execution,
- Quality Control,
- Inspection,
- Verifications,
- Special measures (e.g. use of stainless steel, coatings, cathodic
protection).

REQUIREMENTS FOR DURABILITY

CONCRETE COVER
The concrete cover is the distance between the surface of the
reinforcement closest to the nearest concrete surface (including
links and stirrups and surface reinforcement where relevant) and
the nearest concrete surface.
The nominal cover shall be specified on the drawings.
It is defined as a minimum cover, cmin, plus an allowance in design
for deviation, cdev:
cnom = cmin + cdev

CONCRETE COVER
Minimum cover, cmin
Minimum concrete cover, cmin, shall be provided in order to ensure:
- the safe transmission of bond forces
- the protection of the steel against corrosion (durability)
- an adequate fire resistance
The greater value for cmin satisfying the requirements for both bond
and environmental conditions shall be used.
cmin = max {cmin,b; cmin,dur + cdur, - cdur,st - cdur,add; 10 mm}
where:
cmin,b minimum cover due to bond requirement
cmin,dur minimum cover due to environmental conditions
cdur, additive safety element
cdur,st reduction of minimum cover for use of stainless steel
cdur,add reduction of minimum cover for use of additional protection

CONCRETE COVER
Minimum cover, cmin
cmin,b
In order to transmit bond forces safely and to ensure adequate
compaction of the concrete, the minimum cover should not be less
than cmin,b given in the following table
Minimum cover, cmin,b, requirements with regard to bond
Arrangement of bars
Separated
Bundled

Minimum cover cmin,b


Diameter of bar
Equivalent diameter

If the nominal maximum aggregate size is greater than 32 mm,


cmin,b should be increased by 5 mm.

CONCRETE COVER
Minimum cover, cmin
cmin,dur

The recommended Structural Class (design working life of 50 years) is S4

CONCRETE COVER
The recommended Structural Class (design working life of 50
years) is S4 and the recommended modifications to the structural
class is given in Table 4.3N.
The recommended minimum Structural Class is S1.

CONCRETE COVER
The concrete cover should be increased by the additive safety element
cdur, .
The recommended value of cdur, is 0 mm.
Where stainless steel is used or where other special measures have been
taken, the minimum cover may be reduced by cdur,st. For such situations
the effects on all relevant material properties should be considered,
including bond.
The recommended value of cdur,st, without further specification, is 0 mm.
For concrete with additional protection (e.g. coating) the minimum cover
may be reduced by cdur,add.
The recommended value of cdur,add, without further specification, is 0 mm.

CONCRETE COVER
Where in-situ concrete is placed against other concrete elements
(precast or in-situ) the minimum concrete cover of the reinforcement to
the interface may be reduced to a value corresponding to the
requirement for bond provided that:
- the strength class of concrete is at least C25/30,
- the exposure time of the concrete surface to an outdoor environment
is short (< 28 days),
- the interface has been roughened.
For uneven surfaces (e.g. exposed aggregate) the minimum cover
should be increased by at least 5 mm.

CONCRETE COVER
Where freeze/thaw or chemical attack on concrete (Classes XF and
XA) is expected special attention should be given to the concrete
composition (see EN 206-1).
Cover in accordance with above will normally be sufficient for such
situations.
For concrete abrasion special attention should be given on the
aggregate according to EN 206-1. Optionally concrete abrasion may be
allowed for by increasing the concrete cover (sacrificial layer).
In that case the minimum cover cmin should be increased by:
k1 = 5mm for Abrasion Class XM1,
k2 = 10mm for XM2
k3 = 15mm for XM3.
Abrasion Class XM1 means a moderate abrasion like for members of industrial sites frequented by
vehicles with air tyres.
Abrasion Class XM2 means a heavy abrasion like for members of industrial sites frequented by fork
lifts with air or solid rubber tyres.
Abrasion Class XM3 means an extreme abrasion like for members industrial sites frequented by fork
lifts with elastomer or steel tyres or track vehicles.

CONCRETE COVER
Tolerance in design for deviation
To calculate the nominal cover, cnom, an addition to the minimum cover
shall be made in design to allow for the deviation (cdev).
The required minimum cover shall be increased by the absolute value
of the accepted negative deviation.
The recommended value of cdev is 10 mm.
In certain situations, the accepted deviation and hence allowance, cdev, may be reduced.
The recommended values are:
- where fabrication is subjected to a quality assurance system, in which the monitoring includes
measurements of the concrete cover, the allowance in design for deviation cdev may be reduced:
10 mm cdev 5 mm
- where it can be assured that a very accurate measurement device is used for monitoring and non
conforming members are rejected (e.g. precast elements), the allowance in design for deviation cdev
may be reduced: 10 mm cdev 0 mm

CONCRETE COVER
Allowance in design for deviation
For concrete cast against uneven surfaces, the minimum cover should
generally be increased by allowing larger deviations in design.
The increase should comply with the difference caused by the
unevenness, but the minimum cover should be at least 40 mm for
concrete cast against prepared ground (including blinding) and 75 mm
for concrete cast directly against soil.
The cover to the reinforcement for any surface feature, such as ribbed
finishes or exposed aggregate, should also be increased to take
account of the uneven surface.