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SULPHATE and SOFT

WATERATTCK ON CONCRETE

SULPHATE and SOFT WATERATTCK ON CONCRETE

SULPHATE and SOFT WATERATTCK ON CONCRETE

Reactions During Cement


Hydration
1- Gypsum reacts with C3A :
C3A + 3CaSO4

C3A.3CaSO4.32H2O

2- The formed crystal is called Ettringite or Aft (Aluminoferrite-tri)


3- If the cement contains enough C3A the reaction will continue
after consuming the gypsum as follows:
C3A.3CaSO4.32H2O + 2C3A

3(C3A.CaSO4.12H2O)

4- The formed phase is referred to as (Afm) or monosulphate.


5- Ettringite formation involves considerable volume increase.

Reactions During Cement


Hydration

Soft Water Attack:


1- Soft water percolating through concrete
dissolves hydration products in the
following order:
a- Calcium Hydroxide (CH)
b- Monosulphate
c- Ettringite
d- C-S-H
C-S-H is decalcified once CH is unable to
maintain the Ca ion concentration

Different Types of Attack


1- Internal Attack
2- External Attack

Internal Attack
Delayed Ettringite Formation
(DEF):
1-Ettringite is not formed if concrete temperature exceeds 70C.
2- If curing is at elevated temperature, or if self heating in large pours
(or in hot weather) ettringite might not be formed.
3- Monosulphate is present and most of the sulphates are absorbed by
C-S-H.
4- When concrete cools down to ambient temperature, these phases are
not stable and ettringite crystals form with considerable expansion.
5- In many cases this delayed ettringite formation leads to cracking
through the paste and around the aggregate particles.

Internal Attack
Delayed Ettringite Formation
(DEF):

Precautions to Avoid DEF:


1- Avoid Pouring Concrete in Hot weather
2- Large pours accumulate heat at the
rate of 12C/100 kg cement.
3- How much is the rise of temperature for
a concrete mix containing 400 kg
cement/m3?
4- The use of fly ash or slag to reduce the
heat of hydration is good.
5- Low C3A sulphate resisting cement
seems to have lower risk of DEF.

External Attack
1- Sulphates are present in ground water, and soil.
2- Common sulphate salts are: sodium, magnesium,
potassium, and calcium.
3- External sulphates react with C 3A and monosulphates
(Afm) to form ettringite (Aft)
4- Additional reaction takes place with CH to form
gypsum:
Ca(OH)2 + SO42- = CaSO4.2H2O +2OH-

External Attack
5-

If all CH is consumed, decalcification of C-S-H takes


place.

6-

In sodium sulphate attack, crack formation is the


main damage mechanism.

7- In magnesium sulphate attack,


a- there is less cracking but more rapid loss of C-S-H leading to
the destruction of the structure
b-an insoluble hydroxide is formed (brucite). If it precipitates
into concrete, it will accelerate the reaction of magnesium ion
with CH. In the case of sea water, brucite forms a protective
layer that reduces the sulphate attack.

External Attack

Sulphate Solution
SO42-

Sulphate solution
SO42-

Un reacted zone

Ettringite Formation
C3A(CS)3 H32

C3A(CS) H12

Un reacted zone
C3A(CS) H12

External Attack
Sulphate Solution
SO42Gypsum Formation
C3A(CS)3 H32
And Ettringite
reduced Ca(OH)
Formation
2
C3A(CS)3 H32

Un reacted zone

Sulphate Solution
Gypsum Formation
SO42-

CSH2

C3A(CS) H12

C3A(CS)3 H32
And Decalcifi. of CSH
Gypsum Formation
CSH
C3A(CS)32 H32
And reduced Ca(OH)2
Ettringite Formation
C3A(CS)3 H32

Un reacted zone

SiO2 aq
CSH2

C3A(CS) H12

External Attack
Thaumasite Formation
1- Thaumasite has the composition:
Ca3Si(OH)6(SO4)(CO3).12H2O
2- It is formed through a combination of sulphate attack and
carbonation
3- Sulphates is usually from an external source but carbonate
may be derived from the aggregate or cement constituents.
4- It forms in wet conditions at temperatures below 15C.
5- The attack on C-S-H leads to complete destruction of the
cement paste.

External Attack
Thaumasite Formation

Thaumasite Under SEM

Ettringite Under SEM

Specifying Concrete for


Sulphate Exposure:
1- Classifying exposure conditions: (water
and soil)

Specifying Concrete for


Sulphate Exposure:
2- Concrete Quality

Specifying Concrete for


Sulphate Exposure:
3- Aggregate Type:
a) Generally, Aggregate type does not have great

effect on the rate of reaction


b) However, in case of pipes; limestone is

recommended so it dissolves as well and does


not form debris
c) If the acid supply is limited, limestone will also

assist in neutralizing it.