1 Department of Structural Engineering and Materials, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Chloride ingress is a common cause of deterioration of reinforced concrete structures. Concrete may be exposed to chloride by sea water or deicing salts. The chloride initiates corrosion of the reinforcement which through expansion disrupts the concrete. Modelling the chloride ingress is an important basis for designing the durability of concrete structures. As an example the Danish Great Belt link is designed to have 100 years durability based on calculation of chloride ingress.During the last 15 years the types of concrete used in practice have changed substantially. Due to plasticizers and mineral additives concretes with higher strengths and reduced permeability are produced. Recently it has become clear that traditional chloride ingress models do not apply to modern concretes. Actually, the life time model used for the Danish Great Belt link has shown up to be based on wrong assumptions.Chloride ingress in modern concretes cannot be followed with conventional measuring techniques. This makes it difficult to develop and test new models. However, prefatory experiments have shown that electron probe micro analysis, EPMA, is applicable for this purpose. The geometric resolution for the EPMA method is 100-1000 times better than for conventional techniques.The present project is aimed to give a better understanding of the physical-chemical nature of chloride ingress. A number of different cement pastes and mortars are examined ranging from traditional to modern high-performance types. The pastes and mortars are exposed to synthetic seawater from 1 day to half a year. Thereafter, the samples are examined by EPMA. Modelling of the measured profiles focuses on a physico-chemical understanding of the mechanisms.