Service life design (SLD) is an important tool for civil engineers to ensure that the structural integrity and functionality of the structure is not compromised within a given time frame, i.e. the service life. In SLD of reinforced concrete structures, reinforcement corrosion is of major concern and reinforcement de-passivation is a frequently used limit state. The present paper investigates an alternative limit state: corrosion-induced cover cracking. Results from numerical simulations of concrete cover cracking due to reinforcement corrosion are presented. The potential additional service life is calculated using literature data on corrosion rate and Faraday’s law. The parameters varied comprise reinforcement diameter, concrete cover thickness and concrete material properties, viz. concrete tensile strength and ductility (plain concrete and fibre reinforced concrete). Results obtained from the numerical simulations reveal that, depending on the serviceability limit state applied, the service life of a reinforced concrete structure can be increased significantly by allowing minor damage of the cover.
Materials and Structures, 2013, Vol 46, Issue 11, p. 1781-1799
Service life design; Cracking of concrete cover; Numerical simulations; Fibre reinforced concrete