Modeling of Chloride Transport in Cracked Concrete: A 3-D Image
based Microstructure Simulation
, Edward Garboczi
, Dale Bentz
, Jeffrey Davis
National Institute of Standards and Technology
*Corresponding author:Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive8615, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, email@example.com
It is highly desirable to develop amodel predicting the chloride diffusion profile incracked concrete while considering the realmicrostructure including cement paste, voids,and aggregates. While current models consider concrete at various levels of complexity in predicting the initiation of chloride-inducedcorrosion, considering the influence of crackingis generally beyond their scope. In this study, a3-D image-based microstructure simulation procedure was developed to model the chlorideingress in cracked mortar. A micro-X-rayfluorescence (XRF) test was conducted tomeasure the chloride concentration profile of amortar sample. The notched mortar sample wasexposed in a chloride ponding test for 30 days before the micro-XRF measurement. A 2-Dsimulation result, with a mesh based directly onthe XRF characterization of microstructure,showed good agreement with the micro-XRFmeasurement. With this validation, two different3-D concrete microstructures were generated andmeshed in 3-D and a commercial software package was used to accurately compute theinfluence of cracking on chloride diffusion with binding. The chloride concentration gradient inthe crack changed the concentration profile alongthe crack and nearby irregular aggregate surfacescontinually. Comparison to micro-XRFmeasurement data indicates that the contributionsof the crack play a significant role in the chlorideingress.
COMSOL Multiphysics, chloridediffusion and reaction, micro-X-rayfluorescence, X-ray CT, virtual concrete model,corrosion.
To improve the service life of concretestructures and make them more durable,appropriate mechanical and transport propertiesare equally necessary. Generally, commonconcrete degradation processes, includingcorrosion of steel reinforcement, sulfate attack,alkali-silica reaction, and damage due tofreezing/thawing are strongly influenced by thediffusion of ions modified by any binding/reaction. Thus, an applicable approach toincrease concrete service life is to reducetransport phenomena in concrete. Moreover,micro- or macro- cracks, which have a criticalnegative influence on all concrete degradation processes, are almost always present in concreteduring its service life. Cracks with differentwidths and depths will reduce the effective cover thickness and accelerate the migration of chloride ions. Understanding the relationships between cracked microstructure and transportcan improve the elucidation of degradationmechanisms within concrete. While currentmodels consider concrete at various levels of complexity in predicting the initiation of chloride-induced corrosion, considering theinfluence of cracking is generally beyond their scope. This paper develops a model to predict thechloride diffusion depth in cracked concreteconsidering the real microstructure includingcement paste, voids, and aggregates.Previous research has used the COMSOLMultiphysics package
to model the microscalecorrosion and cracking process in reinforcedconcrete due to non-uniform corrosion(Pan andLu 2012). The properties of cracked and porousmedia were analyzed by COMSOL(Perko et al.).Reaction and diffusion processes in a mineralrock, without considering microstructureexplicitly, were also studied by(Richter et al.).Some studies, based on non-steady statemigration tests, were described in NT BUILD492, using an electrical field and artificial cracks(Marsavina et al. 2009).(Kwon et al. 2009)
Certain commercial equipment and/or materials areidentified in this report in order to adequately specifythe experimental procedure. In no case does suchidentification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology,nor does it imply that the equipment and/or materialsused are necessarily the best available for the purpose.