The Investigation and Repair of Historic Concrete Alkali aggregate reaction (abbreviated as AAR) Reaction between the aggregates

and the alkaline cement paste, leading to the development of expansive crystalline gel which is sufficiently strong to cause cracking of the aggregate and of the concrete matrix. Sometimes also called alkali silica reaction, (ASR). Anode the positive pole of an electric circuit. In a cathodic protection system, a sacrificial material introduced to act as the site of corrosion to inhibit corrosion of the structure itself. Binder The materials that comprise the cementing agents in concrete, mortars and renders. Cement is mixed with water and added to aggregates (the filler – q.v.) to make concrete. Historically, ‘natural’ cements such as the volcanic ash (known as pozzolan), or lime or gypsum products, were used as binders. For concrete made during the last century, Portland cement (q.v.) has been almost universally the binder, although other artificial cements are increasingly being used that employ recycled industrial waste material such as ground granulated blast furnace slag. Carbonation Loss of alkalinity in the concrete as a result of calcium hydroxide depletion (brought about by the presence of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which with moisture forms carbonic acid). The reaction of calcium hydroxide with the acid results in the formation of calcium carbonate, neutralizing the alkalis in the pores and resulting in the loss of the passivating oxide layer around the embedded steel in the carbonated zone. The carbonation front is the interface between the uncarbonated (virgin) concrete and the carbonated concrete, as carbonation progresses inwards towards the steel. Carbonation is progressive but occurs at a reducing rate with time. It progresses faster in zones of local defects, such as cracking and poor compaction, than in the general body of (competent) concrete. Cathode The negative pole of an electric circuit. In a cathodic protection system, the metal protected against corrosion due to the presence of a sacrificial anode. Cement The binding material that is one the components of concrete. Most commonly it is Portland cement (q.v.). Chlorides As these occur in calcium chloride (used as a cement-setting accelerator in the past) and sodium chloride (in sea-water, wind-blown sea spray, and road deicing salt), they combine with water to form an aggressive agent leading to accelerated corrosion of reinforcement. Corrosion ‘Rusting’ or formation of iron oxides and other compounds by electrolytic action when steel is exposed to water and oxygen. Aggravated by other aggressive agents such as acids or chlorides (q.v.). Rust occupies a larger volume than the original iron, and consequently can cause cracking and spalling (q.v.) in the surrounding concrete.

Cover The concrete between the reinforcement and the adjacent face of the element. It provides protection of the steel from corrosion (q.v.). The required thickness of cover and the quality of concrete mix used are influenced by the severity of exposure, and must be correctly chosen to ensure durability (q.v.). Creep The long-term shortening or deflection of the concrete as the strain increases under sustained stress, which usually has to be allowed for in the structural design of the reinforced concrete. Delamination Separation of layers of concrete from the main body of the material. Filler The aggregates which mixed with the binder (q.v.) and water result in concrete. Typically categorized as coarse aggregate (crushed stone, gravel, etc.) and fine aggregate (commonly sand). Galvanic action Occurs when two dissimilar metals are placed together in solution. The most active metal will become an anode and corrode as a current passes between them. This action is used to stop corrosion by galvanizing (coating steel with zinc) and in galvanic cathodic protection. Impressed current cathodic protection A method of cathodic protection that uses a power supply and an inert (or controlled consumption) anode to protect a metallic object or element by making it the cathode. In-situ concrete Concrete cast in its intended location, cf. precast concrete (q.v.). Latent damage Non-visible damage that is impairing, or will impair, the functionality of the structure and will eventually require some form of remedial action. Mass concrete A term generally synonymous with unreinforced concrete (q.v.) but also applied to massive concrete elements and structures such as gravity dams, which may well have some reinforcement. Oxidation The process of removing electrons from an atom or ion. The process:
Fe Fe2+ Fe2+ + 2e– Fe3+ + e–

is the oxidation of iron to its ferrous (Fe2) and ferric (Fe3+) oxidation state. Oxidation is done by an oxidizing agent, of which oxygen is only one of many. Passivation The process by which steel in concrete is protected from corrosion by the formation of a passive layer due to the highly alkaline environment created by the pore water. The passive layer is a thin, dense layer of iron oxides and hydroxides with some mineral content, that is initially formed as bare steel is exposed to oxygen and water, but then protects the steel from further corrosion as it is too

dense to allow the water and oxygen to reach the steel and continue the oxidation process. Patent damage Visible damage in reinforced concretedecay. Damage can include cracking, spalling etc. pH Logarithmic scale for expressing the acidity or alkalinity of a solution based on the concentration of hydrogen ions; a neutral solution has a pH of 7, whilst a pH below 7 indicates an acid solution and a pH above 7 indicates an alkaline solution. Concrete has a pH of 12 to 13. Steel corrodes at pH 10 to 11. Pore (water) Concrete contains microscopic pores. These contain alkaline oxides and hydroxides of sodium, potassium and calcium. Water will move in and out of the concrete saturating, part filling and drying out the pores according to the external environments. The alkaline pore water sustains the passive layer if not attacked by carbonation or chlorides. Portland cement Patented by Aspdin in 1824 and named after its resemblance to Portland stone. It is an artificial or manufactured material, although made from limestone or chalk, together with clay or shale. These

contain alumina,

silica, lime, iron oxide and magnesia, and are ground to a fine
powder, burnt in a kiln and then reground to a very fine powder which sets hard when mixed with water. Post-tensioned concrete Prestressed concrete made by casting-in conduits or sheaths for prestressing steel that is tensioned and secured by anchorages once the concrete has cured. Profiling the conduits or sheaths produces a more efficient section, as noted below for pretensioned concrete. The conduits or sheaths are usually then grouted up to provide bond between steel and concrete, and to increase durability. Precast concrete Reinforced concrete cast in moulds as units or elements elsewhere than their final intended location, before being placed into position. Pre-stressed concrete Concrete that has had compressive stress applied to it by tensioned steel before it is put into service to carry loads. The prestressing steel may take the form of rods, wires, cables, or bars. Prestressing increases the strength of the element and can eliminate cracking in service. Pretensioned concrete Prestressed concrete made by tensioning the prestressing steel before the concrete is poured. This typically requires temporary anchorages to hold the ends of the steel, and stout moulds to resist the resulting compression forces exerted on them. Once the concrete has set, the anchorages are freed and the prestressing force is transferred as compression in the concrete. Pre-tensioning

generally employs straight runs of steel, although sometimes it is profiled, following the pattern of the bending moment to give a more efficient use of the material. Reinforced concrete Concrete reinforced with metal rods, straps, wires or mesh that provides a composite material strong in tension and compression. The reinforcement is today most commonly mild or high-tensile steel but iron, annealed wire, and galvanized and stainless steel have all been used in various ways as reinforcement. In the future non-metallic, high-strength composites used as reinforcement may reduce or eliminate concerns over corrosion and durability. Repair action Taken to reinstate to an acceptable level the current functionality of a structure or its components that are defective, degraded or damaged in some way. Shrinkage Contraction of the cement paste as it hardens, due to loss of moisture and changes to the paste’s internal structure. Some shrinkage is nonreversible due to these changes, while reversible shrinkage occurs as the concrete becomes wet in service and then dries again. Some materials that might otherwise find use as aggregates should be avoided if found to be ‘shrinkable’, as this property may damage the concrete in service. Spalling Detachment of lens-like pieces of surface concrete, usually due to reinforcement corrosion and the production of expansive rust products that put the concrete locally into tension, resulting in cracking and then spalling. Unreinforced concrete Concrete that does not contain reinforcement.

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