You are on page 1of 2

Advanced tests on concrete for accelerated

durability studies
Concrete is used extensively all over the world and is the most widely used material
in the world after water. Concrete and cement both require natural resources/raw
materials in abundance. In addition, production of cement requires calcination of
limestone and clay at very high temperature using natural fuel. This process
releases about 1 tonne of CO2 for every tonne of cement produced.
Environmentalists have raised hue and cry over utilization of these natural
resources and on indiscriminate mining of natural sand from river beds since it
create imbalance in the ecosystem. Several researchers worldwide have made
efforts to devise cementitious materials and suitable alternatives for the above
natural resources and to utilize industrial bye products/waste products such as fly
ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), rubber waste, plastic waste,
glass waste, construction and demolition waste etc. After successful research works,
blended cements using GGBS or fly ash were produced and utilized on large scale
thus establishing very useful and econo9mical and equally strong cementitious
material. However as regards concrete production the breakthrough has not yet
been striked as regards replacement for coarse and fine aggregates partially. Also
the long term durability studies have been seldom done.
Durability Testing of concrete specimens
Accelerated Carbonation Studies
Within a few hours, or a day or two at most, CO 2 from the air reacts with the surface
of fresh concrete and penetrates deeper into concrete at a rate proportional to the
square root of time. After a year or so it reaches a depth of 1 mm for dense concrete
of low permeability made with low water/cement ratio , or up to 5 mm or more for
more porous and permeable concrete made using a high water/cement ratio.
Dissolved CO2 in the concrete pores, reacts with calcium from Ca(OH)2 and CSH to
form calcite (CaCO3).this carbonation may result in corrosion of steel and shrinkage
of concrete. However it may increase compressive and tensile strength of concrete.
Fig 1 shows the carbonation for the concrete portion after sprinkling
phenolphthalein indicator. Fig 2 shows the carbonation chamber.
Accelerated carbonation studies are performed as per BS 1881-210:2013 by
subjecting the concrete cubes/prisms to much higher levels of carbon dioxide than
the atmospheric one with relative humidity conductive to a maximum rate of
carbonation. This test requires a period of 112 days which consist of specimen age
of 28 days, subjected to minimum conditioning period of 14 days with top bottom
and two opposite side faces of the specimen except the two longitudinal faces
covered with paraffin wax. The specimen thus after 42 days of casting ,is placed in

the storage camber for minimum 70 days at CO 2 levels of (4.00.5%),temperature

of (202c)and relative humidity of (55%).then the specimen is split into half and
taken for measurement of carbonation depth after spraying phenolphthalein
indicator on the cut surfaces.