You are on page 1of 11

See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.


Corrosion Assessment of RC Deck in a Jetty Structure Damaged by Chloride


Article  in  Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities · October 2013

DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000348

13 1,079

5 authors, including:

Ali Dousti Masoud Moradian

Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center Oklahoma State University - Stillwater


Rahman Taheri Reza Rashetnia

University of Tehran Instrotek inc


Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects:

NA/NA/NA View project

EPScrete View project

All content following this page was uploaded by Reza Rashetnia on 03 August 2014.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.

Corrosion Assessment of RC Deck in a Jetty
Structure Damaged by Chloride Attack
Ali Dousti, S.M.ASCE1; Masoud Moradian2; Seyyed Rahman Taheri3; Reza Rashetnia4;
and Mohammad Shekarchi5
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Abstract: The long-term behavior of concrete structures has shown that their main cause of distress is reinforcement corrosion. One of the most
punishing exposure conditions for concrete is a marine environment such as that found in the Persian Gulf. Reinforcement corrosion from dif-
fusion of chloride ions is the main mechanism for deterioration under such conditions; it is found that chloride penetration and chloride-induced
reinforcement corrosion rates can be very high, often leading to a reduced service life. This paper presents results of a study performed on a
40-year-old RC jetty structure in the Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Zone, Persian Gulf region that had suffered extensive deteriora-
tion from chloride-induced corrosion. Based on visual inspection as well as in situ and laboratory tests, it was strongly evident that the
structure had not been designed and built under sufficient qualitative specifications. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000348.
© 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
CE Database subject headings: Reinforced concrete; Decks; Chloride; Corrosion; Deterioration; Durability; Jetties; Gulfs; Middle East.
Author keywords: Chloride; Corrosion; Deterioration; Durability; Jetty; Marine environment; Persian Gulf.

Introduction permeability, nature, and intensity of cracks with cover thickness,

has a great bearing upon the initiation and sustenance of rein-
The corrosion of steel reinforcement, initiated by chloride ion attack forcement corrosion. Poor quality of concrete, combined with harsh
upon the passive layer of steel, is the dominant cause of deterioration environmental conditions, has exposed design inadequacies: some
of RC structures in marine environments (Shekarchi et al. 2011; structures have had alarming degrees of degradation within less
Costa and Appleton 2002; Bertolini et al. 2002). Chloride can de- than a decade (Shekarchi et al. 2009). Significant costs for repair and
stroy the protective film on steel bars leading to corrosion of re- associated issues, especially for hot weather areas such as the Persian
inforcement (Mehta and Monteiro 2006). The corrosion damage in Gulf region, are annually imposed. A combination of salty geology
these concrete infrastructures is often observed by rust-staining of and harsh climate makes that environment potentially one of the
the surface, with cracking and spalling of the concrete cover from the most punishing exposure conditions for concrete structures in the
formation of expansive corrosion products. Corrosion can also lead world. Despite the fact that concrete is a reliable structural material
to a decrease in the reinforcing steel cross-section that, in turn, results with good durability performance, exposure to severe environments
in a loss of serviceability often occurring much earlier than antic- makes it vulnerable (Moradi-Marani et al. 2010).
ipated for the designed service life of the structure (Dousti et al. The assessment of corrosion damage in RC structure and selec-
2011; Shekarchi et al. 2011; Moradi-Marani et al. 2010; Haque and tion of repair strategy requires a detailed investigation to determine
Al-Khaiat 1997). extent and causes of degradation. This study presents the results of a
Over the past several decades, the Persian Gulf region has ex- detailed assessment of a RC jetty, in the Mahshahr Petrochemical
perienced, and met, great demand for construction of RC structures. Special Zone, which was exposed to the severe marine environment
Many of these structures, even quite new ones, have suffered from of the Persian Gulf. In this case study, some conventional and
reinforcement corrosion. The quality of concrete, in particular the nondestructive tests such as chloride diffusion profile, half-cell
potential (HCP) test, carbonation depth, X-ray diffraction (XRD)
1 analysis, measurement of level of corrosion, and compressive
Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant, Construction Materials In-
stitute (CMI), School of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Tehran, 1417713461
strength determination were applied to determine the extent and
Tehran, Iran (corresponding author). E-mail: causes of degradation after 40 years of construction.
Research Assistant, Construction Materials Institute (CMI), School of In the present paper, several levels of deterioration associated with
Civil Engineering, Univ. of Tehran, 1417713461 Tehran, Iran. different exposure conditions are described. This study is designed to
Research Assistant, Construction Materials Institute (CMI), School of help professionals obtain more realistic predictions of durability per-
Civil Engineering, Univ. of Tehran, 1417713461 Tehran, Iran. formance for concrete structures in harsh environments, and find
Research Assistant, Construction Materials Institute (CMI), School of suitably cost-effective materials for repair of such structures.
Civil Engineering, Univ. of Tehran, 1417713461 Tehran, Iran.
Associate Professor, Director of Construction Materials Institute (CMI),
School of Civil Engineering, Univ. of Tehran, 1417713461 Tehran, Iran. Environmental Condition and Jetty Structure
Note. This manuscript was submitted on August 20, 2011; approved on
April 3, 2012; published online on April 10, 2012. Discussion period open
until March 1, 2014; separate discussions must be submitted for individual The Geographical and Environmental Condition
papers. This paper is part of the Journal of Performance of Constructed
Facilities, Vol. 27, No. 5, October 1, 2013. ©ASCE, ISSN 0887-3828/2013/ The Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Zone complex, located within
5-519–528/$25.00. a semienclosed region known as Khowr-e Musa, is a vital outlet for


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Iran’s foreign trades. Khowr-e Musa, consisting of an estuary- of the slabs were taken to determine the extent of investigation
shaped approach and an inner basin, is located in the northwest required and the types of tests needed.
region of the Persian Gulf. Tidal amplitudes are in the range of 2–4 m 2. Nondestructive testing was performed to identify areas of
along the coast of the Persian Gulf, increasing to 5 m and higher in extensive degradation for obtaining samples including con-
the Khowr-e Musa deep channel (Shekarchi et al. 2011). Climate of crete cores and powder for laboratory tests.
the Mahshahr port is hot in summer, with high annual variation in
relative humidity. The studied structure is located in a region
Visual Inspection
classified as hot-dry (Fookes et al. 1986). The average of maximum
temperature ranges from 17.1C to 44.6C, with average annual Visual inspection allows initial estimation of the structure condition
maximum temperature 32.5C. Highest reported temperature is (Tay and Tam 1996) and helps determine the testing program re-
approximately 49C in summer. Average relative humidity ranges quired. Visual inspection consists of a careful investigation of the
from 26% in July to 74% in January, with an annual average of 45%. jetty’s structure for any sign of distress such as cracking, spalling,
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

The chemical analysis of the sea water is presented in Table 1. and rust-staining. These signs may be indicative of various distresses
(Neville and Brooks 1987). An in-depth inspection carried out to
Jetty Structure assess the condition of the jetty revealed many types of and degrees
of deterioration related to the different concrete deck slabs and
The Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Zone consists of seven posts exposure conditions, as follows:
denoted P1–P7. In the present case study, the three posts P5, P6, • Longitudinal cracks, with variable widths, were observed on the
and P7, otherwise known as the Razi Petrochemical Port, were deck surface (edges of the concrete slabs), which could be a sign
investigated to determine the extent and causes of degradation after of severe corrosion [Fig. 2(a)]. These cracks and micro-cracks
40 years in place from time of construction. The jetty’s structure were a direct pathway for the ingress of chloride and other
consists of three main parts (Fig. 1): aggressive ions into the concrete. It must be noted that these
1. Composite slabs, made from cast-in-place 60-cm concrete cracks near the fenders represent impacts (berthing loads) from
slabs and a steel plate molding at the bottom of the decks; ships.
2. Steel beams serving as the pile caps; and • The concrete forehead exposed to the splash and spray zones
3. Steel piles to transfer the applied load to the seabed. presented large areas with spalled and delaminated concrete from
This jetty is one of the major oil, natural gas, and petrochemical reinforcement corrosion. The upper part exposed to the atmo-
product-exporting ports of Iran that had been built during 1965– spheric zone presented a much lower degree of deterioration. In
1970. P5 is used for loading solid materials such as sulfur and urea this zone, only small delaminated areas were observed.
while P6 and P7 are used for liquids. Average concrete cover • A substantial loss of the cross-section of the bars was observed
thickness is approximately 60 mm in concrete deck slabs. The in the deck forehead. In some zones, half the diameter of the
concrete slabs are exposed to a variety of marine environment con- bars was totally corroded after 40 years of exposure, as shown
ditions in the atmospheric and splash zones. The top surfaces of the in Fig. 2(b).
concrete slabs are exposed to the atmospheric zone but foreheads • Wide cracks, accompanied by delamination between rebar layers
and edges are exposed to the splash zone. The coarse aggregate types and concrete substrate, were observed overall. This may be from
are dolomite and quartz, and fine aggregates are of a natural type. chloride penetration and spalling resulting from the formation of
Beams are simply supported in each span, and exposed to the splash expansive corrosion products.
and atmospheric zones. It must be noted that beams and steel piers • The jetty itself was subject to three main types of marine
are protected against corrosion by a cathodic protection system. exposure: the deck slab and the upper part of the steel beams
are exposed to the splash and atmospheric zone; the lower part of
the beams and the upper part of the piles are exposed to the splash
zone; and the lower part of the piles are subject to the tidal and
Study on Present Condition of the Jetty
submerged zone of the marine environment.
• Some eroded and deteriorated concrete surfaces were clearly
Results of Inspection visible under the oil and gas piping system.
• The placing, consolidating, and curing conditions of the concrete
Investigation of corrosion damage in the jetty structure was focused were all inadequate, showing some segregation zones and poor
on the concrete deck slabs. It must be noted that corrosion of steel concrete joints.
elements (including beams, columns, and pier beams) needs much • There was an asphalt layer of approximately 10-cm thickness on
more frequent and thorough professional inspection than appears to some parts of the concrete deck slab surface. After removal of the
have been done in the past. Investigation of corrosion damage in RC asphalt layer on the jetty’s deck, there was considerable humidity
slabs consisted of two phases: apparent on the surface of the concrete, which could be influential
1. A systematic visual inspection was conducted to get a realistic upon corrosion rate.
idea about the deterioration and distress of the concrete deck • Sulfur accumulation under conveyor belts on the surface of P5
slabs. Visual inspection was done and extensive photographs was observed. In these parts, because of sulfuric acid attack,
aggregate was exposed (Moradian et al. 2012; Clifton and
Ponnersheim 1994).
Table 1. Chemical Analysis of the Sea Water • The condition of steel piles of the jetty was unfavorable as well.
Item Value Persian Gulf average Fig. 2(c) shows the severe corrosion state of the steel piles,
especially in the tidal and splash zones.
pH 7.96 7.5 • In situ concrete slab strength was tested on some elements using
CI2 ðg=LÞ 23.54 21.45
a nondestructive Schmidt (rebound) hammer. The measured
Sulfate (g=L) 2.06 2.72
strength ranged from 15 to 30 MPa for P5 and P6, and from
Na2 O ðg=LÞ 22.60 —
10 to 16 MPa for P7, reflecting poor compressive strength


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Fig. 1. Plan of the jetty structure: (a) side view of platform; (b) seaward-berth view of the jetty (photograph courtesy of Ali Dousti)

(especially for P7). According to ACI 350–01 [American Con- deterioration and its effects. Fig. 3 illustrates the results for the
crete Institute (ACI) 2005], corrosion protection of RC exposed compressive strength of the concrete. The average value of com-
to sea water requires a minimum compressive strength of 35 MPa pressive strength was approximately 27 MPa with SD of 5 MPa.
(5000 Psi). Based on ACI 211.1-97 (ACI 1997b), the water/cement is estimated
to be approximately 0.57 MPa. Iranian codes have limited the min-
imum water/cement from 0.40 to 0.45 MPa for concrete structures
exposed to sea water, to depend on the concrete element type and the
In Situ and Laboratory Tests exposure conditions anticipated (Building and Housing Research
Center 2005). Clearly, the measured water/cement of the concrete slab
was not sufficient to meet the service life criteria in the Persian Gulf
Compressive Strength
region. A water absorption test was also performed according to BS
Twenty-two concrete core samples were extracted and tested in the 1881-122 [British Standard Institution (BSI) 1983] for P5 and P7. The
laboratory for determination of compressive strength [ASTM C42 water absorption was measured at approximately 2 and 2.8% after
(ASTM 2003c)]. The first five centimeters of each core sample were 30 min for P5 and P7, respectively, which is representative of poor
removed with a rotary cutter to check the possibility of surface concrete quality.


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Under normal circumstances, when the carbon dioxide or chloride
reaches the reinforced steel, the depassivation of the steel occurs and
the steel reinforcement starts to corrode (Dousti et al. 2009). For this
survey, the carbonation depth was measured by the traditional
method of CPC-18 [International Union of Laboratories and Experts
in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures (RILEM 1988)].
With this method, phenolphthalein (pH indicator) is sprayed onto
freshly exposed surface after drilling of the concrete surface. For
the noncarbonated part, where the concrete was still highly alkaline, a
purple-red color was obtained; for the carbonated part of the specimen,
where the alkalinity of the concrete was reduced, no coloration was
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

found. The carbonation depth, measured on uncracked areas,

generally varied from 4 to 10 mm, and in some zones, exceeded
chloride penetration depth. (Fig. 4). Some researchers believe that
a greater distance from the coast leads to a higher carbonation depth
(Castro et al. 2000). Therefore, it can be confirmed that low-
carbonation depth is the result of high percentage of humidity in this

Chloride Diffusion Profiles

A chloride penetration test was carried out on the concrete powder
obtained from various depths of concrete surface. The sampling was
performed in 10-mm steps. For each step, powdered concrete was
gathered in a separate sampling box. The dust of the first two mil-
limeters was neglected because of the probability of salt accumu-
lation or washing action of the water on the surface of the concrete.
The chloride content of each sample was determined using the
method from ASTM C114 (ASTM 2003d), and based on these
samples, the chloride diffusion profiles were plotted.
Fig. 4 presents the chloride profiles and carbonation depth
measured in different parts of the jetty after 40 years of exposure.
According to the report of Angst et al. (2009), the chloride threshold
value for corrosion initiation of reinforcement is considered to be
between 0.015 and 0.3% 3 weight of concrete. BS 8110-1 (BSI
1997) recommends 0.4% chloride content by cement weight as the
threshold value; considering cement content and concrete’s total
weight, the value is converted to 0.07% 3 weight of concrete. As
shown in Fig. 4, concrete slabs are deeply contaminated by chlorides
in some parts. According to Fig. 4, chloride profiles from damaged
surfaces indicated chloride content at the level of corroded steel bars
ranging from 0.02 to 0.65% 3 weight of concrete. The concrete slabs
are subject to three main types of marine exposure: tops of the deck
slabs are exposed to the atmospheric zone; lower parts of the deck
(bottom of the deck) and the upper parts of the piles are exposed to
the splash zone; and forehead parts of the deck are subject to the
splash-atmospheric zone of the marine environment. As shown
later in Fig. 6, the values of chloride content near the steel bars varied
from 0.06 to 0.09% 3 weight of concrete in the atmospheric zone
(chloride profiles with codes of a, d, f, and h). For samples in the
splash atmospheric zone (codes of b, g, and i), chloride content near
the steel bars varied 0.05–0.20% 3 weight of concrete, which was
considerably above the estimated threshold value (0.07% 3 weight
of concrete). For a sample in the splash zone (at the bottom of the
decks where the steel molds were damaged previously by corrosion),
chloride content near the steel bars was measured to be approxi-
mately 0.65% 3 weight of concrete (codes of c and e). Chloride
Fig. 2. (a) Longitudinal deep crack occurrence on the surface; content amount where the steel molding was sound and not corroded
(b) deterioration of the southern walls caused by ship-berthing impact was approximately 0.02% 3 weight of concrete.
load and chloride attack; (c) severe corrosion of the steel piles in the tidal Results of the chloride diffusion coefficient (D) and surface
zone (photographs courtesy of Ali Dousti) chloride concentration (C) are given in Table 2. These two
parameters were increased in the splash atmosphere and splash


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Fig. 3. Compressive strength of the concrete cores in different posts

Fig. 4. Chloride diffusion profile in (a) P5; (b) P6; (c) P7


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

zones, respectively. The results in Table 2 confirm that the chloride 2003a). Steel bars were then cut into equal coupons of approximately
diffusion coefficient and surface chloride content for Profile c is very 100 mm in length. The percentage gravimetric mass loss of a steel
low, which shows the effective prevention of chloride penetration coupon, Qgi , was calculated from the following equation:
by means of the steel molds. These results clearly show that the mu 2 mi
chloride diffusion coefficient in P7 was higher than in the other Qgi ¼  100
samples because of the poor quality of P7 concrete upon com-
parison to the other posts. A similar conclusion was reached by other where mu 5 average mass per length of an uncorroded steel coupon
researchers (Ghalibafian et al. 2003; Luping and Anderson 1998). and mi 5 mass per length of a corroded coupon.
The test was performed on two separate series of steel bar
Half-Cell Potential Test specimens from P5. Steel corrosion was found from a range of
negligible in the concrete surface deck to very severe in the edges of
Detection and measurement of corrosion in concrete structures is
the deck slabs (Table 4). It is interesting to note that the loss of cross-
essential. Although there are several methods for the diagnosis,
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

section of the reinforcement was not high in concrete surface.

detection, and measurement of corrosion in reinforcing steel, there is
In these areas, the main effect of the corrosion process was the spalling
no consensus regarding which method assesses corrosion levels in
of the concrete cover. General corrosion took place and macro-sized
RC structures most accurately. The main method used for corrosion
corrosion cells, generally associated with chloride attack and very
detection is that of taking half-cell potential (HCP) measurements.
high corrosion rates, were not observed. According to Table 4, the
HCP measurement is a qualitative, nondestructive evaluation tech-
average steel cross-section loss ranged from 11.5 to 45%, representing
nique to estimate the corrosion state of reinforcing steel in concrete
a significant corrosion state. These values indicated a high corrosion
elements (Leelalerkiet et al. 2004). HCP at the surface of the concrete
rate for the reinforcements (especially in the edge parts of the decks),
slabs was measured by a portable corrosion meter with a silver/silver
when compared with reports by other researchers (Mohammed et al.
chloride reference electrode. The probability of corrosion was
evaluated based on the standard recommendations from ASTM
C876-09 (ASTM 2003b). Results are given in Table 3 for a silver/
silver chloride reference electrode. The measured potentials are
X -Ray Diffraction Test Analysis
sensitive to variables such as moisture content, concrete cover
thickness, surface coating, concrete resistivity, and type of electrode, The XRD test was utilized for identification of crystalline phases of
among others (Ohtsu and Yamamoto 1997). HCP maps of two areas the concrete. Powder samples were obtained by drilling the concrete
in P5 and P6 posts are illustrated in Fig. 5. As shown in Fig. 5, there at different depths and then the XRD test was performed on the
was a high probability of corrosion of the reinforcement in all samples after their regrinding. It is noted that the device was Philips
the test zones, and potential was measured in the range of 2250 to with 40 kV, 40 mA, and Cu-Ka radiation.
2400 mV. (Potentials lower than 2250 mV were measured in all Fig. 6 shows XRD patterns of three samples obtained from
zones.) Note that the amount of potential gradient also has a great different depths of concrete. The location of sampling was on the
importance for the interpretation of corrosion state (Shekarchi surface of the P5 deck, under its conveyer belt, where sulfur ac-
et al. 2011). cumulation was visible. According to these patterns, the dominant
phase was quartz, which was represented by the aggregate materials.
Measurements of the Level of Corrosion As previously mentioned, sulfuric acid attack was a possible factor.
The signs of sulfate attack on the concrete surface were inferable from
Corroded bars were mechanically cleaned using a motorized wire XRD patterns. Weak peaks of portlandite (CaðOHÞ2 or CH) as well as
brush and dipped in a solution of hydrochloric acid, hexamethylene gypsum detection in the concrete sample could be signs of sulfate
tetramine, and reagent water in accordance with ASTM G1 (ASTM attack. During sulfate attack, portlandite reacts with the sulfate ions,
leading to production of gypsum or other substances. The depth of
Table 2. Chloride Diffusion Coefficient (D) and Surface Chloride sulfate attack in this sample measured greater than 25 mm. The authors
Concentration (C) believe that more samples from deeper depths are needed to identify an
Sample code D ðm2 =sÞ C (%) accurate sulfate-attack penetration depth.
a 7:46 3 10 0.186
b 2:21 3 10212 0.146 Discussion
c 3:76 3 10213 0.212
d 7:2 3 10213 0.237 All concrete structures in the marine environment should be moni-
e 2:07 3 10212 1.437 tored during their service life to avoid high repair costs. Based on
f 1:2 3 10212 0.283 visual inspection, in situ and laboratory tests, the evaluation of the
g 1:78 3 10212 0.523 structure degradation level was given. It was immediately evident
h 5:98 3 10213 0.482 that the main cause of the deterioration of the concrete decks was
i 1:3 3 10212 0.379 chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion stemming from poor
quality of the concrete and the subsequent ingress of chlorides from
Table 3. Evaluation of Corrosion Activity versus Silver/Silver Chloride contact with the sea water. Detailed investigations showed evidence
Electrode of rust-staining, minor cracking to spalling, and delamination of
concrete cover mainly from chloride-induced corrosion of the
Potential (mV) Interpretation
reinforcements. In regions exposed to sea water, splash, and spray,
EAg . 283 .90% probability that no corrosion is occurring severe distress was observed. Deterioration rates depended mainly
2233 , EAg , 283 Corrosion activity is uncertain on the exposure conditions of each zone. The worst situation was
EAg , 2233 .90% probability that corrosion is occurring observed on the edges of the decks. After 40 years of exposure, the
Note: Evaluated according to ASTM C876-09 (ASTM 2003b). concrete was deeply contaminated by chlorides at the reinforcement


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Fig. 5. Half-cell potential contours in P5 and P6 (in mV)

level, as shown in Fig. 4. Based on ACI 211.1-91 (ACI 1991), water/ Most literature references recommend lower water/cement for such
cement for concrete decks is estimated to be approximately 0.57. environments [ACI 357 (ACI 1997a)]. The authors believe that the
Iranian codes have limited the minimum water/cement from 0.40 to measured water/cement of concrete was not sufficient to meet
0.45 for concrete structures that are in contact with sea water, service-life criteria in the Persian Gulf region, and the rate of chloride
depending on type and exposure conditions of the concrete elements. diffusion toward the reinforcement would have been increased.


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Table 4. Loss of Steel Bars from Reinforcement Corrosion The results of chloride content near the steel bars and chloride
Location Original diameter Mass per length Mass per length diffusion coefficient in Table 2 showed that these two parameters
on concrete of steel bar, of an uncorroded of a corroded increased in the atmosphere, splash atmosphere, and splash zones,
deck d (mm) steel coupon (g) steel coupon (g) Qgi (%) respectively. The extremely high deterioration rate observed in the
edges of decks can be explained by the exposure conditions, berthing
Surface 22 298 267 10.4 impact load of ships, and the poor concrete quality. Regarding the
22 298 270 9.4 ingress of chlorides into concrete, different physical mechanisms
22 298 244 18.1 may be distinguished: permeation, capillary absorption, and dif-
22 298 272 8.7 fusion. Permeation and absorption are very fast transport mecha-
Edge 22 298 180 39.6 nisms while diffusion is much slower. As a result of the wet and long
22 298 182 38.9 dry cycles of the edges of the deck and the high capillary porosity
22 298 148 50.3 of the concrete, the absorption process was the dominant transport
22 298 142 52.3 mechanism. Therefore, after the first cycles of deck filling the re-
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

inforcement was depassivated. The high chloride concentration, the

Concrete cover is the main protective barrier against weather and low resistivity of the concrete, and the easy access of oxygen to the
other aggressing components and the time to corrosion initiation is reinforcement during the dry periods led to a high corrosion rate,
strongly dependent upon the amount of this parameter. Iranian codes which caused the early spalling of the concrete cover. In this state, by
have limited the minimum specified concrete cover from 55 to 90 mm cyclic wetting and drying of concrete, chloride ingress is strongly
for concrete structures exposed to sea water, depending on type and influenced by the sequence and duration of wetting and drying.
exposure conditions of the concrete elements. The average depth of Specifically, the degree of dryness and therefore the ambient drying
concrete cover was measured as approximately 60 mm on the sur- conditions are very important. Dry or partially dry concrete when
face of concrete deck slabs, which was adequate to meet service-life exposed to salty water absorbs the water by capillary suction. Drying
criteria in the Persian Gulf region. The authors believe that adequate to a greater depth allows subsequent wettings to carry the chlorides
concrete cover was the only positive aspect of durability criteria in deeper into the concrete, thus speeding up the penetration of chloride
this jetty. The existence of cracks of various widths on the surface of ions. If the wetting period is short, the entry of salty water is mainly
the concrete decks, which effectively formed a pathway for chloride by absorption. The salts are carried into the interior of the concrete
ions, have increased the rate of the corrosion process and induced and further concentrated during the following drying cycle. Below
shortening of the structures’ service life. Water absorption as the outer “convection zone” (Dousti et al. 2011) of the cover, the
a concrete durability factor is influenced by total pore volume in concrete remains moist and chlorides penetrate further by diffusion
concrete, which ranged between 2 and 2.8% for the concrete decks. regardless of the external moisture conditions. As shown in Table 2
Based on current Iranian code, the amount of this parameter is not and discussed previously, the surface chloride contents of specimens
acceptable for tidal and splash exposure conditions. However, have increased in the atmosphere, splash atmosphere, and splash
Bermúdez Odriozola and Gutierrez (2008) believe that water ab- zones, respectively. In this case furthermore, the wetting and drying
sorption is not considered an appropriate test to control the chloride cycles caused accumulation of large amounts of chloride on the
permeation resistance of concrete in marine environments (tidal and surface of the concrete in splash zones. Note that Al-Tayyib and
submerged zones). Al-Zahrani (1990) also gave this explanation for the high amount of
In this study, the chloride diffusion coefficient has been con- chloride accumulation on the surface of concrete.
sidered the main parameter for evaluation of concrete durability. By
analyzing each post separately, it can be seen that the samples Rehabilitation Recommendation
showed very similar chloride penetration profiles overall, except for
a few particular samples. The differences may be the result of ex- Considering the great economic and strategic importance of the jetty,
posure conditions and concrete quality used for that particular post. destroying and entirely rebuilding the structures would not be eco-
By comparing the chloride profiles obtained from different posts, it nomically reasonable (at this time). Therefore, it should be repaired
can be concluded that, despite using similar mixes, chloride con- without substantial disruption in operation. The repair methodology
tents at the level of corroded steel reinforcement ranged from 0.09 to to be adopted would consist of the total removal of the superficial
0.65% by weight of concrete, which were considerably above the layer of deteriorated and chloride-contaminated concrete to a depth
estimated threshold value of 0.07%. According to Fig. 4, profiles beyond the reinforcing bars and its replacement by a new high-quality
correlated quite well with the degree of steel corrosion and mass loss concrete. Several bars were substantially corroded and would be
of the reinforcement as the major cause of deterioration of the replaced with new ones. Using an efficient protective coating for re-
structure. Corrosion levels were confirmed by the mass loss of the inforcement could also delay corrosion initiation and increase the
reinforcing steel and chloride content near the corroded areas. Mass service life of the structure. Repair concrete must be compatible with
loss of steel bars, in several anodic zones at the top of the concrete its substrate, and made durable with a sufficient thickness. Concrete
decks, was used for obtaining average corrosion rates. Average steel mix properties like low water/cement or admixture addition could
cross-section loss ranged from 11.5 to 45%, representing a significant substantially affect the durability of concrete in the marine environ-
corrosion rate (Table 4). The measured potential maps by half-cell test ment. Using concrete with lower water/cement including pozzolanic
method indicated active corrosion in some atmospheric zone on the admixtures, especially silica fume, improves the permeability and
surface of concrete decks (Fig. 5). The results clearly confirm a high resistance to chloride diffusion for concrete structures intended for
probability of corrosion of the reinforcement in these areas. After the marine environments (Shekarchi et al. 2009; Mehta and Monteiro
beginning of corrosion, the resistivity of the concrete is, together with 2006; Shekarchi et al. 2011). Dimensional compatibility between
the access of oxygen to the reinforcement, one of the main factors substrate and repair concrete must also be considered. Dimensional and
determining the corrosion rate. The measured values of resistivity electrochemical incompatibility between repair and substrate concrete
ranged from 4 to 10 kV×cm on the decks. Although the interpretation causes further corrosion in repaired areas (Moradi-Marani et al. 2010).
of resistivity measurements is empirical, these low values are gen- Using polypropylene or other suitable fibers could improve plastic
erally associated with high corrosion rates. shrinkage at an early age and control cracking processes in the


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

Fig. 6. XRD patterns for different depths of the concrete in P5: (a) at 0–8 mm; (b) at 8–14 mm; (c) at 14–25 mm


J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.

concrete, especially for slabs subjected to hot climate or wind Bertolini, L., Gastaldi, M., Pedeferri, M., and Redaelli, E. (2002). “Pre-
(Sanjuán and Moragues 1997; Al-Tayyib and Al-Zahrani 1990). vention of steel corrosion in concrete exposed to seawater with sub-
Using a proper type of the available coatings on the new cas- merged sacrificial anodes.” Corros. Sci., 44(7), 1497–1513.
ted concrete repair could also increase the lifetime of the structures. British Standards Institution (BSI). (1983). “Method for determination of
water absorption.” BS 1881-122, London.
British Standards Institution (BSI). (1997). “Structural use of concrete—
Code of practice for design and construction.” BS 8110-1, London.
Building and Housing Research Center. (2005). “National code of practice
This jetty structure is an example of insufficient planning and weak for concrete durability in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.” BHRC-
construction from the technical and construction point of view. The PN-S428, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Tehran, Iran
assessment of the jetty shows that, when defective structures are ex- (in Persian).
posed to aggressing environments, such as the marine environment Castro, P., Sanjuan, M. A., and Genesca, J. (2000). “Carbonation of concrete
(with high temperature and humidity, high chloride concentration in in the Mexican Gulf.” Build. Environ., 35(2), 145–149.
water and atmosphere), very high deterioration rates can develop, Clifton, J. R., and Ponnersheim, J. M. (1994). “Sulfate attack of cementitious
Downloaded from by North Carolina State University on 08/03/14. Copyright ASCE. For personal use only; all rights reserved.

leading to serious damage conditions in very short time periods. The materials: Volumetric relations and expansions.” NIST IR 5390, NIST,
inspections carried out showed that the principal mechanism re- Gaithersburg, MD.
Costa, A., and Appleton, J. (2002). “Case studies of concrete deterioration
sponsible for the extensive deterioration of the structure studied is
in a marine environment in Portugal.” Cement Concr. Compos., 24(1),
chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion. This mechanism led to 169–179.
extensive delamination and spalling of the concrete cover. The de- Dousti, A., Shekarchi, M., Alizadeh, R., and Taheri, A. (2011). “Binding of
terioration rate observed in this defective structure depends mainly on externally supplied chlorides in micro silica concrete under field ex-
the exposure conditions of each part of the concrete deck. The higher posure conditions.” Cement Concr. Compos., 33(10), 1071–1079.
deterioration rates were observed in zones where the concrete surface Dousti, A., Shekarchi, M., Rashed, R., and Mellat, P. (2009) “Carbonation of
is subject to perpetual wetting and drying cycles of salt water. Initial concretes in the Persian Gulf.” 4th Int. Conf. on Construction Materials,
inspection confirmed no signs of any other deterioration mechanism, Performance, Innovations and Structural Implications, Japan Society of
e.g., alkali-silica reaction, in this structure. The repair costs, both fi- Civil Engineers (JSCE), Japan Concrete Institute (JCI), and Canadian
nancial and environmental, of the presented structure are very high. Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE).
Fookes, P. G., Simm, J. D., and Barr, J. M. (1986). “Marine concrete
To avoid this unacceptable situation, planning and execution must be
performance in different climatic environments.” Proc., Int. Conf. on
based on sound design and good-quality workmanship. Concrete in the Marine Environment, The Concrete Society, London.
Ghalibafian, M., Zare, A., Shekarchizadeh, M., and Tadayon, M. (2003)
Acknowledgments “Chloride penetration testing of silica fume concretes under Persian Gulf
conditions.” 6th CANMET/American Concrete Institute Int. Conf. on
The authors acknowledge the Hendese Pars Company for their Durability of Concrete, American Concrete Institute (ACI), Detroit.
financial support. We are also grateful for technical support Haque, M. N., and Al-Khaiat, H. (1997). “Carbonation of concrete structures
from Construction Materials Institute (CMI) experts, especially in hot dry coastal regions.” Cement Concr. Compos., 19(2), 123–129.
Mr. Milad Hallaji and Ali Pour Zarrabi. Leelalerkiet, V., Kyunga, J., Ohtsua, M., and Yokotab, M. (2004). “Analysis
of half-cell potential measurement for corrosion of reinforced concrete.”
Construct. Build. Mater., 18(3), 155–162.
References Luping, T., and Anderson, A. (1998). Chloride ingress data from five years field
exposure in a Swedish marine environment., publication P, Dept. of
Al-Tayyib, A. H. J., and Al-Zahrani, M. M. (1990). “Use of polypropylene fibers Building Materials, Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden.
to enhance deterioration resistance of concrete surface skin subjected to Mehta, P. K., and Monteiro, P. J. M. (2006). Concrete microstructure,
cyclic wet/dry seawater exposure.” ACI Mater. J., 87(4), 363–370. properties and materials, 3rd Ed., McGraw Hill, New York.
American Concrete Institute (ACI). (1991). “Standard practice for selecting Mohammed, T. U., Hamada, H., and Yamaji, T. (2004). “Concrete after 30
proportions for normal, heavyweight, and mass concrete.” ACI 211.1-91, years of exposure. Part II: Chloride ingress and corrosion of steel bars.”
Detroit. ACI Mater. J., 101(1), 13–18.
American Concrete Institute (ACI). (1997a). “Guide for the design and Moradi-Marani, F., Shekarchi, M., Dousti, A., and Mobasher, B. (2010).
construction of fixed offshore concrete structures.” ACI 357, Detroit. “Investigation of corrosion damage and repair system in a concrete jetty
American Concrete Institute (ACI). (1997b). “Standard practice for selecting structure.” J. Perform. Constr. Facil., 24(4), 294–301.
proportions for normal, heavyweight, and mass concrete.” ACI 211.1-97, Moradian, M., Shekarchi, M., Pargar, F., Bonakdar, A., and Valipour,
Detroit. M. (2012). “Deterioration of concrete caused by complex attack in sewage
American Concrete Institute (ACI). (2005). “Code requirements for environ- treatment plant environment.” J. Perform. Constr. Facil., 26(1), 124–134.
mental engineering concrete structures (ACI 350-01) and commentary (ACI Neville, A. M., and Brooks, J. J. (1987). Concrete technology, Longman
350R-01).” ACI 350, Detroit. Scientific and Technical, Harlow, U.K.
Angst, U., Elsener, B., Larsen, C. K., and Vennesland, Ø. (2009). “Critical Ohtsu, M., and Yamamoto, T. (1997). “Compensation procedure for half-cell
chloride content in reinforced concrete—A review.” Cement Concr. potential measurement.” Construct. Build. Mater., 11(7–8), 395–402.
Res., 39(12), 1122–1138. RILEM. (1988). “CPC-18. Measurement of hardened concrete carbonation
ASTM. (2003a). “Standard practice for preparing, cleaning, and evaluating depth.” Mat. Struct. 21(126), 453–455.
corrosion test specimens.” ASTM G1, West Conshohocken, PA. Sanjuán, M. A., and Moragues, A. (1997). “Polypropylene-fiber-reinforced
ASTM. (2003b). “Standard test method for half-cell potentials of un- mortar mixes: optimization to control plastic shrinkage.” Compos. Sci.
coated reinforcing steel in concrete.” ASTM C876-09, West Con- Technol., 57(6), 655–660.
shohocken, PA. Shekarchi, M., Moradi-Marani, F., and Pargar, F. (2011). “Corrosion damage
ASTM. (2003c). “Standard test method for obtaining and testing drilled cores of a reinforced concrete jetty structure in the Persian Gulf: A case study.”
and sawed beams of concrete.” ASTM C42, West Conshohocken, PA. Struct. Infrastruct. Eng., 7(9), 701–713.
ASTM. (2003d). “Standard test methods for chemical analysis of hydraulic Shekarchi, M., Rafiee, A., and Layssi, H. (2009). “Long-term chloride
cement.”ASTM C114, West Conshohocken, PA. diffusion in silica fume concrete in harsh marine climates.” Cement
Bermúdez Odriozola, M. A. B., and Gutierrez, P. A. (2008). “Comparative Concr. Compos., 31(10), 769–775.
study of different test methods for reinforced concrete durability as- Tay, D. C. K., and Tam, C. T. (1996). “In situ investigation of the strength of
sessment in marine environment.” Mater. Struct., 41(3), 527–541. deteriorated concrete.” Construct. Build. Mater., 10(1), 17–26.


View publication stats J. Perform. Constr. Facil. 2013.27:519-528.