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for the



Vertical and Inclined Concrete Walls

Report of Sub-Group C

Final Report . . . July 1997

Issued by the Sub-Group Chairman
to the Main Working Group Chairman, July 1997

Investigations into the implication of Construction aspects in Design

Performance of Concrete
Identification of “Hot Spots” in Design and Construction

Mr. J. L. Diaz Rato, Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos

Infrastructure Department, Gijón Port Authority, Asturias, Spain.

Dr. O. Kiyomiya, PhD Civil Engineering

The Port and Harbour Research Institute, Japan.

Mr. F. Ropert, ITPE

Service Technique Central des Ports Maritimes et des Voies Navigable, France.

Mr. B. N. Sharp, MSc, C.Eng, FICE

Sir William Halcrow & Partners Ltd., London, UK

Professor Dr.-Ing. T. Stückrath, (Chairman)

Technical University of Berlin, Germany.

Other Authorities consulted during preparation of the Recommendations

Mr. T. N. W. Akroyd, MSc Tech, LLB, C.Eng, FIStruct E, UK

Chairman, BS 8002 code drafting committee

Mr. P. Chubileau, CSP

Service Technique Central des Port Maritimes et des Voies Navigable, France

Dr. F. T. Christensen
Applied Science Associates, USA

Dr. T. A. Harrison, BSc, PhD, C.Eng, MICE, FICT

British Ready Mixed Concrete Association, UK

Professor (Associate) D.Eng, P.A. Hedar

Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. B. Simpson, F.Eng, Eur Ing, MA, PhD, FICE

Ove Arup and Partners, Arup Geotechnics, UK

Mr. G. Leone, BSc, C.Eng, MICE

Sir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd., UK

Mr. E. Longaygue, ITPE

Service Technique Central des Ports Maritimes et des Voies Navigable, France.

Dr.-Ing. J. Schwarz
Hamburg Ship Model Basin, Germany

Mr. D. Slater, BSc, C.Eng, MICE, MIStructE

Sir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd., UK

Professor G. Somerville, PhD, C.Eng

British Cement Association, UK

Mr. D. Wimpenny, BSc, MPhil

Sir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd., UK

Page Page


REFERENCE 2.4.8 Aggregates ............................................... 31
2.4.9 Cracking and Crack Width ...................... 32
1.1 Methodology for the
2.4.10 Reinforcing Steel ..................................... 32
Recommendations of Sub-Group C.... 1
2.4.11 Admixtures .............................................. 32
1.2 General Headings .................................... 1 2.4.12 Additional Protective Measures:
1.3 Format of Recommendations................... 1 Coatings, Coated Reinforcement,
Cathodic Protection ............................. 32
2.4.13 Corrosion of Structural Steel ................... 33

2.1 Different Loadings not covered by 3 CONSTRUCTION RELATED

2.1.1 Earthquake ............................................... 2
2.1.2 Ice Pressure.............................................. 3 3.1 Caissons
2.1.3 Ship Collision (deleted as insignificant).. 4 3.1.1 Float-Out Loading ................................... 34
2.1.4 Earth Pressures ........................................ 4 3.1.2 First Grounding........................................ 34
2.1.5 Fill Pressures............................................ 8 3.1.3 Caisson Fill Methods and Pressures ........ 34
2.1.6 Friction..................................................... 9 3.1.4 Sea Condition Data and Limits for
2.1.7 Handling and Float-Out Loads ................ 11 Construction Risk .................................... 34
2.1.8 First Grounding........................................ 12 3.1.5 Construction Joints .................................. 34
3.1.6 Settlement ................................................ 35
2.2 Resistance Analysis, Internal Analysis 3.1.7 Early Thermal Cracking .......................... 37
2.2.1 Structural Analysis in Element Design.... 13 3.1.8 Slipforming .............................................. 39
2.2.2 Scale Models............................................ 13 3.1.9 Curing ...................................................... 40
2.2.3 Limit State Design and Risk Analysis ..... 14 3.1.10 Developments in Caissons....................... 40

3.2 Blocks
2.3 Durability of Concrete
3.2.1 Blocks from Concrete .............................. 42
2.3.1 Durability, Introduction ........................... 15
3.2.2 Types of Concrete Blocks........................ 42
2.3.2 Design Working Life (or Service Life) ... 16
3.2.3 Common Problems .................................. 42
2.3.3 Processes of Deterioration ....................... 17
2.3.4 Exposure Classification ........................... 19 3.3 Rubble Mounds...................................... 44
2.3.5 Influence of Cement Type ....................... 21
2.3.6 Influence of Cement Content................... 22 3.4 Curtain and Pile Type ........................... 44
2.3.7 Cracking and the Influence of Cracks ..... 23
2.3.8 Influence of Curing.................................. 24 4 SUMMARY
2.3.9 Monitoring and Maintenance................... 25
4.1 Different Loadings not covered by
Sub-Group A............................................ 45
2.4 Materials
4.2 Resistance Analysis, Internal Analysis.... 46
2.4.1 Rock and Rubble ..................................... 26
4.3 Durability of Concrete ............................. 47
2.4.2 Filling and Backfilling............................. 26
4.4 Materials .................................................. 49
2.4.3 Concrete Durability, General -
4.5 Construction Related Criteria and
Design, Detailing and Workmanship....... 26
Methods - Caissons.................................. 51
2.4.4 Unreinforced Concrete (Plain or Mass)... 26
4.6. Blocks ...................................................... 51
2.4.5 Reinforced Concrete including 4.7 Curtain and Pile Type Breakwaters ......... 51
Selection of Cover to Reinforcement ...... 28
2.4.6 Prestressed Concrete................................ 30
2.4.7 Cement..................................................... 30 5 REFERENCES ...................................... 52

1.1 Methodology for the Recommend- The members of the Sub-Group and those
ations of Sub-Group C external authorities who were consulted during this
period (either within the Working Group or outside
The task of Sub-Group C was drawn up at the PIANC) are listed in the opening pages of this
Meeting of the Working Group in Hannover in Sub-Report.
February 1993:-
“Investigations into the implication of
construction aspects in design. Performance of
concrete. Identification of “hot spots” in design
and construction”.
By consultation with the members of Working
Group 28 and, especially amongst the members of
Sub-Group C, tasks and topics were assembled 1.2 General Headings
which Sub-Group C undertook to study. The Sub- The topics selected for consideration were as
Group decided that one of its tasks was to identify follows:-
significant loading cases and items related to design,
structural analysis and construction, which may not DESIGN CRITERIA AND MATERIALS
be covered by the predominantly wave loading and • Different loadings not covered by Sub-Group
analysis considerations of the other Sub-Groups. A
The list was enlarged and changed several times.
The main difficulty encountered in drawing up a • Resistance analysis, internal analysis
framework for the topics was that a clear structure • Durability and maintenance
for a consistent arrangement of all recommendations • Materials.
could not be established. It is unavoidable that
certain subjects have to be repeated, because an
exclusive relation of one item to a single heading CONSTRUCTION RELATED CRITERIA
At the first meeting in Berlin in February 1994, • Caissons
the following basic methodology was agreed:-
• Blocks
• identify appropriate topics • Rubble mounds
• study and prepare recommendations, and • Pile and Curtain type.
discuss nationally with colleagues
• compare guidance and codes nationally and
• check if topics are already covered by exist-
ing documents
• list the references to topics in a standard
alphabetical order form.
At the three subsequent meetings of the 1.3 Format of Recommendations
Sub-Group (held in Compiègne, France in July The recommendations of Sub-Group C, where
1994, Gijón, Spain in February 1995, and London, possible, consist of information mostly drawn from
UK in July 1995) and by correspondence, the lists the experience and studies of its members, refer-
of topics were identified and initial reports were ences, and brief summarised recommendations. The
prepared by each member on specific topics. It was recommendations are brief or given as a reference,
agreed which topics would be studied by which except where it is considered that it may be more
members and, subsequently, these were developed helpful to give more detail. According to a decision
into several stages of draft text. at the Meeting of the Main Working Group 28 on
The final draft Sub-Group Report was completed the 26th of April 1995 in London, it will be left to
in October 1995 and issued to the Sub-Group the Main Working Group to extract from the
members and, by the Chairman, to the Main broader formulated recommendations of the Sub-
Working Group 28. After receipt of the further Groups, those statements which should be included
comments arising from the Sub-Group members in the Recommendations of Working Group 28. A
and comments of the main Working Group at the summary of the main recommendations is given at
meetings held in Berlin, in March 1996, and in Delft the end of the Report, as Section 4. In accordance
in September 1996, the Sub-Group Report was with the practice of PIANC, the Main Group Report
updated for issue as a Final Sub-Group Report in will be circulated to members. Copies of Sub-Group
July 1997. reports are available on application to PIANC.

2.1 Different Loadings not covered by As a general rule, it is considered that the earth-
Sub-Group A quake load acts horizontally at the centre of gravity
of the structure. The vertical component of earth-
quake load is not usually considered. The seismic
coefficient is obtained as follows:
2.1.1. Earthquake Seismic coefficient =
The closest understanding of the behaviour of Regional seismic coefficient x factor for sub-
breakwater caissons during earthquakes can, as for soil condition x importance factor
structures above ground, be obtained by dynamic In the Japanese Technical Standards, the factors
response analysis. Due to advances in computer are as follows:
techniques, this can now be achieved by finite
element methods. The caisson, rubble mound and • regional seismic coefficient is 0.05, 0.10 or
soil foundations and surrounding water should be 0.15
considered in the modelling. This model has not • factor for subsoil condition is 0.8, 1.0 or 1.2
been applied generally in design, except for very • importance factor is 0.5, 1.0, 1.2 or 1.5.
important breakwater caissons located in a vigorous These factors are classified in Tables 1, 2, & 3
earthquake activity zone. The response of the model on page 3.
is illustrated in Fig. 1.
Usually, wave forces are larger than earthquake


b l o c k
(a) Model

(b) Vibration Mode

Fig. 1 Earthquake dynamic response model

(ref The Port and Harbour Research Institute - Japan)

Generally, however, the simple equivalent static forces and therefore earthquake forces can be
load method is appropriate for breakwater structures neglected in the design, except in the case of very
because the seismic force has a relatively short large breakwater caissons located in areas of vigor-
period of natural vibration, with heavy damping. In ous seismic activity. The stability of the foundations
accordance with the Technical Standards for Ports must also be checked for earthquake loading. Even
and Harbour Facilities in Japan, 1991, the earth- in the major Hansin earthquake in Japan, in January
quake load acting on a breakwater located in a seis- 1995, the breakwater caissons did not slide or
mic activity area should be calculated by the follow- collapse. The most significant effect was settlement
ing formula: of the caissons, due to liquefaction of loose sand in
the foundation strata. Seismic forces should also be
• Earthquake load = taken into consideration for piers, jetties, etc.
(dead load + surcharge) x seismic coefficient.
The vertical component is considered only for an
The seismic coefficient is determined by taking earthquake with a narrow epicentre or for structures
the regional probability of occurrence of an earth- located near a fault. In this case, the vertical
quake, the condition of the foundation soil and the component coefficient is usually adopted as half the
importance of the structure into consideration. horizontal component.

Subsoil conditions are divided into three classifi- 2.1.2 Ice Pressure
cations : 1st, 2nd and 3rd kind. According to Schwarz J, and Christensen F T,
The classification of the subsoil condition and there are still no formulae which can be recom-
hence the subsoil condition factor depends on the mended as being conclusive and reliable in the
thickness of the quaternary deposit and the types of calculation of ice pressures for all cases. The
subsoil condition, as given in Tables 1 & 2. following guidelines should contribute a better
The factor relating to the importance of the understanding of ice pressures for major works.
structure is classified in four categories: Special In countries with long frost periods, vertical
class, A class, B class and C class, as in Table 3. breakwaters should be designed to resist ice
TABLE 1 pressure, which can arise from different causes:
CLASSIFICATION OF SUBSOIL CONDITION a) pressure caused by the closed cover of ice in
(ref Technical Standards for Ports and Harbour Facilities in Japan) a harbour, when the cover expands with
Thickness of Gravel Sand or Clay Soft Ground
rising temperature
quaternary deposit
b) pressure caused by ice fields drifting parallel
Less than 5m 1st kind 1st kind 2nd kind to the coast with tidal current or littoral drift
5-25m 1st kind 2nd kind 3rd kind c) vertical pressures caused by piling up
More than 25m 2nd kind 3rd kind 3rd kind As a rule, ice pressure is not considered for slop-
ing breakwaters in Europe (Hedar P A, 1995) but is
TABLE 2 recommended for America (Christensen F T et al,
(ref Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities in Japan)
For vertical breakwaters, assessment of ice
Classification Factor pressure is a matter of judgement depending on the
ice conditions and the possibilities of ice-structure
1st kind 0.8 interaction. It is doubtful if the pressures given for
concrete dams for fresh water lakes, such as 300 kN
2nd kind 1.0
per m2 and 50 to 200 kN per metre length accord-
3rd kind 1.2 ing to Hedar P A, 1995, or typical pressures of 200
to 400 kN per metre with extremes of 400 to 600 kN
TABLE 3 per metre according to Christensen F T, 1996, can
CLASSIFICATION OF IMPORTANCE FOR EARTHQUAKE be applied to vertical breakwaters in sea water
(ref Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities in Japan) Small scale experiments on ice forces on vertical
structures carried out at the Iowa Institute for
Characteristics of Structure
Importance Hydraulic Research have resulted in the following
of Structure Factor formula (ref Schwarz J, 1994).
Special Class The structure has significant char- 1.5 σeff = 0.564 . d-0.5 . h0.1 . σc
acteristics covered by items (1)-(3) where
in A Class.
σeff = effective indentation strength in MPa
A Class (1) If the structure is damaged by 1.2 d = structure width in m
an earthquake, a large number of
human lives and property will pos- h = ice thickness in m
sibly be lost. σc = maximal compressive strength of an ice
(2) The structure will perform an prism at a strain rate of 0.003 per
important role in the reconstruction second in MPa. (For a prism length of
work of the region after an earth-
quake. 0.2 m the deformation speed must be
(3) The structure handles haz- 0.0006 m/s). For instance for the Baltic
ardous or dangerous activities with Sea, a value of σc = 1.8 MPa is feasible
risk that the damage to the struc- according to EAU 1990.
ture will cause a great loss of
human life or property. According to this formula the effective ice
(4) If the structure is damaged, pressure decreases with the square root of the
economical and social activity of structure width. This finding is in accordance with
the region will suffer severely. Sanderson’s investigations (ref. Sanderson T J O,
(5) If the structure is damaged, 1988) which however do not consider the effect of
repair work will be difficult.
the ice thickness, as illustrated in Fig. 2 (overleaf).
B Class The structure is other than Special, 1.0 The Iowa formula (Schwarz J, 1994), which still
A or C Class.
has to be proved for larger structures, has received
C Class The structure is small and easy to 0.5 support from full scale measurements in China and
repair, excluding structures which
fall in the Special or A Classes.
in the Baltic as well as recently by Canadian
engineers (Fitzpatrick J, 1994 and Kennedy K, 1996).

principles applying to struc-
tural design are discussed in

Traditional “working
stress” codes recommend
"active" or "at-rest" pressure
coefficients to apply to the
dry or submerged soil mass,
as appropriate, as a working
(or “characteristic”) load. The
“fully active” coefficient is
usually applied to blockwork
walls, where slight rotational
movement can be tolerated,
and can be applied for the
overall stability of caissons
Fig. 2 Effective ice pressure versus pressure area as, for example, in Spain.
(ref Sanderson T J O, 1988) However, the “at-rest” co-
efficient is usually applied to
These last publications conclude that ice pres- calculate the overall stability of rigid structures such
sures for large works have been overestimated in the as caissons and to calculate the sizes of the structural
past by a considerable factor, as illustrated in Fig. 3. members. If the fill is to be compacted aggressively,
According to Schwarz J, 1996, and Christensen F T, it could be necessary to consider compaction
1996, a validation study is planned in an EU pressures, i.e. pressures greater than "at rest". This
research project. “working load” is applied in conjunction with
suitable factors of safety for overall static
Then and Now (equilibrium) stability calculations, and to derive
Beaufort global and local ice loads working structural material stresses. “Passive”
pressures are calculated at the ultimate, and divided
(tonnes) Pressure (MPa)
Load Pressure (MPs) by a relevant factor of safety. The Japanese code (ref
1 500 000 15 Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities
in Japan, 1991) still continues this approach. The
German Waterfront Structures Code (ref EAU 1990)
has now introduced the concepts of limit states in
80 accordance with draft Eurocode 7 while still retain-
Global ing traditional methods as a permitted option. Due
100 000
to the difficulties of applying limit states to
foundation problems, traditional methods remain an
1980 1985 1990 1995 option in other new codes, such as BS 8002 (ref BS
Fig. 3 Development of ice force predictions 8002, 1994).
(ref Fitzpatrick J, 1994) Most structural codes now adopt the limit state
philosophy, although the application of limit states
2.1.3 Ship Collision (deleted) to earth pressure and variable water loading for
The effects are not significant, and only relate to maritime structures is not as straightforward as for
small vessels. standard structural loading for buildings and
bridges. The selection of partial factors to match
with and correspond to the reliability and failure
2.1.4 Earth Pressures probability of wave and water loading is the task of
This section concerns the principles of earth Sub-Groups A & D. See also 2.2.3.
pressure in general and external to structures such as One of the main difficulties in bringing together
caissons (see Fig. 5). Earth pressure in filling to earth pressure theory and limit state design of
caissons is considered in 2.1.5. The general case structural members is the fact that earth pressures in
must be considered first, although a breakwater will retained materials reduce as movement increases. In
have fill placed against it only if it is protected by a this respect, earth pressures differ from almost all
rubble mound on the exposed side, or it retains other types of loads considered in structural design.
reclamation on the lee side. The water pressures to In addition, the failure mechanisms and pressures
be used in conjunction with earth pressures will, in are different for flexible steel sheet piling and rigid
the case of breakwaters, be a function of wave and reinforced concrete or masonry walls. The problem
tidal variation loading, although on the lee side and is that, in geotechnical terms, the soil load at ultimate
internally they may only relate to tidal effect. Wave (failure) is often less than at working conditions,
loading is not considered here. The general whereas for structural design of the reinforced

concrete section the designer seeks to apply a similar results to the old working stress codes. See
factored higher loading for the ultimate case. Fig. 4 (ref Daniels R J and Sharp B N, 1979).
The serviceability limit state earth pressures are However, some codes achieve a similar reduction
usually calculated directly from the characteristic by the use of much lower partial factors applied to
density and strength properties and the appropriate the serviceability limit state than are used in other
earth pressure coefficient. The ultimate limit state current structural codes. See below and Fig. 6(d)
pressures are usually calculated by modifying and 6(g).
several of the main parameters involved from their British Standard 8002 : 1994, Code of Practice
expected values, by the application of partial factors. for Earth Retaining Structures, incorporating the
Sometimes the partial factor is applied directly to limit state approach, has only recently been issued.
the serviceability limit state pressure, and some- BS 8002 adopts limit state philosophy but it does
times it is applied to a parameter, such as tan Ø'. In not, in fact, involve partial factors. It reduces tan Ø'
some current codes, for example, such as British by a “mobilisation” factor which operates in a similar
Standard 8110 : 1985, and the Spanish Maritime way to a partial factor and can be imagined as a
Works Recommendations ROM 0.2-90 and ROM partial factor. However, BS 8002 does not deal with
0.5-94, the ultimate limit state pressures for maritime structures (ref Akroyd T N W, 1996 and
structural design are calculated by applying partial Bolton M D, 1996). Alternative limit state methods
factors to the serviceability limit state pressures. are incorporated in Eurocode 7 : Part 1:1993.
However, for many years the Danish and other
Eurocode 7 has two appropriate cases, B and C.
Scandinavian codes adopted the less conservative
Case B derives straight from structural design, and
principle of applying a partial factor to tan Ø' thus
deriving a smaller value of Ø' and hence a larger Case C comes from geotechnical stability analysis.
value of the applied earth pressure, together with A comparison of various applications of partial
alternative factors on the water pressure. factor methods for the calculation of structural
members is given in Figs. 5 and 6. A breakwater
This latter approach to the ultimate limit state caisson with sand fill on the inside (land side) is
earth pressure for structural design can produce a illustrated in Fig. 5. Typical lateral pressure
much smaller difference between the serviceability diagrams are given for the loading on the buried
and ultimate limit states than the classical working face, i.e. the components of soil above water level,
stress approach, or if the partial factors from surcharge, submerged soil and water. To illustrate
structural codes are applied to the characteristic (i.e. the comparison of methods in Fig. 6, the cases of
working or serviceability) pressures. Note that the submerged soil and water loading with water level
partial factor for material strength will also be at a MSL of +3m, only, are considered, all as
applied, and that the total ULS using direct factors unfavourable loads. Tidal variation of water level,
from structural codes has been calibrated to give wave loading and surcharge are not considered here

Surcharge +4.5m Dock deck level

+3.0m WL

Fill and water levels
to same vertical scale

Ultimate limit state using factors of 1.15 on tan∅1 and 1.2 on water
Reduced level : m

-4 Ultimate limit state using factors of 1.5 on Fig. 4

surcharge and 1.35 on soil and water as
Eurocode 7 Case B i.e. similar to working Caisson walls : Design wall
stress results excluding the material factor.
pressure distribution
(Loading on one side only -i.e.
all loads have been calculated as
unfavourable loads on the loaded
Serviceability limit state side and air on the other side.)
(Adapted from: Daniels R J and
Sharp B N, 1979)

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
effective factor approx. 1.2
Horizontal wall pressure: kN/m2
effective factor approx. 1.35

but the appropriate worst case situations of water on appropriate factors for water pressure for
level will have to be considered in a specific design. structural design. A similar result is given by Case
Case (a) in Fig. 6 shows the “at-rest” character- C of Eurocode 7, with a factor on tan Ø' of 1.25
istic pressure (serviceability limit state) for sub- with, again, inadequate guidance on water pressures
merged sand and water for a 20m depth of fill, for to apply to structural elements in conjunction with
the soil properties given in Fig. 5. Only granular this soil loading. An answer to this serious ommis-
material is considered. sion has been suggested by Cole & Watt (ref Cole &
Cases (b), (c) and (d) show the ultimate limit Watt, 1994). They suggest that the earth pressure
state pressures for structural design calculated by calculated from the reduced tan Ø' should be treated
the direct application of partial factors to case (a). In as a “worst credible load” to BS 8110 : Part 2, 1985,
Case (b) to the British structural code BS 8110 : and therefore both this and the water pressure be
1985, the submerged sand pressure is multiplied by multiplied by a factor not less that 1.1 or 1.2 for
1.4 and water, as an adverse (i.e. not a reducing) structural design of the section. This suggestion is
load, is also multiplied by 1.4. The factor for refuted by Akroyd (ref Akroyd T N W, 1996) and, in
variable loads is 1.6. Case (c) shows the recommen- comparison with other “limit state” codes, it would
dations of the Spanish ROM 0.2-90 1990, which indeed appear incorrect to apply a further factor to
uses a partial factor of 1.35. However, variable the earth pressure component. However, the suggest-
water loads based on statistical data can be factored ion to apply a factor of 1.2 to the water component
by 1.0, and other variable loads by 1.5. Similar rules at least produces a comparable philosophy to some
apply to Eurocode 7, Case B. Case (d) shows a other codes, and is illustrated in Case (f). Case (g)
similar USA application noted in the PIANC report illustrates proposed Japanese factors (ref Kiyomiya
on floating breakwaters (ref PIANC, 1994), where O, 1994) which are similar to cases (b), (c) and (d)
the standard partial factor is 1.2. In this application, but with a lower general factor of 1.1, and a higher
design wave loading can be used with a factor of Ko of 0.6. The factor for variable loads is 1.3.
1.3, or 1.6 on a yearly return period. It can be noted from the above that higher, more
Cases (e) and (f) give examples of applying the traditional, ratios of ULS loads to serviceability
partial factor to tan Ø'. In (e), to earlier Scandinav- limit state loads for the calculation of member sizes
ian rules, the worst of two cases is taken, i.e. a are given by structural codes such as BS 8110,
factor on tan Ø' of 1.3 combined with water Eurocode 7 Case B, and ROM 0.2-90, although
(adverse) at 1.0, or a factor on tan Ø' of 1.15 plus ROM 0.2-90 has the facility for varying environ-
water (adverse) at 1.2. In (f), the method of BS mental load factors. The less-conservative loading
8002:1994 is shown with a “mobilisation” factor from the USA, earlier Scandinavian, BS 8002 and
(nb not a “partial” factor) on tan Ø' of 1.2. However, Eurocode 7 Case C, and Japanese methods, are all
BS 8002 does not appear to give adequate guidance of a similar magnitude.

Reference water level for examples only.

Different water level cases will be necessary
for design
Sea and Breakwater details
Wave side as relevant Land side
(Front side)
+ 3m msl

Fill Fill

- 17m

Soil Surcharge Submerged Water

above (Not soil.
water considered
SOIL PROPERTIES level inFig.6)
Characteristic ∅' above water 33°
∅' submerged 30° Characteristic Ko (At Rest) 1-sin∅'
Density γ submerged 9.5kN/m3 N.B. Soil pressures and water in soil only considered on one side,
γ sea water 10.2kN/m3 as unfavourable loads. Not wave loading.
Fig. 5 Breakwater caisson with sand fill on the inside (land-side)

+ 3 m

Soil and
Submerged Water
Ko = 0.500
Wall friction O°


95 kN/m2 204 kN/m2 299 kN/m2

(a) At-Rest characteristic pressures of submerged sand and water only. Serviceability limit state.

Submerged Water (a) x 1.4

Sand (Adverse)
(a) x 1.4 (a) x 1.4

133 kN/m2 286 kN/m2 419 kN/m2

(b) Ultimate limit state to BS8110 structural factors. (Variable loads 1.6)

(a) x 1.35 (a) x 1.35 (a) x 1.35

128 kN/m2 275 kN/m2 403 kN/m2

(c) ULS to Spanish ROM. Permanent loads 1.35 (n.b. Variable loads 1.5) and Eurocode 7, Case B.
(n.b. Variable environmental loads based on statistical data 1.0, other variable loads 1.5)

(a) x 1.2 (a) x 1.2 (a) x 1.2

114 kN/m2 245 kN/m2 359 kN/m2

(d) ULS to USA (Ref in text) 1.2 (DL & LL) + 1.3 Design Wave.
Case (i) Case (i) water Total case (ii)
Factor on tan ∅' 1.3
Ko = 0.594 plus water at 1.0

Case (ii)
Factor on tan ∅' 1.15 Case (ii) water
Ko = 0.551 plus water at 1.2 Total case (i)

105 113 kN/m2 204 245 kN/m2 317 350 kN/m2

(e) ULS to Scandinavian factors. Case (ii) rules here

BS 8002. Water to BS 8002 Total

Mobilisation Factor on tan ∅' 1.2 ?????? Eurocode
Ko = 0.566 Case C
Water to Soil
Eurocode 7 Case C Eurocode 7 Total + water
Factor on tan ∅' 1.25 Case C ?????? BS 8002 at 1.2
Ko = 0.581 Soil +
Water at 1.2
Water at 1.2
108 110 kN/m2 245 kN/m2 353 355 kN/m2
(f) ULS to BS 8002 and Eurocode 7 Case C.

(a) x 1.1 (a) x 1.1 Total

with Ko = 0.6

114 kN/m2 224 kN/m2 338 kN/m2

(g) ULS. Proposed Japanese Factors. (Variable water pressure 1.3)
Fig. 6 Comparison of earth pressure calculations
(Note: loads considered on one side only, all as unfavourable (unvariable) loads, to illustrate the principles. In practice there may be soil and/or water loads on
both sides with combinations as favourable or unfavourable and variable loads. See 2.2.3.)

Water pressure is an important loading case to 2.1.5 Fill Pressures
be applied to external water pressure for floating
caissons, and to variable water levels in the soil as The loading within caisson cells is generally
affected by wave and tidal effects. Different factors derived from silo theory. Practical verification of
need to be applied to the water pressure, depending this approach is available from measurements in
upon whether the water pressure is considered to be caisson cells in 1976/77 (ref Daniels R J and Sharp
assisting or resisting the earth pressure. As water B N, 1979) which demonstrated that the Janssen silo
pressure is much larger than soil pressure in the case distribution of pressure with a wall friction of 20°
of granular materials, there would seem to be little compared closely with the measured pressures, Fig. 7.
point in over-refinement of the earth pressure The various methods for calculating internal
fraction of the total load, unless much clearer pressures are illustrated in Figure 8. As in 2.1.4,
guidance and rational partial factors are also given submerged sand to 20m depth is used to illustrate
to variable water loading. the principles. Case (a) shows the characteristic
As a general recommendation, results such as at-rest unconfined pressure, for the materials given
given by the USA method with a general factor of in Fig. 5.
1.2, the Japanese method, or by factors on tan Ø' Case (b) shows calculations to DIN 1055 Part
such as the Scandinavian method, BS 8002 and 6:1987, ROM 0.2-90 and ACI 313:1983, all of
Eurocode 7 Case C, provided a factor of at least 1.2 which are based on the Janssen method, applied in
is applied to water pressure, appear to be similar and the filling condition. Eurocode 7 refers , for silo
appropriate for the analysis of both overall stability pressures, to Eurocode 1 Part 4, which is presum-
and member strength. Some authorities, however, ably based on the same method. ACI 313 adopts the
would recommend the higher, conventional, struct- active pressure coefficient (0.333 in this case) and
ural factors to be used for member strength. The overpressure factor. However, all of these methods
Hong Kong Geoguide 1 (ref Hong Kong Guide to give the same result with an at-rest coefficient of 0.5.
retaining wall design) advocates this course. It gives As shown in case (c), the Technical Standards
partial factors similar to BS 8002 for soil equilibrium, for Port and Harbour Facilities in Japan, 1991, rec-
but advises that structural members be calculated ommend a fixed at-rest earth pressure coefficient of
using unfactored soil properties in conjunction with 0.6, which is applied to a depth equal to the width of
the relevant structural code. The Hong Kong Guide the cell. Below that 45° line, the pressure is constant
does not apply to maritime structures. See also 2.2.3. on a silo basis. This calculation applies up to cell
Please refer to 2.1.5 for soil loading within cells, dimensions of 5m x 5m, above which standard silo
and to 2.2 and 2.4.2 for loading cases, materials and pressures are applied. The results are simpler and
filling methods. not greatly dissimilar from the others in case (b).

+4.5 m Final pavement level


+ 1.5 m Fill level

+2 (partially filled)

+1.0 m WL

Fill and water levels to
same vertical scale
Note: Total wall pressures were measured
-2 with pressure cells.
Effective earth pressure = total measured
Reduced level : m

pressure minus static water pressure

-4 earth pressure

-6 Total wall pressure


Fig. 7
Difference Caisson walls.
= water pressure
Comparison between measured and predicted
-10 Effective Effective wall pressures within a caisson cell
Janssen Rankine
Distribution Distribution
δ = 20° δ = 0° (ref Daniels R J and
-12 Sharp B N, 1979)
Caisson floor

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

Horizontal wall pressure : kNm2

The loading on the base plate of caissons increase the density for reduction of liquefaction
depends on the form of wall pressure assumption. risk in an earthquake, this can be achieved by vibra-
When a silo theory is used, the base plate will be tion (ref Daniels R J and Sharp B N, 1979/Cochrane
relieved compared to that of a simple earth pressure G H, Chetwin D J L and Hogbin W, 1979). Due to
at rest assumption, because the fill is hanging on the the inverse relationship between density and Ø',
walls. The soil reactions on the base plate can also densification causes no significant increase in wall
be calculated to the Danish Standard DS 415. The pressure. Densification is usually only necessary if
Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities the fill is used to support surface works.
in Japan 1990 give clear guidance on the design load- There is conflicting guidance as to whether the
ings for walls and base plate, as does ROM 0.2-90. reduction of earth pressure by silo effect applies if
There are two schools of thought in Spain. The the caisson is vibrated by earthquake shock or wave
conservative approach adopts the pressure on the loading. According to Japanese experience, the
foundation in service, after deducting the mass of frequency of earthquake vibrations does not destroy
the submerged base slab itself, and the thrust at the the silo effect. The problem should be reduced by
bottom of the fill, taking into account the silo effect. using appropriate fill materials and achieving
It is, however, considered more realistic to calculate appropriate fill density to preclude earthquake lique-
the pressure on the cell bottoms as equivalent to that faction. The density, in place, can be verified by
extended by the whole mass of caisson and filling, Dutch cone or similar site investigation methods.
supposing that just one cell remains unfilled. The load cases for the design of the cells and the
The above characteristic pressures can be used inter-cell walls must reflect the worst cases which
for the serviceability limit state or for traditional can apply in practice. For example, the maximum
design by “working stress” methods. The considera- water level case with water level at the surface must
tions affecting the choice of partial factor to apply be considered. Also, the urgency with which the
to derive the ultimate limit state pressures, and the cells have to be filled when a caisson is placed in an
various alternatives available are the same as noted exposed breakwater precludes the use of any
above in 2.1.4, and in 2.2.3. Again a factor of the procedure which involves special precautions, such
order of 1.2 appears to be generally appropriate. as restrictions on the level to which adjacent cells
The density achieved for sand poured into water are filled, or emptying the cells of water. The
- filled caisson cells is low, much lower than for caisson must be designed to allow any sequence and
sand poured into open water. If it is required to limit proportion of filling.
settlement of the fill within the caisson cells, or
+3 +3 t 2.1.6 Friction
14 ∅' Submerged 30°
Although the concepts of friction are classical
-3 29 Wall Friction 0°
and have been studied for so long, there is a surpris-
γ Submerged 9.5 kN/m3
-6 43
ing divergence in the figures used in design, and
γ Sea water 10.2 kN/m3 lack of agreed experimental data. There is a wide
-13 76
Ko = 0.5
variation in the coefficients of friction assumed, and
95 kN/m2 - -17
17 t
the factors of safety against sliding although these
(a) Submerged
(a) SubmergedSand.
sand. At-rest
At-Rest unconfined
Unconfined pressure
differences may tend to cancel out in the resulting
stability equation. In practice, the friction co-
efficient and factor of safety must be related to the
0 8 13 ACI 313 with Ka = 0.333 permitted displacement.
-3 15 20 24 ACI 313 ditto with Overpressure Factor
Various coefficients of friction are compared in
-6 25 34
DIN 1055 Pt6, Spanish ROM, and Table 4.
28 51
ACI 313 with K0 = 0.5. (Janssen)
The Japanese values have been determined from
-13 32
Wall Friction 17° Cells 4.8m square model tests (see Table 5). The friction coefficient
-17 30 34 56 depends on the size, configuration, strength and
(b) Submerged
and ACI
kind of stone, and the compacted condition, and is
+3 related to the coefficient of internal friction of the
0 4.8m
mound. The coefficient is low at initial construction,
27 but increases in time after compaction by storms
and self- weight consolidation. Weak rocks lead to a
low value of µ.
In Japan, the friction resistance is increased by
placing a rubber mat or an asphalt mat under the base
-17 27 kN/m2 of the caisson. This measure enables the size of the
(c) (c)
Submerged sand.
Sand pressure.
up to
(applicable upcell
Pressure. Technical
to cell
5m 5m
dimensions x 5m)
x 5m)
Standards caisson to be reduced. Other measures to increase the
friction coefficient include corrugations or dowels
Fig.8 8Comparison
Fig. Comparisonof of silo
Silo fillEarth
Fill earthPressure
Externalexternal earth pressures
Earth Pressures in the base slab. The depth of the corrugations are

TABLE 4 some two-times the dimension of the stone size at
COMPARISON OF DESIGN VALUES FOR the surface of the rubble mound.
Experimental results for friction coefficients in
Coefficient of Friction µ Japan are given in Table 5. The coefficients depend
Japan UK and France upon the factors related to the rock type and dimen-
(Technical Spain Germany (Fasci- sions noted above and to the amount of displace-
Standards (ROM
for Port and 0.5-94)
(BS6349 cule ment, weight of caisson etc.
BS8002 No .62,
Harbour EAU 90) titre V) In comparison, a recent series of French tests
Facilities) (ref CÉTÉ - Laboratoire Régional Nord - Pas de
Precast concrete
Calais) are given in Table 6. The parameters inves-
0.5 -
against bedrock tigated included :
or concrete • two forms of bottom slab -
Precast concrete - 0.7 smooth and corrugated
against precast
concrete • two types of gravels -
Precast concrete 0.6 0.7 δ = 2/3∅r tan∅' crushed gravel 0 - 80 mm and
against rubble (often natural sea gravel 20 - 80 mm
Precast corrugat- 0.58) • varying vertical load
ed or sloping base - - δ = ∅r
These results were considered to be lower than
against rubble
used in practice, and were accompanied by signifi-
Precast concrete
on a rubber mat cant displacement, up to 180 mm, before maximum
0.7 -
or asphalt mat mobilisation.
against rubble
In-situ concrete
against rubble - 1.0

Precast concrete against stone

Average of Dimension Condition Pmax

No. Kind of Stone µ
µ of stone. mm of mound µ=
1 crushed stone 0.460 - 0.801 - 30 screeded surface block
rubble stone 0.564 - 0.679 0.624 120 not screeded W P (Pull)
2 rubble stone 0.45 - 0.69 - 50 Surface “blinded”
(i.e. smoothed) Stone
with smaller stone

3 crushed stone 0.77 - 0.89 0.82 30 - 80 screeded

cobble stone 0.69 - 0.75 0.70 30 - 50 not screeded

4 crushed stone 0.607 - 0.790 0.725 20 - 30 not screeded P (Pull force)

5 crushed stone 0.486 - 0.591 0.540 10 - 50 “

6 crushed stone 0.41 - 0.56 - 13 - 30 not uniform

δ (displacement)

Vertical Normal Horizontal Force. TON Friction Coefficient µ

load. TON Stress T/m2
Smooth Corrugated Smooth Corrugated
Natural Sea Gravel 20-80 mm
24.1 10.5 12.6 13.7 0.53 0.58
18.4 8 10.3 11.3 0.56 0.62
Crushed gravels 0-80 mm
24.1 10.5 - 10.4 - 0.43
18.4 8 - 8.6 - 0.47

Various values of the minimum Factor of Safety the outer cover for the breakwaters were already
against sliding for use with the friction coefficients broken during construction and placement. An
are given below : analogous situation can arise for the elements of
Japan (ref Technical Standards vertical breakwaters. If damage arises, it will mainly
for Port and Harbour Facilities) 1.2 occur under water and, even by good monitoring
during the construction period, this will not always
Spain (ref ROM 0.5- 94) become obvious. There is a rule which has become
Permanent situation 1.5 compulsory for dam construction: all loads, water
Momentary situation 1.3 level changes and other factors that influence the
UK (ref BS 6349 Pt. 2 - 1988) 1.75 stability of a dam also have to be anticipated for the
Germany (ref EAU 90): period of construction and not only from the time at
• using active earth pressure and wall friction which the structure has been handed over. This rule
2/ ∅' 1.5 should also be applied to the design of harbour
• using at-rest earth pressure 1.0. structures.

The Technical Standards for Port and Harbour

2.1.7 Handling and Float-Out Loads Facilities in Japan (1991) give the following
From the viewpoint of limit states, all handling additional recommendations for the calculation of
and float-out loads belong to transient load situa- external loads during float out.
tions. The partial factor for these loads can be kept a) the water pressure should be calculated with
low; a figure of γF = 1.1 is suggested. The loads can an additional draft of 1 m,
arise from different reasons, for instance from: b) the tractive force during towing should be cal-
a) movement of caissons or blocks after dis- culated by using the formula (n.b. expressed
mantling the formwork and during launching, here in SI units):
b) storage on supports during the curing period T = ½ ρwCDv2A
or in stacks of blocks and before float-out,
c) loads from handling with cranes during the where
curing period or tugs during placement. T = tractive force
CD = drag coefficient
Loads which can arise during construction must
v = towing speed
be included in the stress analysis. If the handling
A = submerged area of the leading wall
process which will be used during construction by
ρw = density of sea water
the contractor cannot be anticipated by the designer,
the stress analysis has to be rechecked by the Dynamic pressures and wave pressures are not
designer as soon as the construction method is considered but a rise of the water level, δ in front of
known. the caisson has to be considered which is shown on
Float-out loads must never be considered as Fig. 9. A head δ, of 1m has to be applied, according
loads at the contractor’s own risk, for which the to the Japanese Technical Standards, 1991.
designer is not responsible. Damage arising from It must be ensured that a positive freeboard
float-out processes will not always become apparent exists at all times. The distance between the centre
during the construction period. of gravity and the metacentre, the metacentric
The wave climate and the sea condition limits height, should be at least 5% of the draught of the
which can be tolerated during float-out activities caisson.
have to be specified by the designer and have to be
known by the contractor. These waves could be
calculated by using Recommendation 3.1.4.
If there are certain climatic periods during the
year for which it can be guaranteed that high waves
do not occur, float-out activity could be limited to
these seasons. The relatively short-float-out process
for a breakwater can very often rule the design and
the work on site. Experience shows that in most
places the times for float-out can only be fixed from
day to day by the use of a local weather forecast.
In harbour construction a lot of damage has been
caused by wrong or incautious handling of concrete
Fig. 9
elements during the construction period (ref Bruun
Tractive force during towing and hydrostatic head
P, 1985). Surveys have shown that one of the between different cells.
reasons for the destruction of many rubble mound (ref Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities in
breakwaters is the fact that the concrete elements of Japan)

2.1.8 First grounding
Special loads will arise when the lowered ele- 18.0
58.0 m
ments or blocks first touch the ground. In most
cases the caissons will never again undergo a com-
parable distribution of load. The loads are excep-

16.2 m
tional, mainly for the following reasons:
a) It is not always known in advance which part
of the floating element will touch the ground
b) It is not always known on which supports
the element will rest after the first placement Fig. 11
c) The impact load is a dynamic load which "Camel Humps” of the caissons used for the
cannot be determined exactly, even if the Brouwerhavensche Gat, Holland
grounding velocity and the elastic and plastic
properties of the ground are known. The settling velocity of the caisson before the
The German EAU 1990 (Recommendations of first contact is related to the motion of the sea
the Committee for Waterfront Structures) states in around the caisson. Even if massive float-out equip-
10.5.2 that a first landing on one point in the middle ment is used (large cranes) a certain movement by
or on two points on two edges has to be anticipated swell during placing cannot be ruled out. Repeated
as indicated in Fig. 10.

Fig. 12
A Legs which provide a first landing on three points.
Fig. 10 hitting of the ground must also be anticipated.
View under a caisson, floated out. The caisson could land on During the sinking operation, sometimes only a
point A or on the opposite corners B1 and B2. relatively small volume of water has to be filled-in
but, as the inherent mass and volume of the element
To prevent high stresses arising from the first is considerable, this leads to two effects:
grounding, the caissons for the closing of the • Due to high mass element of the impact force
Brouwerhavensche Gat in Holland have been (Force = mass x acceleration) there is a high
provided with “camel humps” (Fig. 11) and on other impact force even though the acceleration is
sites downstand legs have been provided. (Fig. 12). low.
The humps or legs have to protrude at least more • The large volume or surface area leads to
than double the tolerance of the ground levelling. large variations in the displacement of the
In Japan the rubble is sometimes not trimmed to element for only small changes in water
a horizontal formation, but is provided with an surface level.
excess height in the middle (extra banking) to Both of these effects can lead to impact loads
enforce a first contact between caisson and ground which are higher than any other load in the lifetime
in the middle of the bottom slab. of the caisson.

2.2 Resistance Analysis, Internal Analysis As regards the behaviour of materials, the
assumption of elastic behaviour is the most widely
used for simple structures, even though it is well
known that the behaviour of concrete is not elastic,
2.2.1 Structural Analysis in Element Design by far.
This section applies particularly to structures Going further into the analysis, it is necessary to
built up of several elements, such as caissons, for assess the moments of inertia of the sections -
which extensive analysis is required for the structur- depending upon the cross section area of the steel
al design of individual elements of the structure. bars used for reinforcement, which are unknown at
the primary stage of design. Therefore the initially
Structural modelling of the actions on caissons estimated dimensions of the concrete section are
can be carried out in two ways. generally considered in the first place, yet iterative
(i) In the simpler and traditional approach, the calculations can still be made if in doubt.
structure is split up into sets of beams and In implementing structural finite element
slabs and calculations carried out by tradition- models, the main problem may be the modelling of
al manual methods and two-dimensional soil behaviour, i.e. the definition of a stress-strain
frame analysis, using computers where relationship. In this respect, Winckler’s spring
applicable. Guidance for the traditional method is a traditional approach, consisting of a lin-
design of caissons is given in national codes, ear relationship, for each point of the bottom slab,
such as the Spanish ROM 0.2-90, Technical between the vertical pressure (effective stress)
Standards for Ports and Harbour Facilities in exerted upon the soil and and the vertical displace-
Japan, EAU 90 etc. It must be stressed that, ment. The ratio between these two values, is termed
in such methods, calculations are carried out the subgrade modulus K:
on each member separately and therefore σ' = K ∆z if ∆z < 0
require assumptions to be made about the
connections between members. These σ' = 0 if ∆z ≥ 0
assumptions can lead to questionable approx- where σ' is the effective pressure exerted by the soil
imations as to the boundary conditions intro- upon the structure.
duced in the calculations. The value of K commonly varies from approxi-
(ii) The increase in computer power has made it mately 10 to 50 mN/m3 for a rubble foundation set
feasible to carry out a full three-dimensional on natural soil.
model analysis, using finite element It should be noted that this simplistic method
methods. Nevertheless for simple geometries totally disregards shear stress resistance within the
such as for caissons, it is not essential to use soil. Furthermore, the value of K may vary across
volume elements. A Japanese example is the slab, and according to depth as well, in the case
illustrated in Figs 28 and 29. Generally, thick of non-homogeneous soil layers, and so the
shell elements will suffice for engineering appropriate mean value is not easy to determine.
purposes, while volume elements may be Therefore, a sensitivity analysis of the value of K,
helpful for specific local analyses, for chiefly upon the stress values in the bottom slab,
instance to map the local stresses and strains must be performed. The considerable influence of
around a fastening point (e.g. in the loading this parameter generally means that the assumptions
case of towing). made for the resistance of the soil are inadequate.
For most engineering problems, static models If the uncertainties about the soil behaviour are
are the most familiar and most widely employed. critical to the design, more complex element models,
Even if the phenomenon is dynamic in essence such as finite element models, may also be used, but
(earthquake, waves, wind, etc.) the loads applied are such finite element models require that there should
generally equivalent static loads. be adequate soil testing and adequate interpretation
Two types of models can be differentiated. of the tests. So complex as the soil model may be, it
seems sensible to test the design against a local
• first order models, based upon the initial reduction of K and/or against settlements in areas
structure geometry that may suffer scour (e.g. in corners).
• second order models, based upon the strained
structure geometry.
First order models are satisfactory in most cases,
although it is necessary to use second order models 2.2.2 Scale Models
for slender members that are liable to second order
instability (buckling, warping, etc.). In this respect The assessment of external stability for vertical
Eurocode 1: (ENV 1991-1994) specifies that the structures is often assessed by means of “scale
effects of strains and displacements should be models”, which can also provide the more particular
considered if they result in an increase of the effects loading that can be generated on some members that
of actions (loads) by more than 10%. are particularly exposed.

Such members are isolated mechanically from proves hard to specify the frequency of the events to
the structure and supported by weighing gauges. be considered and the representative parameters as a
This can be useful for some types of structures with function of both the lifetime of the structure and the
a perforated front wall. The effects of impacts relat- nature of the limit state that is being considered.
ed to wave breaking can also be derived from this For example, for some configurations, even with
kind of device. geometries as simple as caissons, it may not be
Alternately, this can be carried out using a obvious whether to classify all the loads as
two-stage numerical model: favourable or unfavourable, as this may depend on
• first one can implement a global model and a the section, the member, or the other loads. Should
loose meshing, apply the loadings but these loads be critical to the design of the member,
exclude the impacts at this stage. it may even be advisable to perform calculations
with both favourable and unfavourable partial load
• then the specific members subject to the
factors. Otherwise, the partial factor may be chosen
impacts can be computed using a more
equal to 1.
refined meshing that is fitted into the first
one; the limit displacments implemented in It, however, remains the case that partial factor
these “zoom” models are those derived from values, as recommended by general national regula-
the initial model. tions for the assessment of concrete or steel (etc.)
structures, have been calibrated for the design of
land-based structures in relation to the failure proba-
bility for the failure mode under consideration and
2.2.3 Limit State Design and Risk Analysis for some reference period - e.g. the design working
life, (buildings, bridges, etc. Refer to Eurocode 1
Structural analysis was traditionally carried out and Section 2.3.2 for the definition of design work-
to working stress design limits, until limit state ing life) so they may not be appropriate to structures
design methods were introduced in the early 1970’s, subjected primarily to environmental actions (loads),
since when they have been used for caisson design. such as waves. Similar problems of application exist
When limit state methods are used, the procedures in relation to earth pressure loading and geotech-
required are as follows: nical calculations, as referred to in 2.1.4 and 2.1.5.
• specification of the limit states to be consid- There are, for example, problems in applying the
ered, regarding the requirements the structure principles of BS 8002 and Eurocode 7. As noted in
is intended to fulfil 2.1.4, BS 8002 adopts limit state philosophy but
• selection of the parameters that are deemed does not involve partial factors. There is a
representative of events to be accounted for fundamental difference between the development of
with special care for variable loads earth pressure loading with respect to strain, and the
forms of loading met in buildings and bridges.
• setting up of load cases with application of There is a strong body of opinion which claims that
partial coefficients a partial factor approach is incompatible with soil
• implementation of structural models mechanics.
• assessment of relevant concrete sections, At present there is no programme for issue of a
using national regulations as regards the Part 5 of Eurocode 2, for marine and maritime
partial coefficients to be applied to the resist- structures. There are groups in Europe working on
ance parameters of the materials (steel and this subject and the suitability of partial factors, and
concrete). the Japanese have introduced a set of factors which
It is not simply a case of adapting partial factors they have used for the design of prestressed caissons
from one source to another, because the principles (ref Kiyomiya O, 1994 and also Kiyomiya O and
of reinforced concrete design may be different. It Yamada M, 1995)
must also be noted that when the partial factors PIANC’s safety approach, as can be seen from
were set up for structural purposes, the results were WG12 on rubble mound breakwaters, seems to offer
intended to be similar to designs using traditional a more appropriate design approach. Much work
working stress codes. Even if the limit state concept still needs to be done to work out operational
involves a semi-probabilistic approach, to date, its methods for the structural design of caissons. The
implementation has been carried out in a determin- main problem is to determine damage functions that
istic way. However, the application of general would be valid for the various limit states to be con-
concrete codes of practice to maritime structures sidered, for they must address physical phenomena
suffers from a lack of guidance, which leads to a far more complex than those relating to external
variety of interpretations for the designer. Indeed, it stability.

2.3 Durability of Concrete issues are addressed at all stages and primarily
2.3.1 Durability, Introduction • choice of a service and hence a design life in
Specification for durability for most materials is order to achieve this service
derived from a “materials” point of view, i.e. from • recognition of the severity of the specific
the properties of the material, the environment and environment(s) affecting the structure
the expectations of protective treatments such as • recognition of the consequences of the
painting or cathodic protection. The ranges of environment(s) on design, detailing and
successful performance are subject to research and materials
experience, and can often be specified by reference
• analysis for durability, by analytical model
to compositional limits and by performance tests,
where applicable
fatigue limits etc.
• quality assurance and quality control of both
Until the present time this “materials” approach
design and construction
has also been applied to concrete and reinforced
concrete. Prescriptive forms of specification (refs • monitoring and maintenance strategy.
Beeby A W, 1992, Clifton J R, 1993) and empirical These recommendations for a rational approach
relationships between concrete mixes and laboratory to design for durability can be matched with the
and field performances given in codes of practice following sources:
have been deemed to achieve a satisfactory perfor-
(i) The CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Struct-
mance in certain classes of exposure.
ures (ref CEB Design Guide, 1992). This
Although this approach has achieved relative mainly relates to buildings rather than sea
success in most land-based building applications, structures, but gives excellent explanations of
this has often proved to be far from the case in the the mechanisms of deterioration and factors
severity of maritime exposure, particularly to sea involved. Major contributions to the CEB
water or de-icing salts. The most dramatic failure design guide were made by a number of mem-
mechanism is that of reinforcement corrosion, bers of the CEB (Comité Euro-International
which can impose severe limitations in relation to du Béton) General Task Group 20 : Durability
the design and economic feasibility of complex thin and Service Life of Concrete Structures).
walled structures such as caisson breakwaters or
(ii) The work of RILEM committees (refs Schiessl
light structural superstructures.
P, 1993, Rostam S & Schiessl P, 1993), and
Great advances have been made in the computa- CEN committees.
tion of wave loading, risk analysis and the selection
(iii) The work of the British committees such as
of the partial safety factors to apply to the level of
the Concrete Society Working Party on
risk in conjunction with the modern computational
Durability Design and Performance Based
power for analytical design. In the same period, the
Specification of Concrete, Report CS 109,
durability of reinforced concrete subject to severe
1996, and “Durability by Intent”, a strategy
marine exposure or de-icing salts has been a
for the UK Dept of Environment programme
dramatic failure (refs Aïtkin P C, 1993, Rostam S &
on durability of concrete and reinforced
Schiessl P, 1993). The present generation of national
concrete. (UK Dept of Environment
codes of practice and even the latest joint European
Programme on durability of concrete and
Committee for Standardardisation (CEN) codes still
reinforced concrete).
reflect the prescriptive approach, and are seriously
out of date. A consensus view for appropriate (iv) Important regular international conferences
guidance will not emerge in less than ten years. such as Bahrain (refs Bahrain Conferences)
and Durability of Buildings and Components
The concept of durability is intrinsically con-
(refs Durability of Buildings and Components).
nected with the concept of the service and design
life of the structure, which is also related to the (v) The work of the Japanese Bureau of Ports and
analysis of appropriate loading conditions and limit Harbours, Port and Harbour Research Institute
state analyses. Owners need to define the service and the Overseas Coastal Area Institute of
lives required from their assets and plan a strategy Japan (ref Technical Standards for Ports and
for maintenance. Current codes do not give a Harbour Facilities in Japan, 1991), and papers
rational basis for design of concrete to meet such a from the Institute and the Japanese Concrete
life. Institute (refs Proceedings of Symposia -
Japanese Concrete Institute, 1988 and 1989).
The assessment of this further “Durability” limit
state (it is not actually a limit state but a means by (vi) The work of the Australian CSIRO Division
which the other limit states are maintained over the of Building, Construction and Engineering (ref
operational life) is a fundamental part of design and Ho D W S & Cao H T, 1993).
must both predate and form part of all stages of (vii) Collaborative research projects such as the
structural design and detailing. A structured "dura- Brite-Euram Project 4062 on the Residual
bility plan" is required to ensure that durability Service Life of Concrete Structures.

In the following sections 2.3.2 to 2.3.8, the a reasonable probability of achieving the specified
factors and mechanisms which control durability are life. Thus “Design Life” in the British Standard
outlined. In the “materials” section 2.4, specific guide to durability (ref BS 7543, 1992) is defined as
measures to achieve durability are advised. the period of use intended by the designer to support
engineering specification and analytical decisions.
The “Design Life” as estimated will therefore be at
2.3.2 Design Working Life (or Service Life) least equal to or exceed the specified “Design
Working or Service Life” by a prudent margin,
The definitions of service life, design life, which includes factors of safety and ignorance.
economic life, etc, must be considered with great
care, as the meaning of these terms is not the same. Different “lives” may need to be considered for
The terms are used with different meanings in economic and feasibility considerations (ref Port
different papers and different contexts and the first Development 1978, UNDP) and different strategies
task is to re-define these. for monitoring deterioration and maintenance can
The recommended definition of the operational
“service life” is that given in the draft Eurocode 1 The concepts of “Design Working Life” and
(ref Eurocode 1 ENV 1991-1:1994) as follows: “Design Life”, and the differences between the
various definitions may not be immediately obvious
Design Working Life - “The assumed period for
to readers unfamiliar with papers on the subject and,
which a structure is to be used for its intended
from experience, can lead to argument. The
purpose with anticipated maintenance but with-
difference between the various definitions may be
out major repair being necessary”.
clarified by Table 7.
In the Spanish Maritime Works Recommend-
A logical structure of design working (or
ation (ref ROM 0.2-90, 1990) the term “Minimum
service) lives for maritime structures (although there
Design Life” is used for this period.
termed as “minimum design lives”) is given in
For maritime works subject to the probability Table of the Spanish Maritime Works
and return periods of waves in addition to all other Recommendations (ref ROM, 0.2-90, 1990) as set
probabilities, this definition may require some out in Table 8. The “design working lives” corres-
adjustment, such as the following suggestion: pond with Classes 2, 3 and 4 of the draft Eurocode 1
“The assumed period for which a structure is to (ref Eurocode 1 ENV 1991-1:1994), but are usefully
be used for its intended purpose with anticipated expanded to include general use and specific
maintenance but without major repair being industrial infrastructure, which can be especially
necessary within a probability appropriate to the applicable to port and coastal works. This Table is
function of the structure.” It is already stated in recommended for use.
ENV 1991-1: 1994 that a different level of reliability It is important to note that, despite the recent
may be generally adopted for structural safety and introduction of more clearly defined “service” lives,
for serviceability and that a different level of current codes of practice and design guides do not
reliability may depend upon the cause or mode of provide guidance for adequate analysis or the means
failure, amongst other factors. to satisfy the stated lives. However, a framework for
With respect, now, to durability in relation to modifying partial factors commensurate with
deterioration of construction materials, the “Design designing for different lives and probabilitites is
Working Life” as so defined is the period specified available. (ref Eurocode 1, Part 1, Annex A and
by the Owner and is related to operational strategy. Rilem Report 14, 1996, edited by Sarja and
Following on from this, the designer has to select Vesikari) and from the work of Sub-Group D of
design methods and safety factors in order to ensure PIANC WG 28.

Designated “Life” Explanation

1. Design Working Life (ref Eurocode 1) or The utilisation period (or periods) specified by the Owner, with respect to structural
Service Life (ref BS 7543) or Minimum safety, serviceability, or durability of structure and components (components likely
Design Life (ref ROM 02-90, 1990). to have shorter periods).

2. Design Life (ref BS 7543, 1992) with A period at least equal to (1) or greater than (1) by a prudent factor, employed by
respect to durability. the designer in order to achieve (1). Note: the estimates are not a precise science
and cannot be guaranteed, but they can be subject to rational analysis.

3. Economic Life (ref Port Development A period used for economic and financial studies, i.e. for comparison of alternative
UNDP, 1978 ). capital and maintenance policies, using discounted cash values.





LEGEND NB: 1. The General Use period of 25 years corresponds with

Class 2 of draft Eurocode 1.
General character works: not associated with the use of an LEVEL 2
industrial installation or of a mineral deposit. Works and installations of general interest.
Moderate risk of loss of human life or environmental damage
SPECIFIC INDUSTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE in case of failure. (Works in large ports, outfalls of large cities,
Works in the service of a particular industrial installation or etc).
associated with the use of transitory natural deposits of NB: 1. The General Use period of 50 years corresponds with
resources (e.g. industry service port, loading platform for a Class 3 of draft Eurocode 1.
mineral deposit, petroleum extraction platform, etc).
LEVEL 1 Works and installations for protection against inundations or
Works and installations of local or auxiliary interest. Small international interest. Elevated risk of human loss or environ-
risk of loss of human life or environmental damage in case of mental damage in case of failure.
failure. (Defence of urban or industrial centres, etc).
(Defence and coastal regeneration works, works in minor ports NB: 1. The General Use period of 100 years corresponds
or marinas, local outfalls, pavements, commercial installa- with Class 4 of draft Eurocode 1.
tions, buildings, etc). *Defined as Design Working Life in draft Eurocode 1.

2.3.3 Processes of Deterioration made from National Standards on rational grounds,

such as mainly apply to reinforcement corrosion.
The dominant factors involved in the durability
There are a number of well-known deterioration
of concrete are:
processes for the concrete matrix in sea water, and
their relative significance depends on the specific • the recognition that concrete is a porous
location and climate, but the most widespread and material and its behaviour depends on the
serious problem is that of chloride-induced corrosion pore structure achieved and, where applicable,
of reinforcement or embedded metal generally. cracks
A schedule of the deterioration mechanisms • the transport mechanisms for water and dis-
applicable to maritime structures is given in Table 9. solved deleterious agents and gases within
the pore structure and, where applicable,
Guidance and limits relating to these forms of cracks
deterioration are covered in National Standards and
• the macro, meso and microclimate for the
other Codes (refs EAU - German Waterfront
structure and particular element.
Structures Code, BRE Digest 363, 1991 - Sulfate
and acid resistance of concrete in the ground, An excellent explanation of the significance of
Concrete Society Report TR 30, 1995 - Minimising these factors and the transport mechanisms is given
the risk of ASR, BRE Digest 330, 1988 - Alkali in the CEB Guide (ref CEB Design Guide, 1992).
aggregate reaction in concrete, NF P 15-010, 1985 The following recommendations mainly concen-
- Guide d’utilisation des ciments, NF P 18-011, trate on the case of reinforcement corrosion. Refer-
1992 - Classification des environments agressifs) ence to the other forms of deterioration generally
some of which are mandatory in their country of can be left to National Standards and references
origin. Care must be taken to clarify to owners and such as given in Table 10. Some details from recent
contractual parties if and where departures are to be publications are given in 2.4.3 and 2.4.4.


Deterioration Mechanism Locations most likely to occur Method of Avoidance

Reinforcement corrosion (due to chlo- Elements wetted but subject to drying - Analysis, design and detailing. Properly
rides) especially hot dry climates. See Figure 13. designed cover to reinforcement for spe-
Corners subject to increased wetting and cific exposure conditions and tolerances.
then drying. Areas of low cover.

Sulfate attack on concrete matrix Delayed action in seawater. Specification and tests.
Colder waters may be more critical.

Salt weathering of concrete surface Elements subject to concentration of salts Specification.

by drying - intertidal zone. Paradoxically, Extensive water curing.
cements which achieve the finer pore
structure and resistance to steel corrosion
may be most susceptible.

Alkali-aggregate reaction Susceptible aggregates, pessimum re- Specification and tests Petrography. Mix
action with mixed aggregates. Alkalis limitations.
from sea water and marine aggregates.
Rich mixes.

"Frost" (freeze-thaw) action In cool with freezing zones with Specification and detailing. Air entrain-
prolonged and repeated freezing. ment spacing factor.

Abrasion Subject to abrasive bed movement, Higher strength concrete, detailing,

shingle, vessel impacts, ropes and moor- extensive curing, controlled permeability
ings. formwork, permanent steel protection.

Early thermal cracking Thick sections and massive structures Design and detailing, specification,
built in separate pours, causing restraint pre-cooling of mix, cooling pipes inbuilt
to shrinkage during cooling from heat of for the hydration period.

Plastic shrinkage cracking (workman- Arid climates, drying winds, low bleed Curing and protection at casting.
ship) mixes.
Plastic settlement cracking (workman- Deep sections, high bleed mixes. Mix design, reduction of bleeding.
ship) Revibration.

Deterioration Mechanism References
Sulfate attack National Codes
BRE Digest 363, 1991 (UK)
CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Structures, 1992
NF P 15-010 (France)
NF P 18-011 (France)
Salt weathering Advice is not generally collated in Guides, but given in papers:-
Fookes P G, 1993, Bijen J M, 1992
Al-Rabiyah A R, Rasheeduzzafar, Baggott R, 1989
Alkali aggregate reaction Concrete Society TR 30, 1995 (UK)
BRE Digest 330, 1987 (UK)
CEN Technical Report, 1994
NF P 15-010 (France)
NF P 18-011 (France)
Frost action Japanese Papers (Koh Y and Kamada E, 1993)
CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Structures, 1992
Abrasion Advice is not widely available
CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Structures, 1992
Early Thermal cracking BS 8007 1987
CIRIA Report 91:1993 (UK)
CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Structures, 1992 Appendix A
ACI 207.2R-90
Japan Concrete Institute. Manual of Massive Concrete, 1986
(Japanese only)
Plastic shrinkage and settlement CEB Guide to Durable Concrete Structures
Concrete Society Report 22, 1992 (UK)

2.3.4 Exposure Classification XS1 Exposed to airborne salt but not in direct
The policy of current European Code contact with sea water. Contrary to popular
Committees for concrete (for the revision of ENV belief, airborne chlorides alone, without the
206 : 1989 to pr EN 206) is to classify exposure vehicle of water penetration, do not achieve
conditions specific to the various deterioration enough concentration to cause reinforcement
mechanisms, where appropriate. The transport corrosion in superstructures (ref Hussain S E,
mechanisms affecting the deterioration of either the Paul I S & Bashenini M S, 1993)
concrete matrix or embedded metal are largely XS2 Submerged (Also a subdivision, XS2A - back-
dependent on the pore structure and the environ- filled)
mental conditions within and immediately exterior XS3 The tidal, splash and spray zones. Depending
to its surface. Deleterious substances are transported on the macro-climate and degree of wetness,
by the medium of water (excluding CO2 and O2), this class may need to be broken down further
and the moisture content of the concrete controls into four cases of ascending severity:
both the rate and effect of the transport of such XS3.1 Mid and lower tidal. The continuity of
substances by air or water. The mechanism of saturation in this part of the tidal zone
reinforcement corrosion is foremost in mind through- is beneficial in restricting the flow of
out the subsequent text but other mechanisms, i.e. oxygen, and conditions can be similar
frost, also apply in colder regions. In seawater to XS2 (refs John D G, 1992, John D
environments it is necessary to recognise three basic G, Leppard N W & Wyatt B S, 1993)
climatic influences; that of the macro, meso and XS3.2 Upper tidal and capillary rise zones
microclimates (ref Fookes P G, 1993) i.e. climates
XS3.3 Splash/spray zones
on the scale of the country, the site, and the
particular element of the structure respectively. For XS3.4 Mostly dry infrequently wetted: i.e.
most practical purposes the macro and meso envi- concrete which is above the splash
ronments can be considered together. The zone but subject to seasonal change in
micro-environment, i.e. the location of a specific sea level, storm events, testing of fire
member in relation to sea level, and the degree and hydrants and run off from mooring
frequency of inundation by seawater and drying out, lines at capstans and bollards.
is particularly critical. Again, contrary to popular belief, the worst case
The most important macro and meso climatic is not necessarily the splash and intertidal zone. The
factors are temperature and rainfall. Temperature latter is likely to be the worst case for the material
controls the rate of chemical reactions and the itself, i.e. bare and painted steel, timber, masonry
degree of drying out of the cover concrete. Rainfall, and plain concrete, and for frost damage, but not for
humidity and the location of the member in relation steel embedded in concrete. In cool and temperate
to sea water level movement control the wetness of conditions there may not be much difference between
the concrete, which affects the mechanism for pene- cases XS3.3 and 3.4, but the difference can be much
tration of chlorides and controls the penetration of more pronounced in hot wet and, especially, hot dry
oxygen to fuel the corrosion process. Generally, conditions.
only the surface layer of concrete “dries out”, the Fookes (Fookes P G, 1993) has suggested an
depth of the drying and wetting zone being much 11-point scale for exposure risk of all concrete in a
greater in arid climates than in temperate climates hot salty environment, both land-based and maritime.
and, consequently, extremely critical for corrosion In a similar way, but restricted to coastal structures,
of reinforcement. The wetting and drying depth in a severity ratings for concrete in a salt-water environ-
temperate climate may not exceed 20mm, where it ment have been expressed on a scale of 1 to 12, as
may be at least 75mm to 100mm in arid conditions. illustrated in Table 11 and Fig 13 (ref Slater D and
(refs Bakker R F M & Roessink G, 1992, Bijen J M, Sharp B N, scheduled for publication late 1997). It
1992). is important to note that the “very severe” and
There are four main sub-divisions of macro- “extreme” exposure conditions of BS 8110 : 1985
climate: and BS 5328 1990/1991, and the most aggressive
Class 4 of DIN 1045:1988, only reach about 3 on
• cool with freezing this 12 point scale, and it follows that such codes
• temperate apply only to the cooler and temperate parts of
• hot wet Europe and similar climates. ACI 318:1995 and
• hot dry Eurocode 2 1992 classifications for seawater ex-
and some seven micro-environmental cases of posure range between 1 and 6 on this scale, depend-
exposure applicable to chloride-induced corrosion ing on location within the tidal and splash regime
in maritime works in ascending order of severity: and the ambient climate. Cooler European condi-
(NB The classification below has been adapted tions may, of course, read only 4 or 5 on this scale.
from cases XS1 to XS3 now being proposed by Sea water contains both sulfates and chlorides
European code committees for concrete exposed to and therefore the concrete has to provide both a
chlorides). chemical resistance and protection for the reinforce-

ment. The latter requirement tends to control the Infrequently wetted, Hot
concrete quality. In concrete that is submerged, XS2 wetted or overtopped Cold/ Wet
in seasonal conditions, temper-
or XS3.1, chlorides penetrate the concrete by diffu- run-off from ropes, ate
sion, a slow process when compared with capillary hydrants D
suction. In submerged sections, the lack of oxygen 3 4 9
is likely to stifle corrosion to an extremely low rate. splash
Exposure class XS3 has the worst conditions.
Chlorides will penetrate by a combination of ab-
sorption/capillary suction and diffusion. In periods wave Splash/Spray
crest Zone 6
of calm weather, wick action and evaporation leads
to a maximum concentration of chlorides near the
exposed surface some distance above the water line. Upper Tidal
Chloride is transported into concrete by the 0 1 2 3 45 6 7 8 910
medium of water by a number of mechanisms. Severity R
Chloride permeation is a complex phenomenon,
including capillary suction and diffusion mecha- Mid and Lower
Tidal 2 3
nisms, and hydration suction. The most rapid trans- Hot Wet
port mechanism, capable of conveying the greater Cold/ and
quantity of ions into dry or partially saturated con- Temperate Hot Dry
crete, is the capillary suction or absorption process.
The much slower process of diffusion takes trough
place in saturated concrete. The largest increase in
chloride content of the cover zone is achieved by Hot W
Submerged or and H
capillary rise or suction followed by surface evapo- Backfilled Dry
ration, or unbalanced cyclic wetting and drying, i.e.
irregular inundation by salt water followed by a Temperate Ditto
period in conditions which enable the concrete to Backfill
Ditto Backfilled
dry, due to seasonal water level changes or storm 1 2 3
events (refs Saetta A V, Scotta R V and Vitaliani R
Fig. 13 Suggested severity ratings on a scale of 1-12
V, 1993, John D G, 1992, Sandberg P J P, (Refer to Table 11)
Petterson K, Arup H and Tuutti K, 1996).
(ref Slater D and Sharp B N, scheduled for publication late 1997)
The ratings are estimated factors for the relative rates of chloride induced corrosion for the same concrete element exposed to
different marine environments. The higher the rating the more severe durability risk7

Cool with freezing Temperate Hot wet Hot dry

Mostly dry2 3 3 43 9-124

Splash/Spray zone 3 3 4 6

Extreme Upper tidal 3 3 4 6

Mid and Lower tidal 2 2 3 3

Underwater 1 1 2 2

Backfilled Faces 5,6 2 2 3 3

1 See Figure 13. 5 For concrete above water level, if capillary rise and evapora-
2 Infrequent splashing by seawater but otherwise exposed to tion is not prevented this may cause increased salt concentra-
weather e.g. copes. tions in the fill and lead to a higher severity rating.
3 Concrete exposed to direct sunlight but protected from 6 Sulfate attack due to ground conditions not taken into
rainfall in a hot wet macro-climate may experience a account. Surface coating recommended if concrete mix
micro-climate of higher severity rating because of the drying required to resist chlorides not adequate to meet sulfate class.
and increase of salt concentration caused by the absence of 7 Abrasion effects not taken into account. Additional cover
wetting. may be needed over and above Table 15 values to provide
4 Rating increases with increase in ambient temperature and required design life allowing for abrasion loss.
duration of dry periods e.g. Lower Arabian Gulf coastline 12.

Hot-dry conditions are particularly hazardous for when Portland cement is blended with other
concrete in maritime works. They apply pre- hydraulic or pozzolanic materials, such as blast-
dominantly in the Arabian Gulf and Middle East furnace slag, pulverised fuel ash or microsilica,
generally, where aridity greatly exceeds that provided that these materials are of appropriate
experienced in other regions, including the United quality.
States (ref Fookes P G, 1993). Absorption of For the past 20 years the most popular model for
chlorides and penetration of oxygen is usually analysing the ingress of chlorides has been that of
restricted in wetter and cooler climates which diffusion, using Ficks second law, all arising from
prevent the concrete drying out at the surface. This the pioneering work of Tuutti (ref Tuutti K, 1982).
wetness, itself, is not the cause of corrosion but the There have subsequently been developments with
reason for reduced corrosion. In hot arid climates more realistic models dealing with partially saturated
the concrete dries to greater depths in long seasons concrete (ref Grace W R, 1991). A number of
of calm weather or seasonal lower tides. Wetting of European workers have more recently developed
the dry surface which then occurs in occasional powerful suites of computer programs which
storms, seasonally higher tides, the testing of fire attempt to model the whole range of variables of
hydrants or from mooring ropes, causes chloride- concrete condition and permit calibration from
laden water to be sucked in deeply. Subsequent simple laboratory measurements (ref Kiessl K R,
drying causes the salt content to concentrate. In a 1983, Roelfstra P E, 1989, Saetta A V, Scotta R V
wet climate, rainfall would both reduce this concen- and Vitaliani R V, 1993). The limitations of the Fick
tration and the penetration of oxygen. Lack of water model, and the explanation why its use in interpreta-
in the pores permits the free flow of oxygen. (Ref tion of chloride profile figures can lead to over-
John D G, 1992, John D G, Leppard N W and Wyatt pessimistic estimates of the rate of ingress, are
B S, 1993). Damage from this cause can particularly given in a recent paper by Danish workers (ref
apply to precast concrete (such as caissons) which is Johansen V, Golterman P and Thaulow N, 1995).
left dry for a long period and then exposed to sea
The exposure cases specific to “frost” (actually
conditions. Torben Hansen, 1989, graphically
freeze-thaw) damage are given as follows:
describes the self-destruct possibilities in these
conditions. XF1 Moderate water saturation without salt
XF2 Moderate water saturation with salt
The chloride concentration is only one factor, as
XF3 High water saturation without salt
the rate of development of corrosion depends upon a
number of factors, principally regulated by the XF4 High water saturation with salt.
access of oxygen. The presence of water reduces the Recommendations in connection with freeze-
ingress of oxygen and the rate of reaction may be thaw resistance are given in 2.4.3.
affected by cracks, in which case anodic and
cathodic areas can be relatively close to each other.
Depending on the relative magnitude of the cover
and degree of saturation, corrosion may be general 2.3.5 Influence of Cement Type
with closely adjacent anodes and cathodes, or the The principal choices for cement include plain
anodic reduction process at a location may be driven (previously known as “ordinary”) Portland cement,
by cathodic activity caused by the ingress of oxygen sulfate resisting Portland cement (i.e. a cement with
at another location remote from the site of specific limits on the calcium tri-aluminate (C3A)
corrosion. Only free chlorides cause corrosion and content: the lower the C3A the more resistance to
consequently the “threshold” value for the critical sulfate attack) or various types of blended cements.
chloride content depends upon the chloride binding Blended cements include a combination of Portland
capacity of the particular binder type, and the cement with blastfurnace slag (gbs), which is a latent
degree of saturation. hydraulic binder, or pozzolanic materials which can
For a given set of exposure conditions, the be natural but are more likely to be pulverised-fuel
propensity for and rate of corrosion is influenced ash (pfa). The latest available material is microsilica,
mainly by cover to reinforcement, binder type, which can be mixed with either unblended or
water-cement ratio and binder content, broadly in blended cements. Guidance on its use is given in
that order. Concrete Society Report 41 (ref Concrete Society
If capillary suction is the main transport mecha- Report 41, 1991).
nism it is unlikely that, using most modern Portland It is most important to stress that any compari-
cements alone, concrete quality and cover will son between materials to different National
provide an adequate design life in severe exposure Standards must be made in full knowledge and
cases, if only conventional cover thicknesses and comparison of the different methods of test and
placing tolerances are employed (ref Bamforth P B, specification. This particularly applies to cement
1993, Neville A M, 1995). However, concrete of strength class. Cements are produced to a number of
readily achievable production quality used in strength classes and cement content for equivalent
conjunction with realistic reinforcement placing durability may need to be increased when lower
tolerances is more likely to achieve design lives strength cement classes are used.

Sulfate resisting Portland cement is unlikely to high slag cements in maritime concrete. Although
be necessary in maritime concrete, as the disruptive blended cements are almost a “must” to counteract
effect of sulfates is reduced in the presence of corrosion, their resistance to surface scaling and
chlorides, and more so in warmer waters. It is tolerance to poor curing is less than unblended
claimed that, on the contrary, such sulfate-resisting cements. Lower levels of slag, say 50%, may be
cement is less resistant to reinforcement corrosion, more appropriate in colder conditions when the
but this may only be true of chlorides inbuilt into a generally slower action of slag cements may cause
mix. Sulfate-resisting cement is a relatively “lower problems in achieving early strenght.
heat” cement (relative to plain Portland cement) and The weakness of much prescriptive advice in
its use is beneficial for reducing the generation of current codes is that guidance on mixes and cover
heat of hydration. thickness is given largely independently of cement
Where only Portland cement is available, it is type, coupled with imprecise description of expo-
usual to limit the tri-calcium aluminate content in sure conditions. From the comparisons summarised
reinforced concrete to not less than 5% and not above, the conclusion can only be that modern
more than 10%. This constitutes a compromise by unblended Portland cement generally (there are
specifying, in effect, a moderate sulfate resistance exceptions) has the lowest resistance to chloride
by virtue of the upper limit on C3A whilst avoiding penetration and, where severe chloride exposure
a too low content C3A which may be less able to conditions exist, is unlikely to guarantee a long ser-
protect the steel from corrosion. ASTM C-150 vice life, even in temperate climates, with cover to
Type II cement properties can cover this require- reinforcement as often recommended. For values of
ment. In circumstances where reinforcement cover in the accepted magnitude of 50 to 80mm,
corrosion is not the critical problem, or for which blended cements are a must.
adequate provision has been made, the long term For each cement type and blending ratio, one
effects of the reaction between sulfate and the can estimate minimum cement contents and maxi-
hydrates formed from C3A could possible dictate mum water-cement ratios appropriate to the differ-
the choice of low C3A Portland cement. See 2.4.4. ent exposure cases. Typical figures are given in
However in these circumstances, blast furnace Section 2.4.3 to 2.4.5. See Tables 14 & 15.
cements could combine the optimum solution.
High proportions of blastfurnace slag, of from
50% to 70% and more, are beneficial from a number 2.3.6 Influence of Cement Content
of viewpoints, including resistance to chloride Concrete strength is directly related to water-
ingress, sulfate resistance, minimising the effect of cement ratio. The pore structure of concrete depends
“alkali aggregate reaction” and reducing the rate of on the water-cement ratio, the degree of hydration
generation of heat of hydration. Alkali aggregate and the cement type (ref CEB Guide).
reactions are the chemical processes which can take Using superplasticisers, even under difficult
place when the natural alkalinity of cement caused conditions for controlling water demand without
by the calcium hydroxide (pH about 12.5) is losing workability (i.e. high temperature, poor
increased to a pH of over 13 due to the oxides of aggregates, large pours, large handling distances), it
potassium and sodium. Proportions of pulverised is now possible to reduce the water-cement ratio
fuel ash of the order of 30% to 40% have similar but below 0.40, when this is required, and at the same
lesser benefits. There appears to be benefit in time achieve both the desired fine pore structure and
adding microsilica in doses of about 5% in conjunc- self healing properties due to the presence of unhy-
tion with slag or pulverised fuel ash. Where slag or drated cement (ref Aïtcin P C, 1993).
pulverised fuel ash is unavailable, microsilica may Another simple fact is that, ignoring the effect of
be added in amounts up to 10% of the total cementi- water reducing admixtures, for a given workability,
tious content. It must be noted that the quality of the amount of water required per cubic metre of a
these materials have to be appropriate. In some parts given aggregate type and gradation is effectively
of the world slags and pulverised fuel ash contain independent of the cement content (ref Barber P,
unsuitable constituents, and in some places plain 1989 and Fig. 14). This is the basis of the ACI
Portland cement appears to be very effective. method of proportioning concrete mixes (ref ACI
Blended cements may be either factory produced or 211, 1991), in which the water content is first estab-
blended from separate constituents at the mixer. lished, and the cement content then derived from
Blast furnace cements have been traditionally appropriate requirements for the water-cement ratio
employed for maritime and other works in Germany, on the basis of durability.
Holland and Spain, and pozzalanic cements used Another important fact is that the water demand
elsewhere. Often blast furnace cement was used required to achieve a level of workability varies
because it was the principal material available. inversely to aggregate size. The larger the aggregate
Recommendations are now made by many size, the less water and cement paste is required
authorities, including the Japanese Technical and, consequently, less cement is required to
Standards (ref Technical Standards for Port and achieve a given water-cement ratio. Illustration of
Harbour Facilities in Japan, 1991), for the use of the range of this effect is given in Table 12 (ref BS

5328, BS 8110 and derivation using Neville AM, device has traditionally been used in maritime
1995, and also recent mix design software). It must works, where 40mm, 80mm and even 150mm
be noted that the precise definition of aggregate size aggregate has been used for plain concrete. This is
can differ between codes. This principle is covered important because cement content may be a control-
by French codes NF P 15-010 and 18-011, where ling factor from the point of view of minimising
the minimum cement content for concrete in sea alkali aggregate reaction (ref Concrete Society
water or prestressed work is given by the following Report TR30, 1995) or controlling heat evolution in
expression, together with a water-cement ratio less relation to early thermal effects (refs CIRIA Report
than or equal to 0.50: 91, 1992, BS 8007, 1987, UK Dept of Transport BA
C = 700 24/87 and BD 28/87, 1987).
Mix specification limits given in specification
where: C = cement content in kg/m3 documents must be realistically drawn from a ratio-
D = maximum aggregate size in mm. nal mix design using available materials, and not
This expression leads to the following figures: merely numbers drawn from literature, as is often
10 mm aggregate : 440 kg/m3 the case.
20 mm aggregate : 385 kg/m3 The latest mix design methods available in the
40 mm aggregate : 335 kg/m3 market make use of computer simulation to achieve
80 mm aggregate : 290 kg/m3. proportions based on packing theory. Analysis using
It is now possible to achieve both low water- such software is given in brackets in Table 12 (ref
cement ratio and adequate workability using a range Mixsim Issue 3, 1995). Computer simulation
of normal to high performance water-reducing includes the effect of grading, and could incorporate
admixtures. The type of cement, in addition, has its the effect of mimimising the fines content, which is
own effect on water demand. Slags and pulverised another approach to limiting cement content.
fuel ash generally require less water. The design
mix must provide the constructor with adequate
workability to transport, place and compact the 2.3.7 Cracking and the Influence of Cracks
As the quality of the concrete in relation to both The causes and consequences of cracking in
strength and durability is directly related to water- concrete structures have often been misunderstood.
cement ratio and unit water-content, within In the past, most incidences of early thermal crack-
reasonable lower limits, the actual cement content is ing were erroneously attributed to drying shrinkage.
therefore a secondary consequence of the water Most causes of cracking during the plastic state, i.e.
demand for a given mix. Cement contents do not Cement content per cubic metre kg
need to be especially high for plain concrete or even 0 100 200 300 400 500
reinforced concrete providing requisite parameters Water
Mass of material per cubic metre

are met. Cement contents must always be assessed

in relation to aggregate size and grading, and a good
way of reducing cement content is to increase
aggregate size and/or reduce the fines content. This
MAXIMUM SIZE FOR A GIVEN CEMENT over this range of normal mixes, the
STRENGTH, AGGREGATE, TYPE, WORKABILITY, water content is effectively constant

Fig . 14 Graphical illustration of variation of constituents for
(Main figures from BS5328, BS8110 etc. Figures in practical range of cement content (ref Barber P, 1989)
brackets from computer simulation Mixsim, 1995)
plastic shrinkage and plastic settlement cracking can
Nominal1 Adjustment2 to Difference in water be resolved by attention to mix design, protection
maximum minimum demand for a given
aggregate size mm cement content kg/m3 workability kg/m3
from drying winds, and curing in arid conditions
(ref Fookes P G, 1993, Al-Rabiyah A R, Rasheed-
10 +40 (+30) +15 to + 20 (+15) uzzafar, Baggott R, 1989). Early thermal cracking is
20 0 0 an important case for design and construction of
40 -30 (-20) -15 to -20 (-15) large masses of concrete, including both blocks and
80 -70 (-50) -35 to -40 caissons, and is explained in 3.1.7.
(-20 to -30) An excellent explanation of the processes and
1. Note that definitions of maximum aggregate size can differ between influence of cracking in concrete is given in the
different codes. CEB Guide 1992, Concrete Society Report No. 44,
2. According to the French expression overleaf, the adjustment is some
50% greater, but of course depends on the choice of "minimum". 1995, and BRE Digest 389, 1994.

Although the significance of cracking may be feature of the general surface of the concrete (CEB
much less than traditionally assumed in the case of Guide, 1992).
reinforced concrete, it may be significant if it results The recommendation for increased cover given
in the reduction of the mass of some unreinforced in this Report is likely to be met by the objection
concrete structures (for example armour units) and that the width of cracks on the surface will be
can cause unnecessary concern. Attention to detail unacceptably wider than permitted by design codes.
in both design and construction, particularly in Many engineers will be worried that increased cover
relation to early thermal effects, can obviate the will lead to wider flexural cracks and that reinforce-
incidence of cracking. Indeed, a number of ment further distant from the surface will lead to
European tunnel structures are currently being wider cracking of the cover zone. However,
designed as “crack free”. chloride ions and oxygen penetrate the concrete
Most structural codes have flexural crack width everywhere and not just at cracks, and the width of
limitations appropriate to specified environmental the crack at the surface is not as critical as the width
conditions related to the serviceability limit state. at the reinforcement itself. Research has shown that
The British method of design for crack control in the crack width at the steel bar is almost independ-
relation to early thermal stresses (ref BS 8007, 1987) ent of cover thickness, and that the width of the ‘V’
has similar limits. However it is now generally shaped crack increases almost linearly with cover
accepted (ref CEB Guide, 1992, Schiessl P and thickness (see Fig. 15). Therefore, the cover thick-
Raupach M, 1997) that, once crack widths exceed ness should not be limited for crack width reasons.
some 0.1mm, there is no significance in relation to When checking crack width limits in accordance
the ingress of deleterious substances to cause with codes, one may increase the permissible crack
reinforcement corrosion from wider cracks of up to width pro rata to the ratio of preferred cover to the
0.5mm. Accordingly, the careful gradation of the typical cover given in a code. This principle is
effect of cracks between 0.1mm and above is mean- already included in some instances, for example
ingless (ref CEB Guide, 1992). This statement refers where permitted surface crack width is given as a
to cracks perpendicular to main reinforcement and proportion of the cover thickness (i.e. such as 0.004
not to cracking above and along the length of a bar times cover thickness). (refs Merkblattsammlung,
such as can occur in plastic settlement or if a bar German Concrete Association, 1991, Dept of
(say a stirrup) acts as a crack inducer. Early thermal Transport (UK) BA24/87 and BD 28/87, 1987)
and workmanship related plastic cracking tends to Crack widths caused by early thermal effects can
create wider, uncontrolled, cracking coincident with be controlled by appropriate design (ref CIRIA 91,
reinforcement, which is therefore much more BS 8007). It is not necessary to sum the effects of
detrimental than flexural cracks which intersect with early thermal and flexural cracking (ref Department
the reinforcement at right angles. The progress of of Transport (UK) BA24/87 and BD 28/87).
reinforcement corrosion is largely dependent on the
properties of the concrete itself, the moisture state,
and the relative cover to reinforcement. However,
cracks are likely to promote accelerated pitting cor- 2.3.8 Influence of Curing
rosion. Appropriate detailing to distribute reinforce- The need for curing continues to be hotly
ment spacing and limit crack widths remains impor- debated and is the subject of contemporary studies
tant for various reasons. (ref CIRIA Research project on the influence of
Cracks do not significantly increase the effect of practical on-site curing, in Progress 1994/95). In
freeze-thaw damage, as the scaling or splitting of the past, with much less reactive cements, pro-
concrete by freeze-thaw action is due to the increase longed water curing was necessary in order to
of volume of completely water-filled pores, and is a achieve strength. This is no longer the case and,
obviously, the influence of water curing on the
surface is unlikely to influence the centre of massive
concrete covering sections. On the contrary, indiscriminate application
thickness of cold water could cause thermal shock cracking
and as many problems as it attempts to solve.
It is perhaps the case that, in the case of wet
Cover mm

temperate climates, relaxation of curing is less dele-

terious than is generally held. However, in hot dry
arid climates, water loss from the surface can be
significant and result in incomplete hydration. As
(ref CEB Guide, 1992) the relationship of water-
crack width cement ratio and degree of hydration dictates the
Fig. 15 resulting pore structure of the concrete, and as the
Decreasing crack width, measured from the outside face to the duration of water curing is inversely proportional to
steel , for fixed stresses σs and different cover thickness c. water-cement ratio, one main advantage of using the
(ref Merkblattsammlung, German Concrete Association, 1991) lowest possible water-cement ratio is to reduce the

duration of water curing. From the graph/nomogram of the situation “as constructed”. This emphasis is
of the relationship between water permeability, also made in the CIRIA/CUR Manual on the use of
volume of capillary pores and degree of hydration rock, 1992.
(CEB Guide, 1992), it follows that the lower the PIANC’s Permanent Committee for Developing
water-cement ratio, the smaller is the duration of Countries (PCDC) undertook, in 1978, to produce a
curing required for the preclusion of continuous series of maintenance manuals for port infra-
capillaries. This follows from the classic work of structure, (ref PIANC Bulletin 1985-No.50) but, so
Powers and Brownyards (ref Powers T C and Brown- far, manuals have only been produced for the more
yards T L, 1988) and as explained by Hansen T C, obvious cases of mechanical equipment, roads and
1989, Ho D W S and Lewis R K, 1983, and Neville railways. PIANC Working Group No.17 published
A M, 1995. A higher strength concrete obtained by their report on the Inspection, Maintenance and
adopting a lower water-cement ratio is therefore, to Repair of Maritime Structures exposed to Material
a degree, self-curing. Work at the University of Degradation caused by a salt water environment in
Dundee (ref Dhir R K, Hewlett P C, Lota J S and 1990 (ref PIANC, 1990). This Report gives helpful
Dyer T B J, 1994) is in progress for the achievement guidance on inspection methods and monitoring but
of self-curing by adding water-soluble chemicals to covers such a broad range of materials including
reduce water evaporation in the set concrete. timber, stone, unreinforced concrete, reinforced and
The requirements for curing are also intimately prestressed concrete and steel, that the specific
related to the type of cement and bleeding character- explanations and guidance for each material are
istics of the mix. All of these properties tend to have somewhat abbreviated.
conflicting effects on the result. For example a high Monitoring must be planned and adequate
bleeding rate may increase the water-cement ratio of records taken, beginning with “base-line” measure-
the cover concrete and lead to plastic settlement. ments of line, level etc. immediately after com-
However an unduly low bleeding rate (as can occur pletion of construction. Computers can now greatly
with microsilica) may lead to dessication of the facilitate this kind of work.
surface and hence to plastic shrinkage cracking.
Regular inspections of the structure (or beach or
Slag cements are generally held to require great
coastal defence) should be carried out at least once
attention to curing to prevent surface breakdown.
per year, most likely following the winter storm
However it can also be the case that surface break-
period, and after any major storm event. The princi-
down by salt weathering of slag cements is due to
pal objects of the survey are to determine:
the fineness of the surface pore structure, which
leaves inadequate room for the accommodation of • the integrity of armour units and elements of
surface salt crystals which may be provided by a the structure
concrete with a coarser pore structure. • indication of movement and settlement
• scour.
Measurements must be taken at specific loca-
tions to provide adequate mapping of the structure
2.3.9 Monitoring and Maintenance at clearly located profiles or to a grid, and plotted on
Strategic planning for maintenance is directly large-scale drawings. Computer and modern digital
linked with the concepts of service life and - methods are now available. Aerial survey and
durability. In the past, very little guidance for the underwater video recording can be used.
maintenance of concrete and other structures has In the case of reinforced concrete elements,
been available. base-line data includes records of “as-constructed”
The subject is only now receiving due attention. measurements of cover to reinforcement, and crack
The Technical Standards for Port and Harbour and damage mapping. Non-destructive methods of
Facilities in Japan, 1991, places much more em- monitoring the performance of reinforced concrete
phasis on maintenance and durability than in its are not as practicable or meaningful as often claimed
previous version and points out that maintenance is and suffer problems of interpretation, but equipment
largely related to monitoring and management is available for monitoring corrosion potentials by
strategy. Maintenance needs depend on feedback half-cell and other methods. It is now possible to
from regular monitoring and data-collection, for build in probes and take electrical measurements to
comparison with “base-line” data, i.e. line, level etc, assess the onset of any change.

2.4 Materials Quality Control and audit procedures included in
this process.
National Codes of Practice and Design Guides,
and their associated test methods and limits can
2.4.1 Rock and rubble usually be relied upon for appropriate design for
protection against physical and mechanical action,
For guidance for, and the specification of, rock freeze-thaw damage, chemical and sulfate attack
and rubble construction it is recommended to use and alkali-aggregate reactivity. However, at the
the recently published “Manual of the use of rock in present time, national codes and standards cannot be
coastal and shoreline structures”, published jointly relied upon to assure durability against reinforce-
in the UK and Holland (ref CIRIA Special ment corrosion in the long term, particularly in
Publication 83/CUR Report 154, 1992.) aggressive conditions and climates other than cool
or temperate.
It is recommended that, in the maritime environ-
ment, design for durability needs to be “explicit” in
2.4.2 Filling and Backfilling the sense understood by European code committees,
Granular materials are recommended for any meaning a move away from prescriptive limits
backfilling to walls and filling of caisson cells in given in codes to methods based on rational analysis
order that the earth pressure loading can be deter- and methods of test (ref Concrete Society Report
mined with confidence, as outlined in Sections 2.1.4 109 on Durability Design and Performance-based
and 2.1.5. There are no strict requirements for the Specification of Concrete 1996, Rostam & Schiessl,
characteristics of the material used, i.e. quarry run 1993, Clifton J R, 1993).
rock, sand etc. It is sufficient that their saturated The principal deterioration mechanisms in the
density is equal to or greater than the mass used in case of unreinforced concrete are those of salt
the stability calculations and that their angle of weathering, surface scaling and freeze-thaw, and
internal friction is equal to or greater than the one abrasion. The principal cause of deterioration of
used in earth pressure calculations. Generally, if the reinforced and prestressed concrete is the corrosion
material is suitable for pouring directly in position of embedded metal but, obviously, the other deterio-
under water, it will be acceptable. Material poured ration mechanisms as for unreinforced concrete still
into water (except for rockfill), will achieve a low apply. The performance of different concrete mixes
relative density and measures may be necessary to depends upon the environmental conditions and the
increase the density, as described in 2.1.5 type of cement.
The durability of unreinforced concrete incorpo-
rating an appropriate water and cement content is
good in sea water conditions and, where seriously
2.4.3 Concrete Durability General - aggressive conditions exist, as defined in 2.3.4, con-
Design, Detailing and Workmanship sideration should be given to designs appropriate to
unreinforced concrete as opposed to designs involv-
The requirements for achieving durability of
ing embedded metal.
concrete in maritime works will usually outweigh
the requirements for achieving strength, or density.
The factors influencing durability and the specific
deterioration mechanisms involved were sum-
marised in Sections 2.3.1 to 2.3.8. This section and 2.4.4 Unreinforced Concrete (Plain or Mass)
2.4.4 to 2.4.12 summarise the practical steps and The term “Unreinforced Concrete” will be used
specifications appropriate to maritime concrete in to define concrete without steel reinforcement. Such
breakwater applications. concrete is usually termed “mass” in Europe and
The measures to be taken against specific UK. In the USA and Japan, mass concrete means
deterioration mechanisms as listed in 2.3.3 and concrete of a size significant to heat generation
Table 9 are most concisely set out in the CEB Guide which will require measures to be taken on account
and as listed in Table 10. Many problems can be of heat generation.
mitigated by good detailing and by good curing of The surface of unreinforced concrete requires to
the concrete surface. Risk of frost damage and be designed and constructed with freeze-thaw, abra-
reinforcement corrosion can be lessened by sion, salt weathering and sulfate attack in mind.
attention to drainage of water from near horizontal Although sulfate attack is mitigated in sea water by
surfaces, to prevent the ponding of water, and to the presence of chlorides and is less harmful in
prevent the run-down of water on vertical surfaces. warmer waters (refs BRE Digest 363, 1991, Bijen J
Reliability of design and workmanship and the M, 1984, Matta Z G, 1993, NF P (18-011)), it is
chance of avoidance of “gross errors” can be possible that the long-term effects of the reaction
improved by employing the discipline of Quality between sulfates and the hydrates formed from C3A
Assurance in both design and construction, and the may be more significant in cases where the much

earlier and dramatic effects of reinforcement TABLE 13
corrosion are absent. PIANC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR
The choice of grade of concrete can be par- UNREINFORCED CONCRETE 1980
ticularly problematical in the case of unreinforced (ref PIANC 1980)
concrete in blockwork, large sections and armour 28 day cube
units. A number of contemporary code recommend- Nominal maximum Minimum cement (size of cube not
ations may lead the designer to concrete mixes with Aggregate mm content kg/m3 defined)
excessive strength and cement content, and hence to strength MPa
problems of early thermal cracking and brittleness.
40 220 to 270
Due to the changing chemistry of cement it is not 20 to 35
20 250 to 310
always valid to compare specifications with
10 360
successful mixes used in the past. The UK Maritime
Code BS 6349 Part 1 : 1984 recommends a minimum or suspended sand. Abrasion resistance is usually
cement content of 350 kg/m 3 and maximum achieved by using strong aggregates and higher
water-cement ratio of 0.50, but this is meaningless strength concrete, not less than C40/50 (cylinder/
without reference to the options of increased cube). Test panels in the UK have shown losses
aggregate size or the use of admixtures, both of between 2mm and 12mm per annum over a period
which could enable the water content and hence the of 7 years. Exposure cases for abrasion have only
cement content to be reduced. The PIANC recom- recently been proposed in the Eurocode committees,
mendations (ref PIANC Final Report of 3rd Inter- but their adoption is uncertain. Achievement of
national Commission for the Study of Waves) for abrasion resistance depends critically on the finish-
unreinforced concrete in 1980 are given in Table 13. ing operations and curing. There are a number of
Depending on the exposure conditions, the abrasion tests.
answer may lie between these figures and a suggest- The CEB Guide is very informative in relation
ed range of mixes as given in Table 14 below. In all to “frost” damage which, more correctly, should be
cases it is necessary to carefully consider any termed “freeze-thaw” damage. Freeze-thaw resis-
departure from local National Standards. tance generally increases with reduced water-
Abrasion resistance is obviously important in cement ratio, increased cement content, and higher
locations where concrete may be abraded by shingle content of air pores. A higher proportion of blend-
(ref Slater D and Sharp B N scheduled for publication late 1997)

Exposure Maximum Minimum Suggested cement type Typical Concrete

severity water/ cementitious and blends 8, 9 Grade6
rating cementitious content1,3,4 Minimum Dimension of Pour (cyl/cube strength10)
ratio2 kg/m3
< 500mm > 500 mm5 MPa

pc, ASTM, I/II/IV/V 100% ASTM IV or V C30/37

1-3 0.55 300 or pfa blend 75% pc : 25% pfa C25/30
or gbs blend 50% pc : 50% gbs C25/30

pc, ASTM I/II/IV/V 100% ASTM IV C35/45

4,5 0.50 325 or pfa blend 75-70% pc : 25-30% pfa C30/37
or gbs blend 30-50% pc : 70-50% gbs C30/37

pc, ASTM I/II/IV/V 100% ASTM IV C45/55

6-12 0.45-0.40 3507 or pfa blend 75-70% pc: 25-30% pfa C40/50
or gbs blend 30-50% pc : 70-50% gbs C40/50

1 Where appropriate, in large sections, advantage can be taken of the 6 Approximate equivalent grade consistent with the minimum
lower cement paste and cement contents required for larger cement content and the maximum water/cement ratio. The accurate
aggregate size. Minimum cement content for 80mm aggregate is equivalent grade for controlling water/cement ratio and cement
approximately 40 kg/m3 less. See Table 12. content should be established for the actual mix, if necessary by
Maximum water/cementitious ratio may need to be reduced to meet trials.
National Standards. For any exposure rating, the water/cementi- 7 Water reducing admixture recommended.
tious ratio should be as low as practicable and economic. 8 Add air entrainment 4-6% for freezing conditions.
Minimum cementitious content may need to be increased for 9 Pfa and gbs blends require good curing conditions to avoid surface
abrasion resistance or to meet National Standards, with increased defects.
risk of early thermal cracking. 10 Values are characteristic compressive strengths tested at 28 days in
4 The figures for minimum cement content ranges applies to Portland accordance with ENV 206, below which 5% of all possible
cement only. Larger figures may be required for blended cements. strength test results may be expected to fall.
5 Cement type or blend chosen to control heat of hydration. 40mm Cylinder strength applies to 150mm diameter 300mm long cylin-
maximum aggregate size recommended to allow cement contents to ders and cube strength applies to 150mm cubes as defined by ENV
be reduced by 20-40 kg/m3. 206:1990 and tested in accordance with BS 1881: Part 116, 1983.

ing materials may unfavourably affect scaling. 2.4.5 Reinforced Concrete, including Selection
Exposure classes for freeze-thaw damage were given of Cover to Reinforcement
in 2.3.4. Concrete with moderate water saturation The durability of reinforced concrete is primari-
will not suffer from freeze-thaw damage. Salt causes ly dependent on countering the effects of chloride
a substantial drop in temperature at the concrete induced corrosion of steel reinforcement and is
surface during thawing, and the different temperature more a design and detailing matter than a materials
between the surface and the internal concrete causes matter. As developed in 2.3.1 to 2.3.8, durability is
internal stress. One of the worst potential damage a function of environmental loading and depends
situations is where there is a prolonged freezing primarily on:
cycle with a source of external sea water. The most
serious condition is reported to be when the • exposure conditions
substrate remains frozen but the surface thaws due • cover to reinforcement
to solar gain. Water from the melted snow/ice enters • cement type
the concrete to form added ice, which re-freezes • pore structure/water-cement ratio.
during the night to cause “squeeze freezing”. For reinforced concrete, the principal design
Freeze-thaw conditions are likely to be much more parameters include the exposure rating derived from
serious for roads as opposed to maritime structures. the macro and micro environmental conditions, the
There are a number of standard freeze-thaw tests, cement type, the mix quality as determined by the
such as ASTM and Scandinavian tests. Japanese water-cement ratio, and the cover to reinforcement.
tests are carried out to determine the change in As the protective capacity of a given concrete is
length of specimens. broadly related to the square of the cover thickness,
Salt scaling is a prevalent phenomenon in hot the provision of appropriate cover to reinforcement
arid conditions. It occurs in maritime conditions is the simplest and most direct way of reducing
and, due to sulfate, in low quality mass concrete in damage from reinforcement corrosion. The dramatic
salt flat conditions. The subject is not covered in effect of cover on the service life is illustrated in
more well-known guides and reference needs to be Figs. 16 and 17. In this context cover must be
made to Fookes (ref Fookes P G, 1993, Bijen J M, properly specified and detailed as summarised
1992), and various papers on the Bahrain causeway below. The nominal cover for placing the reinforce-
by Rasheeduzzafar et al (ref Al-Rabiyah A R, ment, to be used in the design and stated on the
Rasheeduzzafar, Baggott R, 1989) of the King Fahad drawings, can be derived by computing a minimum
University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dahran, characteristic design value to meet durability (or
Saudi Arabia. Salt scaling has affinity with both aggregate size, fire or bond etc) requirements,
frost and sulfate attack. The quality of aggregate has together with a placing tolerance, which may vary
a marked influence and also the cement type. from 5mm to 15mm, or more depending on the
Scaling can be noticeably higher with slag cements, standard of control.
and it may be necessary to tolerate this in order to An illustration of the range of nominal cover
achieve requisite resistance to corrosion in the case which is believed to be necessary for an estimated
of reinforced concrete. “design” life of 60 years (say to meet a Design
The mix proportions should be selected using Working Life of 50 years) is suggested in Table 15.
mix design methods commencing with the derivation The figures include 15mm tolerance but no
of water demand, which can be restricted to achieve allowance for abrasion or salt scaling. It will be
a low water-cement ratio (i.e. less than 0.5) by using noted that as the aggressivity increases, the recom-
plasticisers or super-plasticisers to ensure that ade- mended figures for cover are much higher than have
quate workability is available. Unduly restrictive often been used, especially for unblended cements.
limits should not be imposed on workability where The table also demonstrates the importance of
this property is required to ensure the integrity of extremely low water-cement ratios for Portland
concrete within the formwork. cement, although even such provision is inadequate
Depth: cm

Time: Years
Fig. 17
Fig. 16 A prediction by service life model for exposure to sea-water with
Example of the effect of the thickness of the concrete cover a chloride content of 10,000 ppm
(ref CEB Guide) (ref Clear K C in Hognestad E, 1986)

without larger cover in the more aggressive condi- The selection of appropriate cover for the expo-
tions. Anyone surprised by this table should consult sure conditions and the fixing tolerance has a major
the following supporting references: influence on the minimum wall thickness for a cais-
• Standard specifications for Design and son. Minimum wall thicknesses of 200mm and
Construction of Concrete Structures Parts 1 300mm are not likely to be appropriate for rein-
& 2, Japan Society of Civil Engineers, 1986 forced concrete under extreme conditions of expo-
sure. Thin walled structures are not appropriate for
• Miyagawa T, 1991 reinforced concrete in extreme exposure. In severe
• Bamforth PB and Price WF, 1993 conditions it may be advisable to use designs avoid-
• Bamforth P B, 1993. ing reinforced concrete and, instead, to use a com-
The JSCE Standard Specification Part 1, 1986, posite design. In the submerged and mid to lower
states that “in a ‘corrosive condition’ a cover not tidal part, the sections may be adequate in thin wall
less than 75mm is advisable (not less than 60mm if caisson design, but the exposed sections under
examination and repair is easy), and not less than severe exposure may need to be thicker to enable
100mm in ‘severely corrosive condition’ (not less the cover to reinforcement to be increased or, if
than 80mm if examination and repair is easy). feasible, constructed in plain concrete. The change
Where the quality of concrete is hampered by in micro environment will often coincide with a
difficult construction conditions or the structure change in construction conditions (i.e. from under-
requires a long life-time, concrete cover shall be water to tidal or above-tide working) and so a
increased. Although cover of precast concrete may composite design may be chosen to improve
be decreased by 20%, it is not advisable to decrease constructability while at the same time matching
where sufficient corrosion resistance is necessary.” durability to different exposure conditions. In the

(suggested as appropriate for 50 years "design working life")
(ref Slater D and Sharp B N, scheduled for publication late 1997)

Suggested Nominal Cover1,2,3mm

Severity 70% pc : 30 pfa 100% pc 100% pc
Rating 75% pc : 25% pfa
30% pc : 70% gbs w/c ratio w/c ratio
50% pc : 50% gbs 4,5
90% pc : 10% ms6,7 0.458 0.409

1 5010 5010 75 65
2 50 5010 95 85
3 65 50 120 105
4 80 60 14511 130
5 95 70 17011 15511
6 115 85 20011 18011
9-12 13512 10012 23011,12 20511,12
1 Includes an allowance of 15mm for workmanship tolerances C45/55-55/65, minimum cementitious content 425 kg/m3,
and reduction of cover during concreting. maximum water/cement ratio. 0.34-0.38 20 mm aggregate.
2 Add an extra 10mm for prestressing strand to reduce See note 10, Table 14, for definition of Grade.
percentage non-compliance of nominal cover to minimal 7 Assumed apparent diffusion coefficient at 20°C 1.5 x
value in recognition of risk of pitting corrosion. 10-13m2 sec-1.
3 A combination of the suggested nominal cover plus concrete 8 Assumed apparent diffusion coefficient at 20°C 15.0 x
mix appropriate to higher exposure rating will provide 10-13m2 sec-1.
extended service life. 9 Assumed apparent diffusion coefficient at 20°C 11.0 x
10-13m2 sec-1.
4 Appropriate mix for exposure severity rating 2: Grade
10 Nominal cover of 50mm dictated by bond requirements with
C35/45, minimum cementitious content 370 kg/m3, maxi-
20mm maximum aggregate size and allowing for workman-
mum water/cement ratio 0.45, 20 mm aggregate. See note
ship tolerances.
10, Table 14, for definition of Grade.
11 Blended cementitious mix more suited to the exposure
5 Assumed apparent diffusion coefficient at 20°C severity recommended.
3.0 x 10-13m2 sec-1. 12 Note that this Severity Rating is for hot arid conditions and
6 Appropriate mix for exposure severity rating 5: Minimum infrequently wetted members. See Section 2.3.4. Extra
Grade C40/50-55/65) minimum cementitious content 400 protection may be required by means of coatings or
kg/m3, maximum water/cement ratio 0.40. Appropriate mix provision for cathodic protection, depending upon
for exposure severity rating 6-12: Minimum Grade application and estimated severity rating.

Spacers need to be made from appropriate
260 materials and adequately distributed. There are
several references on spacers (refs Spacers for
reinforcement, 1981 Cement & Concrete
220 Association UK, Spacers for reinforced concrete,
Characteristic cover Standard deviation Concrete Society 1989). There are a number of
Number of results in each 5mm cover interval

is 24mm is 15.35mm ingenious modern designs of plastic spacers, but it

180 is possible for these to deform or achieve inadequate
bond. For seriously aggressive conditions, spacers
Nominal need to made of materials equal to or better than the
specified parent mix and treated to improve bond.
cover 50mm

100 2.4.6 Prestressed Concrete

Statistical The use of prestressed concrete in maritime
mean works is less common. Most engineers have been
60 of results
49mm afraid for chloride effects but there is a substantial
history of success in specific applications (ref
Gerwick B C, 1990). A recently constructed exam-
20 ple in Japan is a new type of breakwater in Sakai,
with a perforated caisson screen 16m diameter and
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 10m high (ref PCI Journal, July/August 1994).
Cover (mm) in intervals of 5mm However, the corrosion of prestressing steel
Fig. 18 presents a much more dangerous situation than can
Distribution of cover in practice. Analysis of 1600 cover- occur with non-prestressed concrete. The corrosion
meter readings for a 13m high retaining wall
of pre-stressed steel proceeds at a faster rate than
(ref Concrete Society Special Publication CS 109, 1996)
that of non-prestressed reinforcement under identical
colder and wetter parts of Europe this problem is conditions, and presents a higher risk of building
less critical, and a change from thin-walled caisson failure (ref Perl G C and Blades J T, 1993). There is
to unreinforced construction often occurs in any also the same problem as reinforced concrete, due to
case at about mid-tide level, and the problem is the detailing of secondary reinforcement such as
greatly reduced. stirrups and reinforcement to the anchorage zones.
At least half the problem of achieving adequate One of the principal reasons for successful perform-
cover is created by failure to acknowledge the need ance has been the general employment of higher
for adequate steel fixing tolerances. The answer to strength, lower water-cement ratio concrete and
this problem lies in the German codes and the new increased cover and, perhaps, location in temperate
Eurocodes, by considering a minimum characteristic or cool conditions. Prestressed piles have performed
cover to meet durability requirements, to which well in generally submerged and wet conditions in
must be added a tolerance, ∆h, to derive the nominal the lower tidal zone in even hot-arid locations, and
placing cover which is used in the design calcula- prestressed decks have performed well in their usual
tions and the detailing. The resulting compound location above the splash zone where, of course,
tolerances of the concreting process can result, in they are not usually subject to an aggressive
particular, in a wide variation in cover, as illustrated environment, even in the worst hot-arid conditions.
in Fig. 18. The concept of using prestressing to reduce the
Minimum Cover should be regarded as a effect of cracks is not the positive advantage it may
“characteristic” value, and a margin of at least seem, as the pore structure of the cement paste and
10mm and up to 15mm should be added to reduce the state of saturation is more important than the
the rate of failure to achieve the minimum cover to cracks. Concrete strength is usually required by
within 5% of measurements (ref DIN 1045, 1988 Codes to be higher for prestressed work, but this is
and Betonwerk and Fertigteil-Technik (Concrete not the case in all codes. Cover to tendons in
Precasting, Plant and Technology) Issue 51, 1992). maritime work is usually, but not always, required
This approach applies to measurement of cover in to be greater than that for reinforced concrete. Some
place after concreting. Cover should be checked by codes limit the permitted chloride content of mixes
covermeter on trial panels at the commencement of to half that for reinforced concrete, but other codes
work and “as constructed” records of cover should be do not. A useful comparison of codes is given by
prepared for all projects. The size of the tolerance Perl and Blades (ref Perl G C and Blades J T, 1993).
∆h may depend on the class of work, but should be
verified by control procedures. Possible specifica-
tion methods and compliance limits are suggested in 2.4.7 Cement
Table 16. Refer to 2.3.5. and 2.3.6.

Design Dimensions and Acceptance Criteria

1. When inspected in the forms, prior to concreting, the cover to reinforcement shall be the nominal (target) cover
specified within appropriate + and - tolerances, say 5mm, or 10mm.
2. When checked by covermeter after concreting, by a covermeter calibrated by direct measurement, the cover to
reinforcement shall comply with a similar philosophy to that given below.
Design and Detailing Dimensions Acceptance Criteria after Concreting - Measured Cover
Nominal (Target) Cover No more than 5% No Single Reading
of measurements less than* mm
less than* mm
Heavy Civils Work
Tolerance 15mm
100 85 70
80 65 55
60 45 38
Normal In-Situ
Tolerance 10mm
(ref Eurocode 2.
5mm ≤∆h ≤10mm)
60 50 43
50 40 34
40 30 25
Precision Work
Precision work not usually Precision work not usually
Tolerance 5mm applicable to maritime work, applicable to maritime work,
(ref Eurocode 2 except for precast planks except for precast planks
0mm ≤∆h ≤5mm) and submerged concrete. and submerged concrete.
50 45 40
40 35 30
30 25 20
Note that this small tolerance can Note that the standard of control
only be used if the feasibility of (i.e. as measured by the standard
achieving it has been proven by tests deviation ÷ mean) exceeds near-
and that results are verified by laboratory precision
production control.

* This acceptance criteria must be applied to a specific area in m2, or a specific member face of appropriate size. At least 35
measurements should be taken using a covermeter calibrated by direct measurement, and checked by direct measurement.
2.4.8 Aggregates results of locally determined aggregate studies for
the limits to be applied to aggregate properties in the
The quality of the aggregates, themselves, has a prevailing environmental conditions.
lesser impact on the quality of the finished concrete Most national standards set limits for the physi-
than may be supposed, provided that appropriate cal properties of strength and absorption. Where
measures are taken to achieve a dense concrete these do not exist it is often necessary to refer to
matrix with strong cement paste of low permeability. other national standards. Tests and limits particular-
However, the quality of aggregates has a significant ly apply with regard to alkali aggregate reaction and
influence on abrasion, freeze-thaw and salt scaling chloride and sulfate content.
resistance. The properties of shape, texture and absorbency
As a bulk natural resource, it is usually necessary of aggregates affect water-demand, which have a
to make the best use of locally available materials significant effect on durability. There are a number
wherever possible (including, possibly, re-cycled of very informative publications on the properties of
materials) and it may be unrealistic to set quality aggregate and comparisons between various nation-
limits too high except when standards are set by par- al standards (refs Geological Society (UK), Special
ticularly demanding circumstances. For that reason Publication No.9, 1990, Pike D C, 1990, and BRE
it is important to refer to national standards and the publications 243 and 244, 1993)

2.4.9 Cracking and Crack Width 2.4.11 Admixtures
Refer to 2.3.7 and 3.1.7. In some countries (UK in particular) the use of
admixtures was overtly discouraged and some trace
of this antipathy remains in Specifications which put
a barrier on admixtures without express approval.
While there is no doubt that admixtures need to be
2.4.10 Reinforcing Steel “approved”, it is now often the case that admixtures
are essential to provide workability with low water
Provisions for reinforcing steel are covered by
content or cohesion in underwater concrete and
National Standards. Steel used in coastal works is
therefore need “positive” encouragement, not
usually hot rolled high yield deformed.
discouragement. Types of admixtures are covered
Stainless steel may be necessary in some appli- by national standards or guidelines. Due to the
cations, at a premium of some six times the cost of complexities of selecting proprietary products, it is
black steel. However it should be noted that the normal to maintain faith in tried and proven
premium on the overall concrete cost is relatively manufacturers.
small, up to about 16%, say (ref McDonald D R,
Sherman M R, Pfeifer D W and Virmani Y P, 1995).
Suitability for seawater depends on the Chromium/
Nickel proportions. Higher grade stainless steel to 2.4.12 Additional Protective Measures :
BS 6744, Type 316 S 33 has 11-14%Ni and 16.5- Coatings, Coated Reinforcement,
18.5%Cr. The lower grade, Type 304 S 31 has 8- Cathodic Protection
11%Ni and 17-19%Cr. Unified European standards In certain cases additional measures are required
are under preparation and some, including EN to achieve durability. Such measures can include
10088-1, which lists the steel grades, are already coatings to the exterior concrete surface or to the
issued. The standard European terminology is steel reinforcement, or the recently developed appli-
similar to, but not precisely the same as, the DIN cation of cathodic protection to reinforced concrete.
system. The terms 316 and 304 are common to UK, Claims are also made for rust inhibition by adding
USA and Japan. The higher grade to other standards calcium nitrite as an admixture, or for pore blocking
is: France Z6 CND 17.12, Germany 1.4436, Italy admixtures.
X5 CrNiMo 17 13, Sweden 14 23 43. The lower
None of these solutions are as simple as they
grade is: France Z6 CN 18.09, Germany 1.4301,
sound and usually introduce maintenance problems
Italy X5 CrNiMo 18 10, Sweden 14 23 32. On no
of their own : for example, coatings to concrete
account should lower grades of stainless steel (BS
require special preparation of the surface such as
Type 304) be used in chloride bearing water, the use
grit blasting, and require to be maintained; coatings
of at least a hot rolled austenitic BS Type 316 S 33
to reinforcement are susceptible to handling damage;
being necessary. Higher qualities of stainless steel at
cathodic protection systems have limits to life due
a further cost are available, but are produced for
to cathodic and anodic reactions. However, each
marine engine, piping and similar applications.
measure may add a number of years to the service
A CEB document (ref CEB, 1995, Coating life and, usually, the better the initial concrete, the
protection for reinforcement) provides a current better the performance of the additional protective
state-of-the-art report on three coating protection measure.
systems; hot dip galvanising, epoxy coating and
Similar difficulties for the choice of admixture
PVC coating.
apply to specifying and selecting coatings for
Fusion bonded epoxy coated reinforcement is concrete. A UK Concrete Society working group
available to some national standards (ref ASTM aims to issue guidance on this subject in 1997 (ref
A775, 1990), on the principle of isolating the Guide to Surface Treatment, 1997). Some countries
reinforcement from chloride ions. Both successful traditionally paint concrete. Coatings may be
and unsuccessful applications are reported and necessary in some cases to achieve extended
application must depend on the severity of the performance, either to delay the onset of reinforce-
conditions. ment corrosion or protect from chemical attack.
Reinforcement is also available in the form of Carbonation is unlikely to be a problem in marine
steel, polypropylene and other fibres, and is used in structures, and therefore coatings to protect against
both conventional and sprayed concrete applica- carbonation are of little advantage. Coatings are
tions. There are standards for materials in USA (ref usually required to limit the passage of oxygen,
ASTM A820-90, ACI 544R82) and for design and carbon dioxide and liquid water, while enabling a
construction in Japan (ref Japan Society of Engin- certain transmission of water vapour which would
eers Recommendations, 1983). Steel fibres have otherwise reduce adhesion of the coating. In
been used for the reinforcement of armour units and aggressive conditions, only high-build, high quality
durability is claimed to be better than for bar products are dependable. These usually comprise
reinforcement. The use of stainless or “near expensive systems of acrylics, polyurethanes and
stainless” fibres is claimed to be promising. epoxy resins built up to a substantial thickness.

Usually, the concrete surface needs to be prepared reinforced concrete. Materials for sheet and bearing
to a very high standard, using grit blasting, with all piles and similar members met in coastal engineer-
the small air holes formed at the shutter surface ing are covered by National Standards. Advice on
revealed by this process filled with mortar by hand, corrosion rates and anti-corrosion measures is given
because the coating will not be able to bridge the in the British Maritime Structures Code (BS 6349),
holes. These activities are labour intensive and the German Water-front Structures Code, the
expensive. Japanese Technical Standards and by sheet piling
Cathodic protection is very well established in manufacturers. It is usual to either add extra thick-
applications to steel maritime structures and ness for a "corrosion allowance", or to use higher
pipelines. It is now adopted as a repair technique grades of steel with reduced stress levels.
when no other simpler alternative is feasible. It is The corrosion rate is usually greatest in the
less likely to be adopted in new construction, but in splash and low water zones, less in the inter-tidal
such cases it is much easier to design and detail the zone and least in the submerged and buried zone.
electrical continuity of reinforcement for cathodic High corrosion rates can be experienced at lowest
protection than it is in the case of retrofixing to an astronomical tide level, where anaerobic corrosion
existing structure. and reduction by bacterial action can occur.
Some Italian bridges have been designed with There appears to be no merit in the use of spe-
cathodic protection incorporated. It is claimed that cial alloy or copper bearing steels. Coal tar epoxy
the application of a protective current at an earlier and similar protective treatments have provided
stage in operation inhibits the migration of chloride excellent protection to steel during recent decades.
ions, whilst the applied current is much less than However, current legislation for environmental pro-
would be needed in later years to combat corrosion tection and health and safety, as well as commercial
currents made possible by the depassivating conse- pressure to reduce construction time and cost is
quences of chloride ingress (ref Pedeferri P, 1992). leading to the replacement of traditional multi-coat
A significant benefit from the latest electro- metallic and duplex organic systems which do not
chemical techniques can be the building in of meet these requirements. A range of new “compli-
monitoring circuits. A continuous record of ant” coatings has been and is being developed
potentials and/or corrosion currents can then be which include water-borne coatings, high solid coat-
obtained, which can enable problems to be ings and solvent-free coatings. There is inadequate
identified and appropriate maintenance strategies guidance on these new systems which are, as yet,
undertaken. unproven in practice. This may especially be the
case for maritime work. A CIRIA research project
was due to be completed in September 1996 (ref
CIRIA Project 523, 1996). Where appropriate,
cathodic protection can be confidently designed for
2.4.13 Corrosion of Structural Steel submerged areas and protective paint treatments
The performance of structural steel in sea water minimise the amount of protective current required
is much better known and understood than that of in the submerged areas.


3.1 Caissons site than the wave height which occurs during a
short storm once a year. Some pre-information
about the changing weather conditions can be
collected from local weather stations, airports and
3.1.1 Float-Out Loading from weather maps. But for the planning and
Refer to 2.1.7 construction of a vertical breakwater, for which the
work on water is sometimes restricted to very few
float-out dates during the construction period, a
better weather service is needed than that required
3.1.2 First Grounding for the construction of a rubble mound breakwater,
Refer to 2.1.8 where the activity can be changed from day to day
according to the wave height.
There are not many references to the limits for
3.1.3 Caisson Fill Methods and Pressures conditions suitable for sinking caissons, or quantifi-
Refer to 2.1.5 cation of appropriate limits. Spanish experience
suggests that, in the case of caissons of the size used
in vertical breakwaters, the sinking operations
should be restricted to the following conditions:
T1/3 < 7 seconds
3.1.4 Sea Condition Data and Limits for Con-
struction Risks Hmax < 0.7m - tending to decrease.
For each construction stage the designer has to In periods of calm weather, the required cell fill-
specify the waves which can be tolerated, in height, ing operation must also be carefully considered. In
period and direction. If this wave condition is large caissons the cells have a considerable volume.
surpassed by more dangerous waves, the work has to Consequently the filling operation takes a long time,
be interrupted. The design wave for different stages which must be estimated carefully, in order that the
of the construction can be different. Float out can works programme is compatible with the forecast
often be carried out under more severe conditions weather conditions.
than grounding. The rubble on which the caisson
percentage of exceedence

highest wave height Hmax

will be founded has to resist a certain wave action
which normally is more severe than the wave action
which has been foreseen during grounding. On the
other hand, erosion of the rubble base can be
repaired quickly at low cost, and the last levelling
on most sites is, in any case, programmed to be
carried out shortly before float-out.
To enable the designer and the contractor to esti-
mate the wave height for the different construction
stages, they have to be provided with wave forecast
data. This data should not indicate the probability of Fig. 19
the occurence of a certain wave height during the Probability for the exceedence of a certain wave height during
the year (ref Stückrath T, 1982 and Clutterbuck P G, 1977)
year but it should give information about the time
during which a certain wave height is surpassed,
which is shown in Fig. 19. From Fig. 19 it can be
seen which time of the year a certain wave height 3.1.5 Construction Joints
(either given as Hs or as Hmax) is surpassed. In the Frequent construction joints occur in nearly all
example, a wave height of Hs = 1 m is surpassed vertical breakwaters, because (with few exceptions)
during 60% of the year, while a wave height of Hs = they are built in a discontinuous way by the use of
2 m is only surpassed during 23% of the time. Also, prefabricated concrete elements.
an indication of the length of calms, necessary for Where horizontal joints occur as, for instance, in
the float-out processes, has to be given. block type breakwaters, the blocks placed on top of
There will be only a few places in the world each other can be easily linked together by a slot
where enough wave measurements have been made and key system or by wells and dowels, as shown in
in the past to construct Fig. 19. On the other hand, Fig. 20. Another way to achieve a good inter-
the normal wave climate during the construction connection between small elements is to use
period is much more significant to the progress on inclined joints.

Vertical joints, which are unavoidable for all replaced by tremie concrete could be recommended,
vertical breakwaters constructed from larger but experience with the use of these construction
elements, have numerous advantages but they can methods is rare. Surveys of breakwaters (ref
lead to serious difficulties during construction. One Tanimoto, 1983) that describe the displacement of
advantage of a vertical joint is that adjoining caissons after wave attack, lead to the conclusion
elements can undergo different settlement. that most displacements of vertical breakwaters are
Therefore these joints should not be filled with just horizontal slips. Therefore a differential move-
inflexible materials as long as the elements still ment of adjoining elements, caused by wave attack,
undergo differential movement. On the other hand, can be prevented by a shear connection located only
storms arising during the time in which the joints in the bottom slab, as proposed by Lundgren and
are left open can lead to high water velocities in the Juhl, 1995 .
joints and to damage (Agerschou H et al, 1985). Double slot joints between rectangular caissons
Interconnection of adjoining elements is in most as used in Spain are shown in Fig 22 and for the
cases necessary to distribute the local wave load on quay-wall caissons at Dubai Dry Docks in Fig 23.
to more than one element. Therefore joints which
are permanently open are an exception.
A male and female slot and key system which
has often been used, for instance in Brighton Marina
(Agerschou H et al, 1985) or in Helsingborg 1981 is
shown in principle in Fig. 21a. This detail has some Fig. 22 Joints between caissons
disadvantages. Free settlement of two adjoining
elements is restricted because differential tilting of
3.1.6 Settlement
two elements is prevented. Additionally, during the
time of placement of the elements (even, if they are Vertical breakwaters show much greater settle-
ment than most other structures designed and built
by civil engineers. There are mainly three reasons
for the high magnitude of settlement.
a) The sea bed on which the structures are
founded is, with few exceptions, loose and
fine and cannot be precompacted.
b) The rubble mound which is used as a bearing
(a) Slot and key system (b) Wells and dowels layer under the vertical elements and which
Fig. 20 Vertical connections at horizontal joints between has a considerable thickness, especially for
concrete blocks placed on top of each other vertically composite breakwaters, cannot

a b
(a) Slot and key (b) Double slot
Fig. 21 Vertical joints between caissons with a circular
horizontal cross-section.

placed by crane) the sea must be absolutely calm.

Even small wave heights lead to impact stresses in
the slot and key, due to the very large masses that
will try to follow the orbital swell motion. Therefore
a joint with a double female slot which is filled
later, as shown on Fig. 21b, leads to a less
vulnerable construction method. The vertical open
gaps on both sides of the slots are usually sealed
with grout- filled tubes or "bolsters".
The materials that have been used to fill the gap
in the joint in Fig. 21b have been coarse aggregates
(in Helsinki 1981) or bitumen (ref Press H, 1962),
but in most cases nearly inflexible tremie concrete
has been used. The use of modern flexible materials Fig. 23 Typical joint details - Dubai Dry Docks
or a first filling with a soft material which is later (continued on page 36)

easily be precompacted and will therefore be
compressed by the load of the caissons, and
by wave loading.
c) Rubble mounds undergo considerable settle-
ment during construction and time-dependent
"creep" settlement for many years thereafter.
These phenomena are explained below.
d) Sometimes the elements have to be placed on
foundations for which a trench has been
dredged into the sea bed. In soft ground this
may involve the classical sand replacement
method (ref Barberis MC, PIANC, 1935). In
these cases the inflow of soft sea bed mud
after the last cleaning and before the place-
ment of the elements cannot be fully prevent-
ed, and the depth of fill will undergo both
compression and consolidation settlement.
In most cases the vertical load of the elements
on their foundations (weight minus bouyancy) is
increased from zero after first placement to the full
load after filling with sand and after concreting the
cap. The greatest settlements have to be anticipated
during the construction period. Many breakwaters
have shown additional settlements during the first
years of operation because the settlement is not an
elastic movement and because it can be increased by
the shaking by waves. If possible, the last layer of
the concrete cap which is visible to the eye, should
therefore be completed as long as possible after the
major construction period. Settlements can never be
excluded. They are, even if they are high, unavoid-
able characteristics of vertical breakwaters. Visible
differential settlements of adjoining elements should
be minimised as far as possible, and the ugly
appearance these constructions can exhibit (because
of the uneven surfaces), should be overcome by
appropriate detailing features.
Although the size and the extent of the settle-
ments can be measured easily and figures have been
collected for many harbours, not many publications
have been made about settlement, and very little
guidance appears in the CIRIA/CUR Manual on the
use of rock, 1992. The magnitudes of settlements
given in available literature, are as follows:
• "settlements up to 1m are normal" (ref
Lamberti A and Franco L, 1994)
• "settlements of 97cm have been measured
but the influence of earthquake cannot be
excluded" (ref Ching T K, 1994, page 228)
• "Diagrammi dei cedimenti dei cassoni" show
settlements of 1m during the first three
months and maximum settlements of 1.5m
after eight years (ref Ing Mantelli & Co.,
Volti Harbour, Genova, 1994)
• In the Working Group 28 meeting in London
on 26 April 1995, Sub-Group B reported the
following figures for the vertical breakwater
at Gela (Italy): Overall settlement 1m,
Fig. 23 (continued from page 35) differential settlement of two adjoining
Typical joint details - Dubai Dry Docks elements 0.2m.

In fact, considerable information on the time the next increment to equal that which occurred
dependent post construction settlement of rockfill is from year one to year three. Fig. 24 illustrates the
available from dam construction. An immense case of a 20 m high embankment with a typical
amount of investigation has been devoted to this creep coefficient of 0.524. Substituting in Penman’s
subject at the UK Building Research Establishment expression:
(BRE) and by American workers. Penman’s paper H = 20,000 mm
of 1971 (ref Penman ADM, 1971) reviewed the α = 0.524
development of compacted rockfill as a construction
log10 27 = 1·434
material and illustrated its post-construction behav-
iour. Other helpful papers include those by Sowers, log10 l = 0
Williams and Wallace of 1965 and Matheson et al, δ (from year 1 to year 27)
1986 and 1989. A series of papers on the latest state 20,000 x 0.524 (1.434-0)
of the art of rockfill structures was presented in =
Lisbon in 1990 (ref Maranha das Neves E, 1990)
including a paper by Charles which updates Penman = 150 mm.
(ref Charles J A, 1990). A UK Institution of Civil Obviously, the expression can’t deal with Year 0
Engineers paper by Sharp (ref Sharp B N, 1996) (which has no log) but one can estimate from year 0
reviews the available data and gives practical case to year 1 by using decimals of a year (or months).
histories of the settlement of quay walls in ports and The slope of the log plot m equals
rockfill used in quay wall construction. The signifi- αH , which in this case equals 104.8. The settlement
cant factor is that the post-construction settlement of 100
a rockfill embankment is time-dependent, due to the from years 1 to 27 can also be expressed as
crushing of the highly stressed points of contact δ = m(log t2 - t1),
between the individual rocks. The pattern is similar which equals 104.8 x 1.434 = 150 mm, as above.
to the secondary consolidation of clay, in that it Time in years since completion of rockfill
reduces logarithmically with respect to time accord-
ing to Penman’s expression :
δ = Η α (log t2 - log t1)
Settlement mm

where δ = settlement in mm
H = height in mm
α = creep coefficient
t2 & t1 are any two times from the end
of construction for a settlement δ
to occur.
The dimensions of time (months or years) are
immaterial as it is the difference that matters, and *Settlement from year 0 to year 1
approximately 100 mm to 150 mm.
the base of the logs is immaterial. The coefficient α,
can vary between 0.2 and 1, and is often about 0.5. Fig. 24 Logarithmic decline of rockfill settlement
The rate of settlement of a 15 m high marine (ref Sharp B N, 1996)
embankment could typically be 25 mm per month or
more at the end of construction and 5 mm per month 3.1.7 Early Thermal Cracking
one year after completion of construction. Control of the temperature of concrete at the
Thereafter, the rate of settlement reduces slowly placing stage and during hydration is virtually
according to the logarithmic law, which means that essential for the construction of massive concrete
significant settlement can continue for 20 years. The sections. Thermal contraction from the heat generat-
long term settlement due to this cause is unlikely to ed by hydrating cement results in severe cracking
be very large, in comparison with the settlement of wherever the geometry of the section or the
clay and seabed mud, but could be of the order of sequence of adjacent pours during construction
100 to 200 mm over many years. Although this imposes a restraint to free contraction.
amount is unlikely to lead to “failure” of a vertical The subject was dealt with in the 1930’s in the
breakwater, it may prove unsightly and lead to USA for low cement content mixes in massive
unnecessary worry and incorrect diagnosis of the dams, but ACI code recommendations do not extend
cause of continuing settlement. Usually this to convenient crack calculation methods for rein-
settlement is made up by additional fill. forcement design. Detailed recommendations,
The logarithmic decline in settlement rate is which are simple to apply, are given in UK publica-
illustrated in Fig. 24. It will take nine years since tions (ref CIRIA 91, 1990, BS 8007, 1987, Depart-
completion of fill to double the amount of settle- ment of Transport BA 24/87 and BD 28/87, 1987)
ment that occurred from year one to year three since and the phenomena is the focus of interest in Japan
completion of the fill. It will take until year 27 for for the design of caissons, etc.

A major step forward is now possible due to the
development of computer software which models
the transfer of heat and moisture in concrete. The
effect of different mixes and sequences of construct-
ion can thereby be compared and the propensity for
cracking, stresses etc, determined (ref CEB Design
Guide, 1992, Appendix A).
Appropriate measures to control the heat of
hydration include:
• the use of the largest appropriate size of
aggregate and water reducing admixtures in
Fig. 25 Internal restraint to early thermal cracking
order to reduce the cement content demanded (ref Concrete Society Digest No 2, 1984)
by low water-cement ratios
• the use of low heat cements, usually involv-
ing blending with pozzolans or slag
• cooling by the cooling of materials, addition
of flaked ice, the injection of liquid nitrogen
to negate the heat rise, or by cast-in in
cooling water pipes
• thermal curing and insulation to minimise
heat differences and gradients.
Early thermal stresses may occur in the con-
struction of caissons due to the following reasons:
• restraint of adjacent pours
• infilling of cells with mass concrete.
Specifications frequently exacerbate thermal
effects by demanding unnecessary intervals between
adjacent pours whereas, to minimise early thermal
loading, the maximum freedom from restraint
would result from continuous casting, such as
occurs in slipforming. The old "alternate bay"
method, with continuous reinforcement, causes the
maximum restraint and is the least favourable.
The calculation of thermal crack widths and
crack control reinforcement by conventional means
are covered in references CIRIA 91, BS 8007 etc.
As the cement content has a significant effect on
the heat evolution during hydration and therefore the
temperature differences applied in the calculations,
the temperature effects due to the likely maximum
cement content should be used, and very careful
monitoring of the actual cement content be made in
relation to the calculated reinforcement. The designer
must bear in mind that the strength and cement
content of the mix in practice may be considerably
higher than a “minimum” requirement of a general
specification. Ready-mix suppliers may be obliged
to overshoot cement contents in order to comply
with strength specifications and QA requirements,
and this is often a factor which exacerbates early
thermal cracking.
The type of cracking caused by the two types of
restraint is illustrated in Figs. 25 and 26. "Internal"
restraint concerns the change in temperature across
a thick section, such as a block, whereas "External"
restraint concerns adjacent pours. Thermal cracks
recorded in caissons in Japan are illustrated in Fig. Fig. 26 External restraint for various slab or wall pour sequences
(ref CIRIA 91, 1992)
27. It is necessary to design the reinforcement to

spacing criteria, the reinforcement percentage is, in
effect, inversely proportioned to bar size, and is easy
to calculate. The result is not, of course, a rigorously
exact figure, but a likely approximation.

3.1.8 Slipforming
Vertical slipforming lends itself to the casting of
caissons, silos, walls and towers. Because the plastic
concrete is placed in the forms which act as moving
dies to shape the concrete by an “extrusion”
process, the concrete is joint-free and is cast and
hardens free of restraint from adjacent pours so that
early thermal effects are minimised.
Explanations and guidelines for the formwork
itself are given in ACI 347R, 1988 - Formwork.
Tolerances are recommended in ACI 117 1990. The
Cracks at side walls forms are constructed with a slight taper such that
Fig. 27 Thermal cracking in caissons in Japan
the width between the forms is greater at the bottom
than the top. The true wall thickness is measured at
the elevation where hardened concrete is maintained
replace the formation of a few wide cracks by a in the form. The allowable ACI tolerance for cross-
number of finer, controlled cracks. Bands of addi- sectional dimensions is 20mm.
tional reinforcement may need to be calculated for
the base of a restrained pour. Slipforming of caissons has been described in
several references (Cochrane G H, Chetwin D J L,
Methods for calculating reinforcement related to and Hogbin W, 1979, Philip Holzmann literature
crack width are given in ACI 207.2R and the for Port of Damman, 1978). The slipforming of the
Japanese Society of Civil Engineers Standard tapered cylindrical legs of the Condeep platforms is
Specification for Design and Construction of described by Moksnes J, 1975 and Condeep promo-
Concrete Structures. These methods are based on tional literature. The slipforming of the Ekofisk arti-
providing reinforcement to resist early thermal ficial island in the North Sea is described by Marion
tensile stresses in excess of the early-age tensile H and Mahfouz G, 1974. A technical discussion on
strength of the concrete. However, the UK method slipforming (ref Fort G B and Davis P D, 1981)
(BS 8007, CIRIA 91 etc), appears to be more con- reports the procedures for casting the central plat-
venient, using the expression : form of the Ninian oil field, both in dry dock and
ρ = ct ∅ R α (Τ1 + Τ2) afloat, together with other advice and information
fb 2wmax on mixes etc. A recent review was given by Jones
where ρ = percentage of steel area M N and Horne R D, 1996. The method is less
successful in dealing with discontinuities, such as
fct = concrete strength in tension windows or slots in the walls. Otherwise dimensional
fb = average steel/concrete bond strength variation should be small and the accuracy in
f placing reinforcement has been found to be relatively
(In fact ct is usually given direct as good, due to the location of vertical steel by guides
fb a quotient) within the forms.
∅ = bar diameter in mm
The curing of massive vertical slipformed
wmax= maximum crack width in mm surfaces presents logistical difficulties as recognised
R = Restraint factor in ACI 308:1981 (Revised 1986) “....structures
α = coefficient of thermal expansion of erected using vertical slipforming methods should
concrete be cured in accordance with the procedures used in
curing other vertical surfaces recognising the
T1 = difference between centre line peak
particular problem of slipform construction”. The
temperature and mean ambient temp-
immediately slipformed surface is, clearly, unprotect-
ed by formwork in its early hours and is more
T2 = maximum temperature difference sensitive to the application of curing activity and, as
between adjoining sections. in the case of horizontally slipformed pavements,
The amount of reinforcement depends upon the there may be little alternative to the early
joint spacing (i.e. wide or close joint spacing) or for application of curing membranes. For subsequent
continuous (jointless) construction. For each joint application of curing activities see 2.3.8 and 3.1.9.

3.1.9 Curing 3.1.10 Developments in Caissons
As noted in 2.3.8, the purpose of and need for Recent designs for composite caissons in Japan
wet curing is now questioned. The wet curing of include a caisson with a superstructure broken up
massive vertical surfaces such as occur in caissons into wave breaking shapes and infilled with armour
introduces severe logistical problems in fixing units. The arrangement of this is shown in Fig 28
curing materials, securing them against wind and and the stress plot in Fig 29. In the analytical model
weather, and the supply and drainage of water. there are 3482 No. elements and 10,070 No. nodes.
The need for wet curing of those parts of a New developments in prestressed concrete double
structure which are subsequently to remain totally wall cylindrical breakwaters, designed by limit state
immersed may be particularly questionable. methods, are described in the 1995 FIP Notes by
However, wet curing cannot be disregarded for Kiyomia O and Yamada M. See Fig 30.
those parts of a reinforced concrete caisson structure
which are manufactured in and/or going to be
exposed to severely aggressive conditions in a hot
arid environment or which are going to be subject to
abrasion or frost damage. All of these circumstances
require a refined pore structure as influenced by wet
curing amongst other factors.
Indiscriminate wet curing with cold water,
and/or the removal of formwork can lead to shock
due to temperature or moisture gradients. For
formed surfaces, it is generally advisable to leave
the forms in place as long as practically possible.
The use of higher strength (i..e. low water-cement
ratio) concrete which is less susceptible to curing
duration is recommended, as explained in 2.3.8. Fig. 28a Perspective of a composite caisson, with armour unit
There appears to be advantage in the recently devel-
oped permeable formwork liners, for the controlled
removal of or supply of water to the surface. If such
liners are left in place after removal of formwork,
they provide a protective covering. Vacuum de-
watering, to reduce the water-cement ratio of the
surface concrete, has been utilised since the thirties,
but is more appropriate to horizontal surfaces.
The procedures for and timing of immersing
caissons in sea water require consideration.
Provided the concrete surface is saturated and of a
concrete strength which can be cured in a short
duration, there is likely to be no disadvantage and
even positive advantage of early immersion The
“Condeep” oil rig platforms for the North Sea and Fig. 28b Cross section
the Ekofisk central reservoir were slipformed when
afloat (ref Marian H and Mahfouz G, 1974, and
Moksnes J, 1975 and Condeep promotional
literature). There is very great risk of disastrous
absorption of salts into concrete which has been left
to thoroughly dry at the surface in an arid climate
and then suffer unbalanced periods of immersion
with long drying cycles. (ref Hansen T C, 1980).
A matrix of requirements must be considered
when deciding the plus and minus factors for
curing, including the appropriate surface pore
structure in relation to abrasion or frost resistance or
protection of reinforcement, environmental con-
ditions during and after construction, whether
further surface treatments are to be applied (in
which circumstances curing membranes would be
inappropriate) etc.

Fig. 29 Stress analysis of caisson in Fig. 27

Fig. 30 Recent Japanese double cylindrical wall-type breakwater in

prestressed concrete.
(ref Kiyomiya O and Yamada M, 1995)

3.2 Blocks (ii) Built up of smaller blocks, of the order up to
60 tonne, as shown in Fig. 33, or less as
3.2.1 Blocks from Concrete shown in Fig. 34.
Blockwork is inherently robust and durable, and (iii) Forms of blockwork construction which
was, historically, used for vertical breakwaters in incorporate large voids or discontinuities in
the UK, France and Spain. The older forms, some- the sea-face, to absorb wave energy.
times using smaller blocks, often laid to a sloping (iv) Composite walls of blockwork on a sub-
batter, are no longer used. Vertical blockwork merged rubble mound.
breakwaters in the Mediterranean were less success-
ful and a list of famous failures includes the
Mustapha Jetty at Algiers, and at Catania and 3.2.3 Common Problems
Genoa. Guidelines for blockwork breakwaters are
given in the UK Maritime Code BS 6349 : Part 7, A number of common “problems” are met in the
1991 which refers also to BS 6349 : Part 2, 1988 for manufacture and placing of blocks.
blockwork quay walls, and examples are given in 1. Planarity of horizontal surfaces
the Japanese Technical Standards for port and har- It is not as simple as it may seem to achieve
bour facilities and the Spanish Diques de abrigo en horizontal faces to blocks. Lack of planarity
España (Breakwaters in Spain), 1988. may result from the hand screeding of the
Blockwork quay walls are normally dry jointed. open top face of a block, or from the tendency
BS 6349 : Part 7, 1991 recommends that, where set- of block edges to curl. It must also be noted
tlement is not significant, joints should be sealed that, to maintain verticality of a wall, it can
and grouted to minimise air and water pressure be necessary to shim between blocks. Such
effects under wave action. However this advice lack of planarity can result in cracking of
appears impractial and not applicable to separate some courses of blocks.
block construction. Sealing would only be effective This problem has been overcome, in the case
if it is achieved by infill pours of in-situ concrete, as of solid blocks, by casting the blocks on their
described below. sides, such that the seating faces are formed
A significant difference between blocks in vertically between the forms. This cannot be
breakwaters as opposed to quay walls must lie in the done in the case of hollow blocks, more
significance of cracks. In dry bonded quaywall usually used for quay walls.
construction, some cracks are likely to occur during 2. Loss of friction on seating faces
placing and preloading blocks in position. As the It is dangerous to use felt or building paper
quaywall remains in compression due to earth to form the base of a pour. If this material
retaining loads, a limited and random incidence of sticks to the block and is not removed, it can
cracking is insignificant. In the case of unreinforced cause serious loss of friction. It is preferable
armour units and breakwater blocks, such cracking to use proprietary "surfectant" (soap-type) of
reduces the mass of individual elements and may shutter release products and not to use shutter
require further consideration. oils or unsuitable oil products, to reduce the
risk of loss of friction and damage to
3.2.2 Types of Concrete Blocks concrete faces.
Modern blockwork breakwater walls can be Another solution is to cast the blocks on a
classified into four main types:- steel base plate which has been treated with a
(i) With massive blocks of cyclopean dimen- formwork release liquid which is soluble in
sions of mass up to 400 or 500 tonne. (See water, which dissappears instantly on contact
Fig. 31). with air.
The block length is equal to the structure 3. Cracking of blocks during manufacture,
width. The blocks are usually stacked to handling and placing
form separate vertical columns which per- Cracking during manufacture should be
mits independent settlement of each column. avoided by due attention to the early thermal
When significant settlement is not expected, design of the blocks, formwork and protect-
the blocks can be bonded (staggered) along ion during curing.
the length of the wall. Cracking during handling should be avoided
Connections between blocks are by mortises by appropriate lifting and handling methods,
in the horizontal direction as shown in Fig. and avoidance of premature lifting. It may be
31, and in the vertical direction sometimes by necessary to add handling reinforcement to
wells, which are infilled with tremie concrete, the walls of hollow blocks, although this
and can be armoured by steel dowels. See should be avoided if possible.
Fig. 20(b). The wells can have a dual Cracking during placing and particularly
function as the holes for lifting tongs. (See during any preloading may occur as a result
Fig. 32). of 1. above.

Cracking can be triggered by changes of
section at mortice joints, and by the holes Minimum
formed for interconnection wells and lifting 1.51m50
Min m

purposes. It is recommended that holes are

not made for lifting purposes. It is preferable
to use steel lifting points, even though this
may necessitate an increased number of lift-
ing points and a special lifting device which
balances the lifting load between the extra
lifting points. Corrosion of such exposed lift-
ing points will be insignificant under water,
or to otherwise unreinforced concrete. Fig .32 Lifting tongs recess and vertical well connection
4. Quay wall blocks are usually bedded down
by stacking blocks on the completed ment, or to bed the blocks onto the rubble
columns, either to form a preload surcharge bed (i.e. a pressing down or "paper-weight"
to accelerate and therefore "take-up" settle- effect) This measure is unlikely to be
suitable for breakwater blocks,
Seaward Side Harbour Side and it may be necessary to con-
Concrete Crown struct the in-situ concrete crown
H.W.L. early, in order to achieve this
"paper-weight" effect. Early
execution will of course lose the
Concrete Block benefits to be gained by later
Foot Protection Concrete Block execution, as recommended in
Foot Protection Concrete Block
Armour Stone
3.1.6, which may minimise
Armour Store unsightly movement and crack-
ing. The joints in the crown
Rubble block can be formed on the
slant, to permit uneven
Fig .31 Concrete block breakwater - large blocks settlement. Joint spacing in the
(ref Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities in Japan) crown block can be of the order
of 10 or 12m. The joints are
usually sealed with bituminous

Fig .33
Bonded blockwork - Spain

Marina "Los Gigantes", 1973.

Concrete blocks up to 15 Tonne.
(ref Diques de abrigo en España, 1958)

Fig .34
Breakwater Eng. Castor - Port of Algeciras, 1935
(ref Diques de abrigo en España, 1958)

3.3 Rubble Mounds or prestressed precast concrete. There are two
sub-divisions of this type, namely single curtain
For construction aspects of any rubble mound wall and double curtain wall as illustrated in Fig. 35.
element of vertical breakwaters refer to the refer- Practical examples of the various types are shown in
ences of 2.4.1 and 3.1.6. Fig 36. In the double type of curtain wall, slits or
openings, are provided at the front curtain walls. The
3.4 Curtain and Pile Type wave energy is dissipated between the two curtain
Curtain and pile type breakwaters are effective walls and reflection wave height is attenuated.
in locations where However, consideration must be given to the risk of
scour of the sea bed and the provision of protection
(1) the water depth is shallow and wave height rock. When steel piles are adopted, corrosion
is small protection is necessary. The exposure conditions for
(2) the sea bed is soft (mud). concrete elements and their fixings are likely to be
This type of breakwater usually consists of both very severe. Cover to reinforcement in such
piles and curtain walls, but sometimes the break- elements must be adequate to suit the exposure
water is constructed with piles alone. Piles are conditions and the materials as recommended in this
usually of steel tube and curtain walls are reinforced Report.

(a) Single curtain breakwater (b) Double curtain breakwater

Fig. 35. Types of Curtain and Pile Breakwaters (ref Technical Standards for Port and Harbour Facilities in Japan)

upper concrete

(a) At Osaka Port (b) At Kelhin Port

Fig. 36
Japanese examples of Curtain
and Pile Breakwaters

(c) At Hakata Port

The topics examined by Sub-Group C comprised 4.1.2 Ice Pressure
a wide range of subjects related to design, construc- Load from ice pressure on a vertical breakwater
tion and performance. They were mostly chosen to seldom exceeds the wave load. The effective pres-
fill in the gaps of the considerations of the other sure from ice loading decreases with structure size
sub-groups, whose tasks were to concentrate on and there are, at present, no conclusive formulae
loading and reliability criteria for stability under which can be applied to large works. Therefore, in
wave impact. The information presented is drawn those countries where ice loading is a consideration,
from experience and practice worldwide and atten- ice pressures are derived from local experience and
tion is drawn to facts and references which may not judgement. Some details are given in Section 2.1.2.
be obvious or available in any single comparable
document. This being the case, it is neither possible
nor meaningful to abridge the considerations. This
Summary, therefore, mainly provides a key to the
data and tables given in the text, together with sum- 4.1.3 Deleted
marised abstracts and recommendations where
The topics were examined under two overlap-
ping headings:
4.1.4 Earth Pressures for Structural Design
(i) Design Criteria and Materials Earth pressure is relevant to vertical breakwaters
• different forms of loading other than with rubble or fill placed against them, and to the
wave loading, i.e. earthquake, ice, soil load from retained materials within caissons.
etc. Traditional “working stress” codes recommend
• structural analysis and limit states for “active” or “at-rest” pressure coefficients to be
element design applied to the dry or submerged soil mass, appropri-
ate to different forms of construction. Different
• durability and maintenance, particularly approaches are taken in different countries. Due to
of concrete structures
the problems of reconciling limit state methods for
• materials. soil mechanics analysis with structural analysis
(ii) Construction Related Criteria and Methods (because the fundamental relationship between load
relating specifically to:- and movement for soils differs from that for struc-
tural materials) there is a lack of agreement in the
• caissons formulation of limit state codes. Therefore, tradi-
• blocks tional methods still remain as an option in most
• rubble mounds codes.
• pile and curtain type. New structural analysis codes and geotechnical
The text is accompanied by an exhaustive refer- codes now adopt limit state philosophy. Structural
ence list. analysis to limit state codes requires the application
of partial factors for loading cases and materials for
the calculation of the ultimate and the serviceability
limit state conditions. However the application of
limit states and/or partial factors to earth pressure
4.1 Different Loadings not covered by and variable water loading is not as straightforward
Sub-Group A as for buildings and bridges. The selection of partial
factors to match with the reliability and probability
of water and wave loading is the task of Sub-Groups
A and D. The subject is also discussed in 4.2.
4.1.1 Earthqnake There are two distinctive methods of applying
Although advances in computer techniques limit state methods and partial factors to the struc-
enable dynamic response to be analysed by finite tural design of earth retaining structures. One
element methods, the simple equivalent static load method derives directly from structural design: the
method is generally acceptable for breakwater struc- partial factors from Eurocode 2 and similar national
tures. In many countries, and for the obvious exam- codes are applied to the characteristic or serviceabil-
ple of Japan, the horizontal earthquake load is still ity limit state loading. The other method derives
calculated by multiplying the vertical dead load and from geotechnical stability analysis: a partial factor
surcharge by a seismic coefficient determined from (or, in the case or BS 8002, a “mobilisation” factor)
a number of factors, as set out in Tables 1 to 3. is applied to a parameter, such as tan ∅´.

However, the new geotechnical codes tend to 4.1.7 Handling and Float-Out Loads
concentrate on equilibrium and stability, and do not Loads, which can arise during construction,
give adequate clarification of the loads to apply to although transient, can be significant and must be
the structural design of members or to water loading. considered carefully. From the viewpoint of ultimate
In maritime structures, the hydrostatic pressure limit state design, a partial factor of γF = 1.1 is sug-
component greatly overshadows the load from gested. The forces arising from towing can be taken
submerged earth and there seems to be no point in from Japanese standards, as illustrated in Fig. 9.
over-refinement of earth pressure loading unless
clearer consideration is given to water loading
which is also, of course, associated with variable
water loading due to waves. A comparison of seven
various national applications of partial factor 4.1.8 First Grounding
methods for the calculation of structural members is Severe loading cases can arise when a lowered
given in 2.1.4, and is illustrated by an example, caisson first makes contact with the prepared
compared visually in Fig. 6. The example demon- foundation. In most cases the caissons will never
strates the range of results for calculation of the load again undergo a comparable distribution of load.
on one side of a member in 20 m depth of fill of These dynamic loads can not be predicted precisely,
some 1.5 to 1. (Note that in practice, there will also but the designer can influence and reduce the risk of
be water loading on the other side, except in the indeterminate load imposition by various means,
case of a lock or dry dock, when the water loading including downstand legs which predetermine the
is critical). location of first grounding.
The range of factors lies between the application
of the partial factors in the structural codes (i.e. 1.4
or 1.35 on dead load and 1.6 or 1.5 on live load) to
the unfactored soil properties, and the less conserva- 4.2 Resistance Analysis, Internal Analysis
tive loading from new USA, Japanese and older
Scandinavian codes and BS 8002 and the draft Structural analysis of caissons can be carried out
Eurocode 7, depending upon interpretation (where by the traditional approach, in which the structure is
the factor is of the order of 1.2). It must be noted split into sets of beams and slabs, guidance on
that BS 8002 is understood not to relate to maritime which is amply given in national codes. Computer
structures, and the formulation of an interpretation methods are likely to be used for two-dimensional
of Eurocode 7 remains a matter of controversy. frame analysis. For detailed final design it is more
likely that full three dimensional model analysis
will be used, using finite element analysis.
In implementing finite element models, the main
problem may be the modelling of soil behaviour, i.e.
4.1.5 Fill Pressures within Caissons the definition of stress-strain relationship. The sim-
plest approach assumes a linear unconnected spring
The loading within caissons is generally derived
relationship, as per Winkler. This simplistic
from silo theory. Field verification of this approach
assumption disregards the inter-connection of the
is illustrated in Fig. 7. An example of how fill
soil elements, and these can either be modelled as
pressures calculated to various national standards
well or the simpler method used with sensitivity
compares with the “at-rest” unconfined pressure is
tests on the soil elasticity parameters. It is suggested
illustrated in Fig. 8. The silo pressure of submerged
that as a complex soil model is critically dependent
sand is seen to range from 30% to 60% of the
on soil testing and interpretation, as well as its com-
unconfined “at-rest” pressure.
parison with the stiffness of the structure, it is sensi-
ble to test the design against local reductions of
ground support.
It is emphasised that caution must be exercised
in making the transition from traditional working
4.1.6 Friction stress design methods to limit state methods which
There is a surprising divergence in the various are now general, worldwide. It is not simply a case
national codes between the figures used in design of adapting partial factors from one national code to
for friction and for a factor of safety against sliding. another, because the underlying principles of rein-
The coefficient of friction, compared in Table 4, forced concrete design may be different. The recom-
varies between 0.5 and 1.0 (for different cases) and mended partial factors in most national codes were
the factor of safety between 1.0 to 1.75. In the latest derived for land-based building and bridges and
geotechnical approach to limit state codes, factors of relate to broad probabilities of failure drawn from
safety against sliding or overturning have been historical precedent. These factors are not necessari-
overtaken by the assessment of equilibrium at ly applicable to maritime structures in which the
modified soil strength parameters. main loading cases are caused by environmental

loads which have to be derived from a probabilistic 4.3.2 Design Working Life (or Service Life)
approach. Similar problems relate to earth pressure “Design working life” is the term and definition
loading and there is dispute over whether partial from Eurocode 1, and has three main implications
factors are appropriate to limit state considerations for maritime structures:
for soils, as explained in 2.1.4. Also, it is not neces-
sarily obvious whether loads are to be classified as • probability levels for wave return periods
favourable or unfavourable. • probability levels for limit state design
The points raised in 2.1.4 and 2.2.3 are intended, • time-dependent factors such as corrosion and
also, to provide input to and guidance from the work durability.
of Sub-Groups A and D on the appropriate assess- A period of operating or service life (related to
ment of reliability for wave loading cases. operational and maintenance strategy) has to be
considered by the owner of a structure and the
means of achieving this be addressed by the designer.
The definitions of service life, design life and eco-
4.3 Durability of Concrete nomic life require careful consideration, as there are
many different definitions in use. The main
categories of definition are compared in Table 7.
4.3.1 General Principles For maritime structures, subject to the probability
The performance of concrete in seawater is a and return periods of environmental loading, the
subject for which knowledge and guidance remains following definition is recommended in which the
fragmented and ill-understood, despite the existence definition of Eurocode 1 is supplemented by the
of practical reports on the experience of Portland rider expressed in italics: “The assumed period for
cement concrete in the sea since 1850 and which a structure is to be used for its intended
reinforced concrete from 1896. The subject is purpose with anticipated maintenance but without
surrounded by myths and lack of understanding. major repair being necessary within a probability
The main reasons for this are that climatic and appropriate to the function of the structure”.
exposure conditions vary widely, different materials Figures for design working lives specific to
have been used in various countries, and that the maritime structures within the classification of
properties of cement have changed during the Eurocode 1 are given in Table 8, drawn from the
century. A basic reason is, also, that deterioration Spanish maritime recommendations.
can take a sufficiently long time such that it can be
difficult to connect cause with effect. The mecha- It must be noted that a different level of reliability
nisms for the deterioration of concrete structures may be adopted for different limit states and causes
have not been adequately understood. It is believed or modes of failure. Also that, despite the increasing
that recent work is beginning to resolve the use of the concept of “service” life in respect of
situation, but that a consensus view of appropriate structural safety and durability, current codes do not
guidance for practitioners will not be available for at give adequate guidance for analysis to achieve such
least ten years. lives. It is recommended that explicit analysis for a
“design life” to satisfy the “design working life” is
For this reason, the subject of concrete durability required for ensuring the durability of maritime
is the largest single clement of the Report. It is dis- structures, and should be adopted in preference to
cussed in more detail than other items, and contains the current “prescriptive” guidance.
more reference to data which is either not generally
available or collated in a single document.
Whereas most forms of concrete deterioration 4.3.3 Processes of Deterioration
are now adequately covered by national codes, this The various deterioration mechanisms which
is not the case in relation to the most dramatic affect the durability of concrete maritime structures,
failure mechanism, that is reinforcement corrosion. the locations in which they are likely to occur, and
This can impose severe limitations in relation to the methods of avoidance are scheduled in Table 9. The
design of complex thin-walled structures such as most widespread and critical problem is that of
caissons or light superstructures and, in some cases chloride-induced corrosion of steel reinforcement,
there may be little purpose in refinement of wave and the sections which follow concentrate on this
loading analysis if durability presents a significant phenomenon. Adequate guidance on other forms of
risk, albeit of a different nature. Durability is not in deterioration is usually given in national standards,
itself a limit state but a means by which the principal as scheduled in Table 10.
limit states are maintained over the operational life.
The dominant factors involved in the durability
Current codes of practice deal with durability in a
of concrete, and particularly with regard to chloride
prescriptive manner, and do not provide a rational
induced corrosion are:
basis for design of concrete to meet a service life.
Durability is not a matter of materials and choice of • recognition of the porous nature of concrete
materials, but a question of a holistic approach to • understanding the transport mechanisms for
design. water and gases within the pore structure

• assessing the macro and micro-climatic thicknesses of cover to be used. Their toler-
exposure conditions for the whole structure ance to surface scaling and poor curing is,
and its individual elements. however, less than for unblended Portland
• other blending materials, such as fly ash and
4.3.4 Exposure classification microsilica, have their benefits and limita-
The most important macro-climatic factors are tions
temperature and rainfall. Temperature controls the • sulfate resistant Portland cements (i.e. with
rate of chemical reactions and the degree of drying C3A less than 5%) are unlikely to be neces-
out of the cover concrete. Rainfall, humidity and the sary in maritime concrete. A compromise
location of a member in relation to sea level move- solution is often reached by controlling the
ment control the wetness of concrete. The wetness C3A to between 5% and 10% for moderate
of the concrete determines the mechanism for the sulfate resistance. In conditions where
penetration of chlorides and controls the penetration reinforcement corrosion is not critical and,
of oxygen to fuel the corrosion process. especially in colder waters, the long term
Contrary to the case of structural steel, timber effects of sulfates may lead to a need for low
and masonry, plain concrete and for freeze-thaw C3A Portland or slag cement.
damage, reinforcement corrosion is less severe in
the regularly wetted tidal and splash zones. In cool
and temperate climates, the concrete does not dry
out to appreciable depth. However in the infrequently
wetted and mostly dry zone above the tidal zone but 4.3.6 Influence of cement content
subject to irregular inundation from seasonal
changes in sea level, storms etc., concrete dries out As is well known, the quality of a concrete mix
to greater depths. Especially in hot-arid areas such in relation to both strength and durability (as related
as the Middle-East, and also where elements are to the pore structure) is controlled primarily by the
sheltered from rain or in artificial climates such as water-cement ratio and the unit water content. The
in tunnels, the sporadic wetting of the dried-out water-cement ratio is therefore more important as a
concrete enables chloride-laden water to be very parameter to be specified than is cement content.
rapidly sucked in to greater depth by absorption. The cement content is established, mainly, by divid-
The processes of absorption, capillary suction and ing the water demand for a given mix by the water-
wick-action lead to much more rapid chloride cement ratio.
ingress than the diffusion process which operates in As it is desirable to use the lowest possible
saturated concrete. In a wet climate the chloride water-cement ratio to achieve durability, (generally
concentration at depth is reduced and the penetra- the requirement for durability may be more onerous
tion of oxygen is limited. than for strength) and to reduce water movement
The proposed new Eurocode exposure classifica- and shrinkage effects, the cement content is con-
tion system is explained and new suggestions for trolled by the water content required to achieve
severity ratings for concrete expressed on a scale of appropriate workability.
1 to 12 are set out in Table 11 and Fig. 13. Both water and, it follows, cement content can
be reduced by the judicious use of a range of water
reducing admixtures which still enable adequate
4.3.5 Influence of Cement Type workability to be achieved at lower water content
while at the same time reducing the heat of hydra-
The weakness of much prescriptive advice in tion consequences at higher cement content. Both
current codes is that guidance on mixes and - water demand and cement content depend on the
associated cover thickness to reinforcement is given type of cement and on aggregate size and grading.
independently of cement type. The behaviour of the The effects of varying aggregate size from l0mm to
various types of cement is compared and it is 80mm are scheduled in Table 12.
concluded that:
• modern unblended Portland cement generally
has the lowest resistance for chloride pene-
tration and, where severe chloride exposure
conditions exist, even in temperate climates,
traditional thickness of cover may be inap- 4.3.7 The Influence of Cracking
plicable. There are exceptions in some The causes and consequences of cracking have
national products and conditions often been misunderstood. Early thermal cracking
• blast furnace cements are highly recom- caused by restraint to shrinkage during cooling from
mended and have been traditionally used in the rise in temperature due to heat of hydration is a
some countries (originally on account of sul- main cause of cracking which was previously, and
fate resistance) and enable more traditional erroneously, attributed to drying shrinkage.

Cracking caused in the plastic state can be pre- 4.4 Materials
vented by good mix design, protection against drying
winds and by good curing under arid conditions.
Most structural codes have crack width limita-
tions, for flexural and early thermal cracking but the 4.4.1 Rock and Rubble
significance of these specific crack widths has been Reference is made to the CIRIA/CUR manual on
over-estimated. Once crack width exceeds 0.1mm the use of rock in coastal and shoreline structures,
there is no significance in relation to the ingress of 1992.
deleterious substances. Therefore it is recommended
that the cover to reinforcement should not be
reduced for crack width reasons, despite the 4.4.2 Filling and Backfilling
increase in crack width at the surface. The reason Current requirements are outlined in 2.4.2,
for this is that, for flexural cracks, the crack width at including the recommendation that measures may be
the reinforcement is independent of surface crack necessary to increase the density of infill material.
width, as the cracks are ‘V’ shaped, and the chloride
and oxygen ions penetrate everywhere through the
pores, and not just at cracks. 4.4.3 Concrete - General. - Design, Detailing
Cracks do not significantly affect freeze-thaw and Workmanship
damage as the scaling caused by freeze-thaw is, The requirements for achieving durability of
again, due to the effect of frost on water-filled concrete in maritime works will usually outweigh
pores. Cracking may, of course, be more significant the requirements for achieving strength and note
in the case of unreinforced concrete if it reduces the must be taken of the factors outlined above. Many
mass of armour units or blocks. problems can be “designed out” by good detailing
and specification. Reliability of both design and
workmanship can be improved and “gross errors”
avoided by employing the discipline of Quality
4.3.8 Influence of Curing Assurance and Quality Control audit procedures for
both design and workmanship.
It appears that prolonged water curing in wet
and temperate climates may be of limited advantage
and may even lead to adverse effects such as
4.4.4 Unreinforced Concrete
thermal shock. It may be essential in hot and arid
climates. The factors affecting unreinforced concrete
(more usually termed “mass concrete” in Europe
As the duration of curing is inversely propor-
and UK) primarily concern deterioration of the
tional to water-cement ratio, adoption of a low
exposed surface and include freeze-thaw, abrasion,
water-cement ratio enables the curing period to be
and sulfate attack. These forms of deterioration have
similar and overlapping effects, and are described in
more detail in 2.4.4. Early-thermal design is impor-
tant for crack avoidance.
Table 14 sets out suggestions for the choice of
4.3.9 Monitoring and Maintenance water-cement ratio, and hence minimum cement-
Inadequate guidance on this strategic topic is itious contents and grades, for various cement types
available in the literature and national codes, but it and blends and minimum dimensions of pour, for
appears that it is, at last, receiving more attention. the range of exposure ratings on a scale of 1-12
Regular inspections should be carried out at least suggested in Table 11 and Fig. 13.
once per year, most likely following the winter
storm period. The principal objects of the survey are
to determine: 4.4.5 Reinforced Concrete, including the
Selection of Cover to Reinforcement
• the integrity of armour units and elements of
the structure The durability of reinforced concrete requires
consideration of the same factors which affect
• indication of movement and settlement
unreinforced concrete, together with the major
• scour. phenomenon of chloride-induced corrosion. The
It is essential to record “base-line” measure- main conflict point in the design and production
ments of line and level immediately on completion process is the selection of and practical achievement
of construction. This should include “as constructed” of the appropriate cover to reinforcement. This is
measurements of cover to reinforcement and crack more a design and detailing matter than a materials
and damage mapping. Computers, underwater video matter. As the protective power of a given concrete is
recorders and corrosion measurement devices can broadly related to the square of the cover thickness,
now be utilised. the provision of appropriate cover is the simplest

and most positive way of reducing corrosion dam- 4.4.8 Aggregates
age. The cover to be specified is influenced by the The quality of aggregates has a lesser impact on
exposure severity rating, the cement type, the mix the strength and quality of concrete than may be
quality as determined by the water-cement ratio and supposed, but it has an influence on abrasion,
the placing tolerance which can be achieved. freeze-thaw and salt scaling resistance. It is usually
The minimum cover considered necessary for necessary to make the best use of locally available
corrosion protection should be regarded as a materials. National standards usually provide suffi-
“characteristic” value and a margin of at least 10mm cient guidance.
to 15mm should be added to the figure in order to
reduce the rate of failure to achieve the characteris- 4.4.9 Crack width
tic value to within 5%, by analogy with concrete Refer to 4.3.7 and 4.5.6
strength compliance. Without this margin it is
statistically impossible to achieve the necessary 4.4.10 Reinforcing Steel
cover as, in practice, the variation in position of Provisions for reinforcing steel are adequately
reinforcement about the mean position exceeds covered by national standards. In addition to normal
common perception, as illustrated in Fig. 18. Sug- black steels, various coating protection systems are
gested nominal cover for different severity ratings, also available, but have not been greatly used in
cementitious materials and qualities is scheduled in maritime works and may be at a disadvantage in
Table 15. A nominal cover of 50mm is the lowest aggressive situations.
practicable figure and is only suitable for the lowest
Stainless steels have not often been used but
severity rating and using blended cements.
may be appropriate provided the correct grades are
Nominal cover thicknesses between 75mm and used. The price penalty of six times that for black
100mm have to be considered as normal. For severe steel is less when viewed as a proportion of overall
exposure combined with unblended Portland cost or the cost of premature failure. Steel fibre and
cements, it may be necessary to double the cover. non-metallic fibber and strand reinforcement appears
Methods of specifying cover in relation to a charac- promising.
teristic value, with separate acceptance criteria
before concrete is placed and after concreting, are 4.4.11 Admixtures
suggested in Table 16. Admixtures are covered by national guidelines.
The selection of appropriate cover and fixing Their use should be positively encouraged in order
tolerance has a major influence on the member to provide adequate workability with low water
thickness for caissons and thin precast units. Min- content mixes.
imum member thicknesses of 200mm or 300mm are
difficult to achieve under aggresssive conditions. 4.4.12 Protective Measures such as Coatings,
Under such conditions it may be necessary to and Cathodic Protection
change the member type and section in the
vulnerable upper tidal and splash zone, and either to In aggressive conditions only high-build, high
adopt increased cover or, if feasible, change to plain quality coating products are dependable, which are
concrete in this zone. expensive and require the concrete surface to be
prepared to a high standard by grit blasting and
other means. Cathodic protection is not regularly
4.4.6 Prestressed Concrete used for the protection of new construction, although
Prestressed concrete is less common for in some cases allowance for later implementation
maritime works but there is a substantial history of are made by ensuring continuity of reinforcement
successful use in North Sea oil structures and in and facility for electrical connection. There is
recent caisson breakwaters. Reasons for success growing experience of its use as a repair technique
include the necessity for higher quality concrete and where simpler alternatives are not feasible.
larger cover, on structural grounds, and the high
state of saturation in cold and wet climates. 4.4.13 Corrosion of Structural Steel
Prestressing reduces the problem of cracking but The corrosion performance of structural steel in
does not provide any help in reducing the ingress of maritime conditions is much better known that that
chloride ions and oxygen through the body of the of reinforcing steel embedded in concrete. The
concrete. The corrosion rate of prestressing steel is corrosion rate is usually higher in the splash zone
understood to be faster than that of lower stressed and at low astronomical tide levels, and very low in
steel and the detailing of secondary reinforcement deep water. Either an extra thickness of metal as a
presents the same problems as ordinary reinforced “corrosion allowance”, high duty coating or cathodic
concrete. protection can be used. Successful traditional coat-
ings, however, may no longer meet environmental
and health and safety regulations for application and
4.4.7 Cement there is, as yet, inadequate experience with some
Refer to 4.3.5 and 4.3.6 new water-based systems.

4.5 Construction Related Criteria and orders of magnitude in monolithic reinforced
Methods - Caissons construction are given. Measures to control the heat
of hydration rise are outlined. It is recommended
that the early thermal design is checked against the
actual cement contents used in the works, as these
4.5.1 Sea Condition Data and Limits for may exceed values assumed in design. Failure to
Construction Risks make this check often results in problems.
Wave forecast data must be available to enable
the designer and the contractor to estimate the sea
state at each stage of construction, especially for 4.5.7 Slipforming
float-out, grounding and filling of caissons. This Slipforming is a suitable method for casting
data should include information on the proportion of caissons. It is a method which lends itself to a high-
time during a year in which certain wave heights are rate of production. Because the concrete is cast
not surpassed and the length of windows for calm joint-free and hardens free of restraint, problems of
weather. construction joints and early thermal cracking are
minimised. Practical guidance available in the liter-
ature is given and problem areas identified.
4.5.2 Construction Joints
Construction joints are an important feature of
vertical breakwaters. Horizontal joints seldom give 4.5.8 Curing
problems. Vertical joints are necessary to allow The need for and relevance of wet curing in all
differential settlement to occur between adjoining circumstances is discussed in 4.3.8 and 2.3.8 and, in
elements, but at the same time the interconnection the case of massive caissons, introduces severe
of elements is required in order to distribute the load logistical problems. For caissons, the timing of
from local wave attack over more than one element. immersion has a great influence on the rate of
Typical examples of jointing methods are illustrated production. If the concrete is saturated, and of a
in Figs. 21, 22 and 23. sufficiently high grade which can be cured in a short
duration, early immersion may be beneficial.
Concrete left to thoroughly dry in the surface layers
in arid climates can lead to disastrous absorption of
4.5.3 Settlement salts into the concrete upon immersion.
The magnitude of settlement observed for
vertical breakwaters is higher than for most other
forms of construction, for reasons explained in
4.5.9 Development in Caissons
3.1.6. Settlement is rarely critical but the range of
likely settlement and differential settlement should Some recent developments of composite and
be anticipated, and the visible effects of settlement prestressed concrete caissons in Japan are illustrated
should be minimised by appropriate detailing in Figs. 28, 29 and 30.
Examples of measured settlement are quoted,
including absolute settlement of up to 1.5m and a 4.6 Blocks
differential of 0.2m. The contribution to settlement
caused by the time-dependent consolidation of rock- Blockwork is an inherently durable method,
fill for many years after construction is not especially for constructing quay walls, which has
generally appreciated. Examples are given using the historically been used for vertical breakwaters.
logarithmic expression published by Penman and Guidance is given in Japanese, Spanish and UK
others. documents. A degree of cracking is permitted in
quay walls but could endanger breakwaters. Typical
types of blockwork for modern breakwaters are
illustrated in Figs. 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34. The
4.5.6 Early Thermal Cracking problems common to blockwork are outlined.
Thermal contraction from the heat generated by
hydrating cement results in severe cracking wherever
the size or geometry of the section or the sequence 4.7 Curtain and Pile Type Breakwaters
of adjacent pours during construction imposes a
restraint to free contraction. Control of the tempera- Curtain and pile type breakwaters are effective
ture and temperature gradient in large unreinforced in shallow depths of water with a low wave height
elements is essential to restrict cracking. The forms climate, and for a soft sea bed. Various types of
of restraint and expressions for calculating the rein- modern single and double wall breakwaters are
forcement required to restrict cracking to acceptable illustrated in Figs. 35 and 36.

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