Modelling chemical degradation of concrete during leaching with rain and soil water types

Diederik Jacques, Lian Wang, Evelien Martens, Dirk Mallants

Research outputpeer-review


Percolation of water through concrete results in the degradation of cement and changes the pore water and solid phase composition. The assessment of long-term degradation of concrete is possible by means of model simulation. This paper describes simulations of chemical degradation of cement for different types of rain and soil water at. Rain and soil water types were derived using generic equations and measurement of atmospheric boundary conditions representative for North-Belgium. An up-to-date thermodynamic model is used to calculate the geochemical changes during chemical degradation of the concrete. A general pattern of four degradation stages was simulated with the third stage being the geochemically most complex stage involving reactions with calcium-silicate hydrates, AFm and AFt phases. Whereas the sequence of the dissolution reactions was relatively insensitive to the composition of the percolating water, the duration of the different reactions depends strongly on the percolating water composition. Major identified factors influencing the velocity of cement degradation are the effect of dry deposition and biological activity increasing the partial pressure of CO2(g) in the soil air phase. Soil weathering processes have only a minor impact, at least for the relatively inert sandy material considered in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1313
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

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