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TitleCan long term durability of concrete be predicted from accelerated testing?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMilestone, N.B.
JournalJournal of the Australian Ceramic Society
Pagination108 - 114
Date Published2012
ISSN0004881X (ISSN)
KeywordsAccelerated testing, Accelerated tests, Accelerated weathering, Blending, Cement matrix, Cementitious binders, Cementitious composites, Cements, Chemical change, Chemical exposure, Composite cements, Concrete construction, Concrete durability, Durability, Freeze/thaw, high temperature, Initial costs, Long term durability, Maintenance cost, Micro-structural, Structural health monitoring, Structures (built objects), Supplementary cementing materials
AbstractTrying to predict the long term lifetime of a concrete structure is difficult. Many structures built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago are still standing. Yet in far too many of our modern concrete structures, maintenance costs can mount rapidly after only a few years often exceeding the initial cost of the structure. Why does this happen? Concrete durability is normally dictated by chemical reactions occurring within the structure. Accelerated tests to assess durability have been developed and include wetting/drying, high temperature curing, freeze/thaw cycling as well as accelerated chemical exposure tests. However, the concrete today usually contains significant amounts of supplementary cementing materials (SCM's) which can change the internal chemistry. Simply applying these accelerated tests, without understanding the effect they have on the microstructure of the cementitious binder blend, can lead to decisions being taken that do not reflect what happens in practice. This paper describes the use of some of these tests for cementitious composites which have given unexpected results. Investigations of the microstructural and chemical changes in the cement matrix have provided the reasons why the structures have failed.

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