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Design and Specification of

Durable Concrete

Cemento Panamá
First Congress of Construction
"Building a World ‐Class Country”
September 1, 2011
Today’s Discussion

•  Philosophy of design for durability

•  Implementation of durability provisions in
codes and specifications
•  Testing for concrete durability
•  The impact of changes in concrete
technology on durability
Hardy Cross on Engineering Judgment
•  Analyses
•  Tests Sources
that rarely
•  Experience agree
•  Intuition (common completely.
“Great engineers are those who can
weigh this evidence and arrive at a
reasonable answer through
judgment as to its dependability.”
Durability of Concrete

•  Corrosion
•  Alkali-aggregate reactivity (AAR)
•  Sulfate attack
•  Delayed ettringite formation (DEF)
•  Freeze-thaw and deicer scaling
•  Abrasion
•  Etc.
Durable Concrete

•  A key to obtaining durable concrete is to

increase the resistance to penetration of
water and aggressive solutions
•  Resistance to water penetration is related
to the volume of capillary voids and the
whether the pores are connected
•  Crack control is also essential
How do we specify durability?

•  Prescriptive requirements
•  Performance requirements
•  Hybrid requirements
Prescriptive Requirements

•  Describe provision in terms of specific

composition, ingredients, chemical or
physical properties.
•  Example: ACI 318 specifies ASTM
C150 cement type (composition) for
sulfate resistance. ASTM C150 for
portland cement limits C3A level in
cement to control sulfate resistance.
C3A is derived from chemical tests on
the cement.
Performance Requirements
•  Provision is written exclusively in
terms of attributes that relate to
performance required to satisfy needs
of the user.
•  Example: ACI 318 option for sulfate
resistance to be controlled based on
results of long-term laboratory tests of
Based on having a reliable test method!
ASTM C39 – Compressive Strength
of Cylindrical Specimens
Test methods for durability should:
•  Distinguish whether proposed constituent
materials or concrete mixtures have potential
to meet performance requirements
•  Effectively evaluate different alternatives to
meet performance requirements
•  Minimize test duration – accelerate reactions
while simulating field exposure conditions
•  Provide reasonable precision to “predict”
potential field performance
•  Be cost effective
Rapid Chloride Permeability
Chloride Permeability
(ASTM C1202)
Measured Class
>4,000 High
2,000 to 4,000 Moderate
1,000 to 2,000 Low
100 to 1,000 Very Low
< 100 Negligible
Some Factors Impacting Rapid
Chloride Test Results (ASTM C1202)
•  w/cm
•  Age of test specimen
•  Type and quantity of SCM (fly ash, slag cement,
silica fume, etc.)
•  Curing conditions
•  Aggregate type
•  Consolidation of specimens
•  Polymeric admixtures
•  Ionic solutions (for ex. calcium nitrite)
Effect of SCM’s on
Chloride Permeability (Coulombs)

w/cm = 0.41 to 0.43


Ternary Blended Cement
(~4% Silica Fume + ~22% Slag)

ASTM C1202
Thomas, et al, ACI Concrete International, July. 2007
Ternary Blended Cement
(~4% Silica Fume + ~22% Slag)

Thomas, et al, ACI Concrete International, July. 2007

Concrete – “The Old Days”

•  Cement
•  Fine aggregates
•  Coarse aggregates
•  Water
Today’s Concrete

•  Cement
•  Fine aggregates
•  Coarse aggregates
•  Water
•  Supplementary
•  Chemical admixtures
Today’s Portland Cement
(Lower Carbon Footprint)

● Clinker
Cement ● Gypsum
● Limestone
● Processing
Supplementary Cementitious
Materials (SCMs)

•  Fly ash (Class C)

•  Metakaolin
(calcined clay)
•  Silica fume
•  Fly ash (Class F)
•  Slag cement
•  Calcined shale
Hydraulic Blended Cements

•  Clinker
•  Gypsum
•  Portland
•  Fly ash
•  Slag
•  Silica Fume
•  Calcined Clay
Chemical Admixtures

•  Air entrainers
•  Water reducers
•  Accelerators
•  Retarders
•  Corrosion inhibitors
•  Etc.
ASTM C142 – Slump Test
Stages of Hydration
Concrete Temperature

•  Reduced heat concrete

 Cement (type and
 Fly ash or slag (type
and percentage)
Delayed Ettringite Formation (DEF)

•  Potentially deleterious reformation of ettringite

in hardened concrete after destruction of
primary ettringite by high temperature
•  Requires moist exposure in service
•  Often observed with other deterioration
mechanisms (ASR, etc.)
•  High temperature – accelerated curing or heat
of hydration
Specification Limits on Temperature
•  Externally applied heat or internal heat of
•  Concrete temperature not air temperature
•  For precast, consider:
 Preset time
 Rate of heating and cooling
•  Common max. temperature limit is 70°C
•  Some specs permit higher limit if concrete
contains fly ash or slag cement

•  Moisture
•  Chlorides
•  Oxygen
•  Carbonation (pH)
Alkali-Silica Reactivity

•  Reactive silica
•  Sufficient alkali
•  Available moisture
Specifications on ASR –
Common Elements
•  Qualify constituent materials
 Use nonreactive aggregates
 Limit alkalies
•  Use supplementary cementitious materials
for mitigation
 Fly ash, slag cement, silica fume, calcined clay
 Blended cements
•  Use chemical inhibitors for mitigation
External Sulfate Attack
•  Natural sulfates of
sodium, potassium
 Ponds or rivers

•  Sanitary wastes
•  Industrial wastes
•  Agricultural wastes
Mitigation of Sulfate Attack

•  Use low w/cm

•  Use sulfate resistant
cement (Low C3A)
•  Use supplementary
Today’s Discussion

•  Philosophy of design for durability

•  Implementation of durability provisions in
codes and specifications
•  Testing for concrete durability
•  The impact of changes in concrete
technology on durability