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Title: Evaporation — a key mechanism for the thaumasite form of sulfate attack

Understanding the mechanisms leading to chemical attack on concrete is crucial in order to prevent damage of concrete structures. To date, most studies on sulfate attack and thaumasite formation are based on empirical approaches, as the identification of associated reaction mechanisms and paths is known to be highly complex. In this study, sulfate damaged concrete from Austrian tunnels was investigated by mineralogical, chemical and isotope methods to identify the reactions which caused intense concrete alteration. Major, minor and trace elemental contents as well as isotope ratios of local ground water (GW), drainage water (DW) and interstitial solutions (IS), extracted from damaged concrete material, were analyzed. Locally occurring GW contained 3 to 545 mg L{sup −1} of SO{sub 4} and is thus regarded as slightly aggressive to concrete in accordance to standard specifications (e.g. DIN EN 206-1). The concrete linings and drainage systems of the studied tunnels, however, have partly suffered from intensive sulfate attack. Heavily damaged concrete consisted mainly of thaumasite, secondary calcite, gypsum, and relicts of aggregates. Surprisingly, the concentrations of dissolved ions were extremely enriched in the IS with up to 30,000 and 12,000 mg L{sup −1} of SO{sub 4} and Cl, respectively. Analyses of aqueous ions withmore » a highly conservative behavior, e.g. K, Rb and Li, as well as {sup 2}H/H and {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O isotope ratios of H{sub 2}O of the IS showed an intensive accumulation of ions and discrimination of the light isotopes vs. the GW. These isotope signals of the IS clearly revealed evaporation at distinct relative humidities. From ion accumulation and isotope fractionation individual total and current evaporation degrees were estimated. Our combined elemental and isotopic approach verified wetting–drying cycles within a highly dynamic concrete-solution-atmosphere system. Based on these boundary conditions, key factors controlling thaumasite formation are discussed regarding the development of more sulfate-resistant concrete and concrete structures.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. Graz University of Technology, Institute of Applied Geosciences, Rechbauerstraße 12, 8010 GRAZ (Austria)
  2. University of Graz, Institute of Chemistry — Analytical Chemistry, Stremayrgasse 16/III, 8010 GRAZ (Austria)
  3. (France)
  4. Joanneum Research, Resources — Institute for Water, Energy and Sustainability, Elisabethstraße 18/2, 8010 GRAZ (Austria)
  5. Graz University of Technology, Institute of Technology and Testing of Building Materials, Inffeldgasse 24, 8010 GRAZ (Austria)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22230774
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Cement and Concrete Research; Journal Volume: 49; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; BOUNDARY CONDITIONS; BUILDUP; CONCRETES; DRAINAGE; GROUND WATER; GYPSUM; ISOTOPE RATIO; REACTION KINETICS; STANDARDS; SULFATES; X-RAY DIFFRACTION