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Title: Effects of Deicers on Concrete Deterioration

Author(s): David Darwin, JoAnn Browning, Lien Gong, and Sean R. Hughes

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 105

Issue: 6

Appears on pages(s): 622-627

Keywords: calcium chloride; calcium magnesium acetate; chlorides; concrete; deicing salts; magnesium chloride; sodium chloride

Date: 11/1/2008

Concrete specimens were exposed to weekly cycles of wetting and drying in distilled water and in solutions of sodium chloride (NaCl), calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), and calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) with either a 6.04 molal ion concentration, equivalent in ion concentration to a 15% solution of NaCl, or a 1.06 molal ion concentration, equivalent in ion concentration to a 3% solution of NaCl, for periods of up to 95 weeks. Specimens were also exposed to air only. The effects of exposure were evaluated based on changes in the dynamic modulus of elasticity and the physical appearance of the specimens at the conclusion of the tests. Concretes exposed to distilled water and air show, respectively, an increase and a decrease in dynamic modulus of elasticity, due principally to changes in moisture content; overall, no negative impact on the properties of these specimens is observed. At lower concentrations, NaCl and CaCl2 have a relatively small negative impact on the properties of concrete. At high concentrations, NaCl has a greater but still relatively small negative effect. At low concentrations, MgCl2 and CMA can cause measurable damage to concrete. At high concentrations, CaCl2, MgCl2, and CMA cause significant changes in concrete that result in loss of material and a reduction in stiffness and strength.


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