Title: Use of Tetraethyl Orthosilicate to Improve Durability of Ferrocement
Author(s): Arturo D’Alessandro, David J. Corr, and Surendra P. Shah
Publication: Materials Journal
Appears on pages(s): 159-168
Keywords: carbonation; durability; ferrocement; nanomaterial; surface treatment; water absorption
Ferrocement is a construction material that (in comparison to traditional reinforced concrete) provides superior crack control, impact resistance, and toughness. However, while extensive literature exists on the deterioration mechanisms and maintenance of reinforced concrete structures, little attention has been given to the durability of ferrocement. In this study, the adoption of ethyl silicate, a newly developed nanomaterial, is investigated to improve durability of ferrocement. Such nanomaterials are expected to penetrate the cementitious matrix without changing the appearance of the surface. Once penetrated, pozzolanic behavior is displayed forming calcium silicate hydrate and consequently increasing durability and mechanical performance. Particular attention is given to the carbonation-induced corrosion of reinforcement, which should be considered a major concern in ferrocement due to the initially small diameter of the mesh wires and the thin mortar cover. Despite its importance, there is a limited amount of literature on carbonation-induced corrosion of ferrocement structural elements.