Title: Sixty-Year Service Life of Port Kembla Saltwater Concrete Swimming Pool
Author(s): Vute Sirivivatnanon
Publication: Materials Journal
Appears on pages(s): 31-36
Keywords: carbonation; chloride penetration; compressive strength; concrete cover; corrosion
The durability performance of Port Kembla Olympic Pool, built in 1937, has been investigated. Nearly all structural components were reinforced concrete and were exposed to marine environments with some components ‘permanently submerged’ while others were in an ‘atmospheric zone’ and ‘tidal or splash zone.’ After more than 60 years in service, most structural components were found to be in excellent condition. This paper discusses the site investigation that examined strength, carbonation, chloride penetration, and cover depths. The results revealed the quality of the concrete to be uniform in the pool but variable in other structural members. There was little carbonation but extensive chloride penetration, depending on the exposure condition. The average compressive strength of the 60-year-old concrete in the pool and its surrounding structures was 5700 and 4280 psi (40 and 30 MPa), respectively. The covers were between 2.0 and 2.5 in. (50 and 65 mm). Despite the extent of chloride penetration into the cover concrete, limited corrosion was observed. The concrete has proven to give a service life of over 60 years, which confirms the importance of achieving adequate strength and, perhaps more importantly, cover.