Resistance of Microsilica Concrete to Steel Corrosion Erosion and Chemical Attack


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Title: Resistance of Microsilica Concrete to Steel Corrosion Erosion and Chemical Attack

Author(s): Neal S. Berke

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 114


Appears on pages(s): 861-886

Keywords: calcium nitrate; chemical attack; compressive strength; concretes; corrosion; corrosion resistance; erosion; silica fume; freeze-thaw durability; reinforcing steels; Materials Research

Date: 5/1/1989

The use of silica fume (microsilica) to improve the compressive strength at a given cement level or as a cement replacement is on the rise. Additional benefits of adding silica fume to improve the corrosion resistance of embedded steel and improve concrete durability in erosive or severe chemical exposure were investigated. Concretes with embedded steel were produced with silica fume levels varying from 0 to 15 percent by mass of cement. Additional variables were water-cement ratio and calcium nitrite content. All concretes were air-entrained and had high-range water-reducers. Plastic properties of the concretes are reported as well as compressive strength, freeze-thaw, and resistivity and rapid chloride data. Corrosion rates and chloride contents are reported and show substantial improvements with silica fume and/or calcium nitrite. An accelerated hydraulic erosion test was conducted, in which ball bearings impact the concrete surface, simulating abrasive action of waterborn particles. Mass loss was measured for concretes with 0 to 15 percent silica fume by mass of cement. Silica fume significantly improved erosion resistance. Chemical testing was performed in 5 percent acetic acid, 1 percent sulfuric acid, 5 percent formic acid, and mixed sulfates. A cyclic method involving drying, weighing, and wire brushing was used. Results show that silica fume concretes had superior chemical resistance that improved as silica fume levels increase.