Long Service Life of Concrete


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Title: Long Service Life of Concrete

Author(s): Lewis H. Tuthill

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 122


Appears on pages(s): 173-180

Keywords: admixtures; aggregates; air entrainment; cements; concrete durability; cracking (fracturing); curing; inspection; pozzolans; serviceability; specifications; thermal properties; Materials Research

Date: 6/1/1990

Long service life of concrete depends on correct choice and use of materials. Problems such as ASR (alkali silica reaction) and the prospect of sulfate attack and corrosion need early and proper identification and attention. Resistant materials must be selected and properly used to insure control of these adverse conditions. Low alkali cement or sulfate-resisting cement must be used as appropriate in these situations. Other requirements often overlooked are those essential to prevent or minimize thermal cracking of massive structural concrete, as in power plants, bridge piers, foundation elements, and thick linings of large tunnels. The ordinary concrete in municipal use, especially in new subdivisions, is often short of durability and exhibits much cracking, due to failure to follow the most fundamental rules of good practice, especially freezing weather protection, enough cement, control of slump, ample provision of joints, and curing. Sidewalks and driveways are too often disfigured and disappointing. Curing is often neglected. Specifications for the work must cite the requirements in complete detail and be followed explicitly when the work is done.