Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Masonry in a Highly Corrosive Environment

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Title: Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Masonry in a Highly Corrosive Environment

Author(s): David J. Akers

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 122

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 451-468

Keywords: acids; chemical analysis; chlorides; concrete blocks; corrosion; deterioration; evaluation; grout; masonry mortars; masonry walls; reinforced masonry; reinforcing steels; warehouses; General

Date: 6/1/1990

Abstract:
Reinforced concrete masonry structures can be effectively used in corrosive environments provided that the design is based upon a rational assessment of the exposure condition. An investigation of wall that had 6000 g of muriatic acid and 11,000 g of sodium hypochlorite stored along its exterior face indicated accelerated deterioration of the wall due to inadequate design and no protection afforded to the wall when the building's usage was changed from general warehouse to chemical storage. Poor construction practices also contributed to the distressed condition. The investigation utilized electrical, visual, and chemical means of assessing the structures's condition. The primary tool was a copper-copper sulfate (Cu-CuSO4) half cell conforming to ASTM C 876. The resulting equipotential contour map provided valuable information regarding the wall's corrosion potential. Visual observations of exposed, corroded reinforcing steel confirmed the half-cell readings. Chemical analysis of block, mortar, and grout samples extracted from the wall revealed high but inconsistent water-soluble chloride ion contents.