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Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA, the American Concrete Institute is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.
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Home > Publications > International Concrete Abstracts Portal
The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.
Title: Durable Concrete--Current Practice and Future Trends
Author(s): P. C. Aitcin
Publication: Special Publication
Appears on pages(s): 85-104
Keywords: concretes; covercrete; curing; durability; environments; high-performance concretes; microclimates; microstructure; permeability; strength; water-cement ratio; Design
Abstract:The durability track record of concrete is in some respects disappointing. It is possible to find adjacent concrete elements that have performed differently, although they were exposed to the same environmental conditions. As with any other material, concrete durability is governed by the material's quality and the harshness of the environmental conditions to which it is exposed over its service life. While the engineer has little or no influence over environmental conditions, generating disastrous microclimatic conditions can be avoided through appropriate design. In the case of concrete, the engineer has to "tailor" concrete composition and characteristics to provide the properties required to best suit the expected environmental conditions to which the structure will be exposed. In the past, too much emphasis was placed on structural criteria only without much regard for environment. For example, while it is structurally possible to build a parking garage with 20-Mpa concrete, environmental conditions that normally prevail with this type of structure can lead to disastrous consequences. In the future, when determining concrete characteristics, it will be important to give priority to environmental exposure conditions over structural requirements to insure that structures remain durable. From the materials standpoint, concrete durability is closely linked to concrete microstructure, more specifically to its impermeability. The microstructures of normal strength and high-strength concretes are discussed. Data reported in the literature linking the permeability of low water-cement concrete to various aggressive agents are presented, showing, for example, that often the best and most inexpensive way to protect concrete against aggressive agents is to make it as dense as possible. If the strength of the resultant impermeable concrete exceeds the design strength, the designer should then learn how to take advantage of the enhanced strength provided rather than reduce the strength and therefore the impermeability to meet the design specifications. Recent studies show that concrete mixtures for use is severe environments can be made essentially impermeable to air, water, and chloride ions if they possess a minimum of 50 MPa compressive strength at 28 days.
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