A Case Study of Concrete Pavement Deterioration by Alkali-Silica Reaction in Korea


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Title: A Case Study of Concrete Pavement Deterioration by Alkali-Silica Reaction in Korea

Author(s): Seung-Ho Hong, Seung-Hwan Han, and Kyong-Ku Yun

Publication: IJCSM

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Appears on pages(s): 75-81

Keywords: alkali-silica reaction; ASR gel; cracking and spalling; concrete pavement; Korea

Date: 12/31/2007

The concrete pavement of the Seohae Highway in Korea has suffered from serious distress, only four to seven years after construction. Deterioration due to Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) has seldom been reported per se in Korea, because the aggregate used for the cement concrete has been considered safe against alkali-silica reaction so far. The purpose of this study is to examine the deterioration caused by an alkali-silica reaction of concrete pavement in Korea. The investigation methods included visual inspection and Automatic Road Analyzer (ARAN) analysis of surface cracks, coring for internal cracks, stereo microscopic analysis, scanning electronic microscope (SEM) analysis, and electron dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDX) analysis. The results are presented as follows: The crack pattern of the concrete pavement in Korea was longitudinal cracking, map cracking or D-cracking. Local areas of damage were noticed four to five years after construction. The cracks started from edges or joints and spread out to slabs. The most intensive cracking was observed at the intersection of the transverse and longitudinal joints. Where cracking was the most intense, pieces of concrete and aggregate had spalled away from top surface and joint interface area. The progress of deterioration was very fast. The reaction product of alkali-silica gel was clearly identified by its generally colorless, white, or very pale yellow hue seen through a stereo optical microscopy. The typical locations of the reaction product were at the interface between aggregate and cement paste in a shape of a rim, within aggregate particles in the cracks, and in the large void in the cement paste. Most of the white products were found at interface or internal aggregates. SEM and EDX analysis confirmed that the white gel was a typical reaction product of ASR. The ASR gel in Korea mainly consisted of Silicate (Si) and Potassium (K) from the cement. The crack in the concrete pavement was caused by ASR. It seems that Korea is no longer safe from alkali-silica reaction.

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