Deterioration of Reinforced Concrete in the Marine-Industrial Environment of the Arabian Gulf: A Case Study


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Title: Deterioration of Reinforced Concrete in the Marine-Industrial Environment of the Arabian Gulf: A Case Study

Author(s): Vladimir Novokshchenov

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 170


Appears on pages(s): 491-518

Keywords: Chlorides; concretes; corrosion; deterioration; marine atmospheres; reinforced concrete; seawater.

Date: 7/1/1997

This paper describes deterioration of reinforced concrete structures at a liquefied gas/sulfur plant that occurred shortly after completion of the construction. Investigations have shown that the principal cause of the deterioration was corrosion of reinforcing steel due to the presence of chlorides, with marine salts being the main source. The primary contributing factor was the increased level of industrial pollutants, which in combination with marine salts rendered the plant environment highly aggressive to the reinforcement. Other contributing factors included the use of sulfate resisting portland cement, the presence of hair-line cracks in the concrete, the elevated W/C, and the insufficient concrete cover. The problem of corrosion was also aggravated by simultaneous action of multiple enhancing each other environmental factors, such as the high salinity of Gulf water with a consequent high rate fallout of marine salts, high relative humidities and air temperatures over much of the year, unfavorable wind speed and direction, intense solar radiation, and corrosive ground conditions. Considering all data available, it appears that the corrosion process of reinforcing steel at the liquefied gas/sulfur plant is a result of complex synergistic effects of chlorides and acid solutions enhanced by highly unfavorable environmental conditions prevailing in the region.