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Thursday, 17 October 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications

Investigating reaction products formed by the alkali-silica reaction in concrete structures

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) is one of the most important deterioration mechanisms in concrete leading to substantial damages of structures worldwide.

The so-called "concrete disease”: close-up of cracks in concrete caused by the alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR). Source: Empa

The so-called "concrete disease”: close-up of cracks in concrete caused by the alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR). Source: Empa

Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray diffraction (micro-XRD) was employed to characterise the mineral phases formed in micro-cracks of concrete aggregates as a consequence of ASR. This high spatial resolution technique enables to directly gain structural information on ASR products formed in a 40-year old motorway bridge damaged due to ASR.

New treatments inhibit ASR

Micro-X-ray-fluorescence was applied on thin sections to locate the reaction products formed in veins within concrete aggregates. Micro-XRD pattern were collected at selected points of interest along a vein by rotating the sample. Rietveld refinement determined the structure of the ASR product consisting of a new layered framework similar to mountainite and rhodesite. It is conceivable that understanding the structure of the ASR product may help developing new technical treatments inhibiting ASR.

The study is published in: Cement and Concrete Research.

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