The corrosion morphology and the mechanical behavior of corroded prestressing strands are investigated in the present study. Nineteen corroded strands are obtained through controlling stress level, corrosion time and chloride ion concentration under artificial climate conditions. A total of 119 corrosion pits are counted to investigate the geometric morphology of corrosion pits. A depth-width ratio parameter is first defined to describe the distribution law of corrosion pits, which obeys the lognormal distribution. A tension test is conducted to investigate the mechanical behavior of corroded strands. The fracture morphology and micro-cracks of corroded steel wires are observed by the scanning electron microscopy. A constitutive model is proposed to predict the stress-strain curve of corroded prestressing strands and verified by the experimental results. Results show that the maximum corrosion loss of strand increases by 4.91% when the stress level changes from 45% to 75% of strand yield strength. The high stress level can promote the propagation of corrosion micro-cracks on strand surface. The propagation of corrosion micro-cracks has a significant effect on ultimate strength of strand, while has a little effect on elastic modulus. The proposed model can give an accurate prediction for the stress-strain of corroded prestressing strand.
Mechanical properties of calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H) with C/S ratios of 0.75, 1, and 1.33 were examined with nanoindentation after gamma-adsorbed doses of 0.145, 0.280, 0.500, and 0.784 MGy, and were compared with control samples. Young' s modulus and stress relaxation tests showed no apparent trend with irradiation dose. Qualitatively, most of the irradiated samples were found to relax more than their respective controls, but not always in a statistically significant manner. Most of the Young' s modulus irradiated–control pairs showed marginally higher stiffness in the irradiated samples, but overall trends with irradiation dose were not obvious. Creep compliance was obtained for the samples irradiated at the highest dose and their respective controls. Two of the three irradiated samples exhibited less creep than their respective controls, but only one of which was statistically significant. The lack of clear changes in mechanical properties for these samples correlates with separate chemical analyses that showed no loss of interlayer water by exposure to irradiation or changes in the mean silicate chain length. Further research evaluating higher doses (25 and 200 MGy) representative of those received by concrete structures in nuclear power plants at prolonged operation is being carried out to complement the present study.
In this study, a method was developed to estimate accurately the chloride threshold value for corrosion initiation in reinforced concrete. In this method, chlorides are supplied through a part of the specimen surface, and half-cell potential between the rebar and reference electrode embedded in a concrete specimen was measured in every ten minutes. A sudden drop of half-cell potential was observed as the continuation of the measurement. At that time, the specimen was broken and corrosion of rebar on its narrow surface was confirmed. The chloride threshold value can be estimated by determining the chloride concentration at the time of the potential drop. The estimated chloride threshold values for normal Portland cement concrete with cement content between 254 and 446 kg/m3 are in the range of 1.6 to 3.6 kg/m3. This paper is an English translation from the authors’ previous work [Horiguchi, K., Yamaguchi, T., Maruya, T. and Takewaka, K., (2015). “A study on the method of measuring the chloride threshold value of corrosion and on the estimation of the values.” Journal of JSCE, Ser. E2, 71(2), 107-123. (in Japanese)].
During sorption, the microstructural evolutions of two different cement pastes (with water-to-cement ratios of 0.40 and 0.55) are studied via proton-nuclear-magnetic-resonance relaxometry. The water uptake test is performed for samples dried at 105°C under three different temperatures of 20°C, 40°C, and 60°C for the first twenty-six days of sorption. It is observed that the water went first to the larger pores before migrating to the finest ones. This behavior is accelerated with increasing temperature. The rate of water exchange between fine and large pores is estimated and found to increase with temperature for both studied mixtures. The activation energy corresponding to this water movement is calculated and found to be higher for the lowest water-to-cement ratio, owing its finer microstructure. Finally, the activation energy related to the local water transport in re-distribution from large pores to fine pores is calculated and found to be inferior to the experimental results, which can be explained by the dynamic microstructure not being considered in the classical theories.
This paper introduces a novel and simple model for estimation of the shear contribution of the fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) strengthening system in the FRP-strengthened beams. The model utilizes the bonding-based approach, which considers the shear resisting mechanism of FRP-strengthened beam via the bond behavior between FRP strengthening system and concrete. Herein, the beams strengthened in shear with near-surface mounting (NSM) rods or laminates and embedded through-section (ETS) bars are examined. By utilizing only mechanical consideration, the shear resistances of the NSM-strengthening or ETS-strengthening laminates or bars in the beams are simply derived when several bond factors (i.e. maximum bond stress and slip at peak bond stress) are known without using any empirical coefficients. The reliability of the proposed model is first validated against the test results available in the open literature. The extensive investigation to complement the model validation is then carried out through comparison of the results produced by the experiments and the proposed approach as well as the existing methods. The analyses demonstrate that the bonding-based approach is greatly effective to predict the shear contribution of the FRP strengthening system in the beam. Two examples for calculation of the shear resisting forces of the ETS-FRP and NSM-FRP bars in the FRP-strengthened beams are provided to depict the use of the model.
In nuclear power plants, concretes used for biological shielding walls are exposed to radiation such as neutrons and gamma rays over the long-term operation of the plant. Previous studies have reported that neutron irradiation causes aggregate expansion due to the metamictization of quartz and feldspar leading to reduced density and a loss of the compressive strength and Young' s modulus of the concrete. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the current state of a concrete biological shield (CBS) and predict its future soundness. In this study, a rigid-body spring model, which can easily evaluate fracture behavior by using springs between each element, is used to conduct numerical analyses on a CBS. A three-phase (mortar, aggregate, and interfacial transition zone) model of a 2000 mm thick CBS is used to investigate the varying deformation responses depending on the presence or absence of reinforcing bars (rebar), creep, and an inner steel plate with five types of analyses, i.e. analysis to understand the impacts of temperature distribution, re-inforcement bars, an internal steel plate, and creep of mortar. The results show that cracking and delamination occur inside the CBS, resulting in a lack of cracking on the outside. They also show that the cracks are reduced by rebar and creep, resulting in cracks extending from the innermost edge to a depth of approximately 150 mm.
In this study, the effects of Perlite, Leca, and Scoria as lightweight aggregates have been investigated on the properties of self-compacting concrete at the fresh and hardened phases. For this purpose, the ratio of water to cement and super lubricant were kept constant in the mixing rules. Performance tests, such as Slump flow, J ring, U box, L box, and V-funnel tests, were used to investigate the flow ability, passing ability, and the resistance of concrete against detachment. The results showed that the performance of the witness concrete decreased due to the high water absorption of lightweight aggregate. The mechanical properties of hard self-compacting concrete have also been investigated in this study. A set of experiments, such as compressive strength, tensile strength, flexural strength, water diffusion, water absorption, and also corrosion tests in the sulfate and acid environments, were performed for this purpose. The results indicated that the addition of lightweight aggregate decreased the strength and increased the value of water absorption in all cases. It was also observed that the self-compacting lightweight concrete (SCLC) had less resistance during the compression in comparison with the ordinary self-compacting concrete in sulfate and acid environments.
To evaluate the radiation-induced degradation of concrete, a rigid-body spring network model is introduced that takes into account the three phases in concrete: mortar, aggregate, and the interfacial transition zone. The proposed model enables evaluation of the change in the physical properties of concrete affected by aggregate expansion under the free restraint condition. Good agreement with previous experimental data is found for the linear expansion of the concrete specimen and the compressive strength, Young’s modulus, and splitting tensile strength. Based on the numerical results, it is concluded that, to reproduce the physical property changes in concrete, the expansion of mortar due to the radiation-induced expansion of fine aggregate and/or creep behavior must be considered. In addition, it is clarified that an isolated expansion of mortar with a lack of expansion in the coarse aggregate also degrades the concrete and, consequently, analysis of the type of aggregate used is critical for predicting the properties of concrete under neutron irradiation. Furthermore, the impact of inhomogeneous expansion of rock-forming minerals in coarse aggregates on physical property changes is studied, showing that such a partial expansion in the aggregates and the resultant cracks in aggregates greatly influences the reduction of the Young’s modulus, with minimal impact on the reduction of compressive strength. The proposed model can be used to evaluate concrete degradation due to radiation-induced volumetric expansion of aggregate caused by the metamictization of rock-forming minerals.