Diagnosis of deterioration in concrete structures

Diagnosis of deterioration in concrete structures

Identification of defects, evaluation and development of remedial actions

Produced by a Concrete Society multi-disciplinary working party, this report provides a comprehensive introduction to concrete deterioration

All structures deteriorate with time, though the rate of deterioration is determined by many factors. Deterioration may change the appearance of a structure, and affect its behaviour under normal working conditions or its structural safety. Before diagnosing the causes of deterioration or failure of a concrete structure, a sound understanding of the physical, chemical and mechanical actions that lead to defects is necessary. Over the years, the type and quality of concrete materials and methods of construction have varied considerably. Deterioration can result from a range of factors, including design, construction practice, materials, the environment and loadings applied to the structure.

Evidence of deterioration may be visible, such as cracking or excessive deflections caused by reinforcement corrosion, fire or overloading, or may be identified during inspection. Generally, repair and protection strategies can extend the useful life of deteriorating structures by many years, but the cost-effectiveness of repair and protection must be assessed in relation to the value of the structure over its remaining useful life. Accurate predictions of repair costs and future performance must therefore be obtained.

The construction industry can provide the information needed for such a prognosis. However, underlying causes of defects must be identified as it is no longer acceptable, or necessary, to simply coat the surface of the concrete so that it appears superficially sound. Accurate decisions can now be made regarding remedial action, based on a proper assessment and diagnosis.

This Report is intended as a broad introduction to the subject of concrete deterioration, contains many references to other publications on specific topics and may be used as a reference document in its own right or as the basis for more specialised investigation.

The intended readership for the Report is engineers or surveyors responsible for concrete structures, or for advising clients and owners. It should also be useful for those planning or undertaking inspections and testing programmes and those who interpret the results. In addition, it should be useful for suppliers of specialist repair materials and systems, and repair contractors.

Acknowledgement

The work of preparing the Report was partly funded by the Partners in Innovation scheme of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

How to order

Send orders to: Publications Department, The Concrete Society, Century House, Telford Avenue, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6YS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1344 466 007; Fax: +44 (0)1344 466 008; e-mail: ball@concrete.org.uk. Pay using Visa or Mastercard or by cheque payable to The Concrete Society.

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Copyright The Concrete Society Jan 2001

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