The design of concrete durability is normally based on the assessment of its performance when subject to a single deterioration mechanism. In reality, concrete structures are subject to varying environmental exposure conditions which often results in multi-deterioration mechanisms occurring. The Nordic climate, with cold harsh winters, poses a severe challenge to the long-term durability of concrete. The most common deterioration mechanisms are freeze-thaw damage, carbonation and chloride induced corrosion. Research is now more focused on the assessment of coupled deterioration mechanisms. For instance, evaluating how cracks resulting from freeze-thaw influence chloride ingress, or how carbonation changes the surface properties and thereby influencing freeze-thaw scaling and chloride penetration. This paper presents the results of research projects at VTT focusing on coupling deterioration mechanisms. These research projects have built on several decades of concrete durability research at VTT, including 15 years of field station studies. The durability of the concretes has been assessed using both accelerated laboratory testing and also from in situ exposure results from field stations. This research has contributed to the development of concrete performance models and service life tools, supporting a holistic approach for deterioration assessment.
- Chloride ingress
- Chloride profiles