Corrosion and Durability
Durability of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures is a key issue for energy and transportation infrastructures (nuclear power plants, road and railway bridges).
The research in the field is focused on the following main topics:
- transport mechanisms in porous materials (initiation phase, chloride and water ingress)
- non-destructive assessment of corrosion on structures (half-cell potential mapping, corrosion rate measurements, concrete resistivity)
- corrosion protection of reinforced concrete structures (alternative materials for rebars as stainless steels)
- non-destructive techniques to monitor electrically isolated post-tensioned tendons
- electrochemical restoration techniques (chloride removal, realkalization)
Basic research in the laboratory is combined with trials and application on structures in the field. This establishes the link between science and civil engineering practice.
The following research projects are actually ongoing:
- Critical chloride content for corrosion initiation in old concrete (ASTRA project)
- Climbing robot for corrosion monitoring (half-cell potential mapping combined with a Vortex robot)
- Embeddable long-term stable reference electrode for reinforced concrete structures (for long-term monitoring, potentiometric analysis of chloride content)
- Corrosion rate of reinforcing steel in carbonated concrete (especially for new blended cements with reduced klinker content)