19 Sep Preventing Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete structures
Concrete corrosion is costing the construction industry and its players millions of Shillings annually in premature repair or replacement of damaged infrastructure. But the new innovations in PENETRON CRYSTALLINE TECHNOLOGY are beginning to allow engineers, architects and contractors to create structures that heal themselves.
reinforced concrete pillar corroded
The corrosion of reinforced concrete is a significant problem affecting reinforced concrete structures in Kenya. This has led to a disturbing trend of premature deterioration of vital infrastructure. For instance, corrosion specifically makes up more than 80% of all damage to reinforced concrete structures, and repairing these structures is not cheap at all.
Corrosion is a natural, costly process of concrete deterioration. In fact, over time this process can parallel the level of damage caused by major natural disasters to a city’s buildings and infrastructure. Unlike a natural disaster, however, this destructive process is slow and can be controlled.
How does corrosion affect the integrity of a concrete structure?
Due to high alkalinity of concrete, the steel reinforcing bars are passivated by an iron oxide film that protects the steel. So concrete normally provides reinforcing steel with excellent corrosion protection. That is until the passive layer breaks down. Different systems such as chloride ions can break down this passivity and allow the steel to actively chorode.
Products of corrosion (i.e. dust) occupy a greater volume than the original steel.
So how do you protect concrete against corrosion?
A typical corrosion protection system is using less permaeable and durable concrete. Penetration of water into concrete is a critical factor in the corrosion of steel reinforcement.
- Water acts as a carrier for chloride ions and
- Water is required for corrosion to occur.
Experience has shown that the most effective, reliable and economical method of protecting concrete structures is by preventing water from penetrating the concrete. In blocking the ingress of water or moisture into the concrete, the rebar within is protected from corroding. Therefore, it is vital to have completely watertight reinforced concrete in order to mitigate the risk of corrosion, as well as other destructive damages caused by water.
Water permeability determines the rate of concrete deteoration. This reduces service life and durability of concrete.
At Mau West Waterproofing Solutions, we emphasize that the penetration of water into concrete is a critical factor in the corrosion of steel reinforcement. Water acts as a carrier for chloride ions, and is also required for corrosion to occur. Therefore, the first line of defense against corrosion is to prevent the penetration of water into the concrete.
Mau West Waterproofing Solutions has over 30 years’ experience at keeping water out of concrete. With PENETRON ADMIX, concrete structures can remain protected over their lifetime. PENETRON ADMIX is a crystalline admixture. It is a hydrophilic material that reacts with water in concrete to form an insoluble crystalline structure that seals pores, micro-cracks and capillaries. The formation of crystals in the capillary matrix significantly reduces concrete permeability. The result is a permanently dry concrete structure that is protected against the ingress of water and water-borne chemicals even under high hydrostatic pressure.
With the waterproofing built right into the concrete itself, and only growing more effective throughout the life of the concrete, structures are lasting twice as long, even in areas high in corrosive contaminants.
Impermeable concrete creates a more durable finished product. With durability enhanced, structures have the advantage of longer life spans. Industry leaders world-wide are becoming increasingly more active in working together to develop more durable solutions to concrete construction. Many companies and professionals are coming together through leading authorities to achieve this common goal.
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