Chloride induced corrosion of steel in alkali activated slag concretes

Q. Ma, S. V. Nanukuttan, P. A M Basheer, Y. Bai, C. Yang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Alkali activated slag (AAS) is an alternative cementitious material. Sodium silicate solution is usually used to activate ground granulated blast furnace slag to produce AAS. As a consequence, the pore solution chemistry of AAS differs from that of Portland cement (PC). Although AAS offers many advantages over PC, such as higher strength, superior resistance to acid and sulphate environments and lower embodied carbon due to 100% PC replacement, there is a need to assess its performance against chloride induced corrosion duo to its different pore solution chemistry. For PC systems, resistivity measurement, as a type of nondestructive test, is usually used to evaluate its chloride diffusivity and the corrosion rate of the embedded steel. However, due to the different pore solution chemistry present in the different AAS systems, the application of this test in AAS concretes would be questionable as the resistivity of concrete is highly dependent on its conductivity of the pore solution. Therefore, a study was carried out using twelve AAS concretes mixes, the results of which are reported in this paper. The AAS mixes were designed with alkali concentration of 4%, 6% and 8% (Na2O% of the mass of slag) and modulus (Ms) of sodium silicate solution of 0.75, 1.00, 1.50 and 2.00. A PC concrete with the same binder content as the AAS concretes was also studied as a reference. The chloride diffusion coefficient was determined using a non-steady state chloride diffusion test (NT BUILD 443). The resistivity of the concretes before the diffusion test was also measured. Macrocell corrosion current (corrosion rate) for steel rods embedded in the concretes was measured whilst subjecting the concretes to a cyclic chloride ponding regime (1 day ponded with salt solution and 6 days drying). The results showed that the AAS concretes had lower chloride diffusivity with associated higher resistivity than the PC concrete. The measured corrosion rate was also lower for the AAS concretes. However, unlike the PC, in which a higher resistivity yields a lower diffusivity and corrosion rate, there was no relationship apparent between the resistivity and either the diffusivity or the corrosion rate of steel for the AAS concretes. This is assigned to the variation of the pore solution composition of the AAS concretes. This also means that resistivity measurements cannot be depended on for assessing the chloride induced corrosion resistance of AAS concretes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, ICDCS 2012
    PublisherHokkaido University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781909131040
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2012
    Event3rd International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, ICDCS 2012 - Belfast, United Kingdom
    Duration: 17 Sep 201219 Sep 2012


    Conference3rd International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, ICDCS 2012
    CountryUnited Kingdom

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Building and Construction

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