Chloride transport and the resulting corrosion of steel bars in alkali activated slag concretes

Qianmin Ma, Sreejith Nanukuttan, Muhammed Basheer, Yun Bai, Changhui Yang

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    As the relative performance of alkali activated slag (AAS) concretes in comparison to Portland cement (PC) counterparts for chloride transport and resulting corrosion of steel bars is not clear, an investigation was carried out and the results are reported in this paper. The effect of alkali concentration and modulus of sodium silicate solution used in AAS was studied. Chloride transport and corrosion properties were assessed with the help of electrical resistivity, non-steady state chloride diffusivity, onset of corrosion, rate of corrosion and pore solution chemistry. It was found that: (i) although chloride content at surface was higher for the AAS concretes, they had lower chloride diffusivity than PC concrete; (ii) pore structure, ionic exchange and interaction effect of hydrates strongly influenced the chloride transport in the AAS concretes; (iii) steel corrosion resistance of the AAS concretes was comparable to that of PC concrete under intermittent chloride ponding regime, with the exception of 6% Na2O and Ms of 1.5; (iv) the corrosion behaviour of the AAS concretes was significantly influenced by ionic exchange, carbonation and sulphide concentration; (v) the increase of alkali concentration of the activator generally increased the resistance of AAS concretes to chloride transport and reduced its resulting corrosion, and a value of 1.5 was found to be an optimum modulus for the activator for improving the chloride transport and the corrosion resistance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    JournalMaterials and Structures
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • alkali activated slag
    • pH Profiles
    • Chloride diffusivity
    • bulk electrical resistivity
    • pore solution chemistry
    • rate of corrosion

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