American Society of Civil Engineers

Concrete Delamination Caused by Steel Reinforcement Corrosion

by C. Q. Li, (corresponding author), (Prof., Zhejiang Univ. of Technol., P. R. China; and, Univ. of Greenwich, U.K. E-mail:, J. J. Zheng, (Prof., Fac. of Civ. Engrg. and Arch., Zhejiang Univ. of Technol., P. R. China), W. Lawanwisut, (Res. Engr., Cho. Lawanasphat Partnership, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand), and R. E. Melchers, (Prof., Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, Univ. of Newcastle, Australia)

Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 7, July 2007, pp. 591-600, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Practical experience and laboratory observations indicate that corrosion affected reinforced concrete structures are prone more to cracking and delamination of the concrete than to the loss of structural strength. A review of research literature suggests that insufficient theoretical work on corrosion induced concrete delamination has been undertaken. This paper proposes a theoretical method to predict the time to concrete delamination caused by steel reinforcement corrosion. The method is based on fracture mechanics and uses crack opening in concrete as the criterion for its delamination. An analytical model is derived to determine the crack width in concrete. A numerical example is given to illustrate the proposed method and a comparison with both test results and an empirical model indicates a good agreement. It is found in the paper that the corrosion rate is the most significant single factor that affects the time to concrete delamination. The proposed method can be used for the prediction of time to concrete delamination for reinforced concrete structures located in chloride-laden environments. In principle, this provides a means for judging timely intervention and as such has the potential to prolong the service life of corrosion affected concrete structures.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Concrete structures