Durability of Concrete Construction — 50 Years of Progress

by Bryant Mather, Chf.; Concrete Lab., U.S. Army Engr. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 5-14

Document Type: Journal Paper


In 1925, many of the problems of concrete durability were recognized. It was also recognized that concrete that had endured for 2,000 yr existed. The need for recognizing the destructive agencies and discovering satisfactory remedies was appreciated. After 50 yr, progress in understanding factors causing deterioration of concrete has been such that deterioration can be prevented provided that the cause can be anticipated and appropriate measures taken. Different precautions are needed for different causative factors that may be destructive agencies. Deterioration from frost action, chemical reactions of alkalies and soluble silica in the aggregates, sulfate attack, delayed hydration of free lime or magnesia, or both, in the cement, expansion of certain kinds of aggregate particles caused by chemical reactions other than those with alkalies, surface contraction due to drying, and solution (leaching) can be prevented by other precautions.

Subject Headings: Material durability | Concrete | Concrete construction | Aging (material) | Alkalinity | Aggregates | Frost | Solubility

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