Effet du microclimat sur l'initiation de la corrosion des aciers d'armature dans les ouvrages en béton armé

The deterioration of reinforced concrete structures and the associated rehabilitation work represent an economic cost of premier importance. In Switzerland, the structural maintenance expenditures amount to 40% to 65% of the initial construction cost (over a 100 year life-span). Among the maintenance and rehabilitation activities, those dedicated to combating corrosion constitute the largest portion of invested financial resources. For example, the curbs of each highway bridge need to be repaired every 20 to 30 years, resulting in extensive maintenance and user costs. The corrosion phenomenon is initiated by the presence of oxygen and water acting upon steel reinforcement with a compromised protective oxide film (a natural protective layer surrounding the steel). This protective layer is eliminated by carbonization of the concrete (the reaction between carbondioxide and concrete calcium-hydroxide paste), a sufficient chloride ion concentration around the steel reinforcement (introduced by the spreading of de-icing salts on the roads during winter), or a combination of the two phenomena. The water diffusion in the concrete cover facilitates the chloride ion movement, reducing the corrosion initiation time, and likewise, increasing deterioration rate. This research proposes a model, "TransChlor," to evaluate the duration of the corrosion initiation processes. TransChlor can therefore serve as a decision aid during the structural maintenance plan selection process and during the design of new structural elements to mitigate the steel reinforcement corrosion problem. The model can also complement and elaborate upon the existing codes. TransChlor is based on a structural analysis approach that groups the elements of a structure into distinct groups. Each group is defined by similar functional and structural qualities influencing the corrosion phenomenon (concrete cover permeability, degree of exposure to aggressive corrosive agents, local defects). The model in particular distinguishes the elements exposed to mist and liquid water. This model is based on in-situ measurements (structural monitoring) and inspections performed by trained inspectors. TransChlor employs a deterministic approach to simulate water diffusion, chloride ion diffusion, gas penetration, and thermal conduction. The penetration of liquid water into the concrete pours, called capillary suction, was experimentally studied in the laboratory at low temperatures to match in-situ conditions. These experiments formed the calibration base of this model. TransChlor also incorporates a probabilistic model to consider the variable and indeterminate aspects of the corrosion problem, such as the permeability space, the concrete cover thickness, and the reinforcing steel physical-chemical resistance to chloride ion attack. The deterministic model is refined by the probabilistic approach and together TransChlor offers a more exact evaluation of the corrosion deterioration risks and can facilitate the objective dialogue and discussion between owners and maintenance specialists. For locations exposed to liquid water and brine, the standards should impose additional protective provisions such as periodic hydrophobic impregnations, implementation of stainless steel reinforcing bars, etc. For other locations (exposed to salt spay and carbonated concrete not exposed to chloride ions), the codes should require complementary construction and maintenance provisions.

Brühwiler, Eugen
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis3408-2

 Record created 2005-10-27, last modified 2018-03-17

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