Durability of concrete products exposed to an aggressive environment for reinforcements

This study deals with the deterioration mechanisms of concrete linked to the reinforcement corrosion and the development of a predictive model of durability. The final goal of this research project is to better quantify the performances of the couple “concrete mix/cover thickness” towards risks of reinforcement corrosion linked to carbonation and chloride penetration.
Simulations of real cases show that it is possible for dense concrete, to optimize the design of cover thickness of concrete structures by taking into account the intrinsic properties of the materials and the real environmental conditions.

This work presents a dual interest:
– highlight the great performances of concrete products due to high compactness and optimized process,
– in standards, justify performance-based criteria or deemed-to-satisfy specifications according to the real performances of couples “concrete mix/cover thickness”.

Commitees of standardization, especially the ones linked to Eurocodes, are already interested in durability models. The future rules for the design of concrete cover will probably be based not only on the feedbacks but also on the analysis at predictive durability models. It is fundamental that the concrete sector has at his disposal such tools in order to support its arguments in a robust manner.