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Expansive Reactions in Concrete Observed by Soft X-Ray Transmission Microscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

K. E. Kurtis
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
P. J. M. Monteiro
Affiliation:
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
J. T. Brown
Affiliation:
Center for X-rey optics, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
W. Meyer-Ilse
Affiliation:
Center for X-rey optics, Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720
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Abstract

Alkali-silica reaction, sulfate attack, and reinforcing steel corrosion can compromise the long-term durability of concrete structures. The anticipated economic impact of an extensive infrastructure repair scheme has produced a renewed interest in the development of advanced characterization methods to assess the degree of deterioration in the concrete experiencing these deleterious reactions. The products of the alkali silica reaction, sulfate attack, and corrosion as well as the cement hydration products are extremely sensitive to humidity. Consequently, characterization techniques that require high vacuum or drying, as many existing techniques do, are not particularly appropriate for the study of these reactions in concrete as artifacts are introduced. A high resolution instrument which allows the examination of these reactions and their products without drying and at normal pressures will promote understanding of the reactions and provide further insight into means of mitigating the damage they cause. Only soft x-ray transmission microscopy provides the required high spatial resolution to observe the reaction process in situ. The alkali-silica reaction can be observed over time, in a wet condition, and at normal pressures, features unavailable with most other high resolution techniques. Soft x-rays also reveal information on the internal structure of the sample. This paper reviews published and ongoing applications of soft x-ray transmission microscopy for the study of expansive reactions that occur in concrete.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1998

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