An accelerated carbonation procedure for studies on concrete

T. K H Al-Kadhimi, P. F G Banfill, S. G. Millard, J. H. Bungey

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Carbonation of the concrete leading to reduced alkalinity around the steel is one of the main reasons for the corrosion of reinforced concrete. Studies of carbonation-induced corrosion and of rehabilitation methods, such as electrochemical re-alkalization, require the convenient preparation of realistically large specimens of carbonated concrete in a sufficiently short time. This paper describes a rapid method of preparing carbonated concrete by exposing concrete, which has been dried to an internal relative humidity of 60%, to a pure atmosphere of carbon dioxide gas at 15 bar pressure (1500 kPa). The pressure chamber used can accommodate specimens up to 150 mm diameter or 100 × 100 mm section and such specimens can be fully carbonated in 2 weeks, much more quickly than by other methods. Carbonation increases the electrical resistivity and strength of the concrete and reduces the water absorption. Optical and electron microscopical investigations on the carbonated concrete confirm that the microstructure is no different from that produced in concrete by carbonation under natural exposure. The accelerated carbonation method can be used for development work on materials and repair methods and has been used by the authors in preparing carbonated concrete specimens for re-alkalization tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Cement Research
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996

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