Methods of assessing the durability and service life of concrete structures

Sreejith Nanukuttan, Kai Yang, John McCarter, Muhammed Basheer

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Characterisation of cover concrete is often the most viable means for assessing the durability and has become increasingly evident over the past 20 years. A variety of field methods and laboratory techniques exist, which provide a number of properties, such as air permeability index, water absorption rate, water permeability index, chloride diffusivity, electrical resistivity, moisture content and porosity gradient. Most techniques are economical and appropriate for assessing the durability of structures subjected to a single mechanism of deterioration. In reality, structures may face multiple deterioration mechanisms, stress/strains due to both environmental and structural loading and related acceleration of deterioration. Developing an understanding of such multimode deterioration may help in addressing the performance gap between laboratory and field. In this paper, a brief review of some of the ways by which a performance testing strategy could be developed is given so that service life prediction could be more realistic.


  • in situ permeation test methods
  • sensor systems
  • structural health monitoring
  • durability assessment


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