Corrosion of the reinforcing steel may cause significant loss of strength of reinforced concrete structures. The study focuses on accelerating such corrosion and examining the degradation of (i) the compressive strength of concrete due to sodium sulfate in a wet atmosphere; and (ii) the flexural strength by a solution of sodium sulfate and sodium chloride. Three types of concrete were used and different beam specimens were reinforced by steel rebars of different diameters (6, 8 and 10mm), part of the beams being pre-cracked. The concrete with least strength allowed higher sulfate penetration along the entire process and the compressive strength increased slightly, possibly due to lower porosity of concrete after contamination. The results of the flexural tests showed decrease of strength in all cases. Pre-cracked beams exhibited smaller influence of porosity of concrete. Beams with 6mm rebars showed the largest loss of strength due to the contamination and corrosion process.
- Sulphate attack