Carbonation of concrete at different CO2 concentrations in combination with mechanical load


  • Zhiyuan Liu
  • Philip Van den Heede (supervisor)
  • Nele De Belie (supervisor)


The carbonation of concrete is a very common deterioration cause of reinforced concrete which gradually reduces the alkalinity and then leads to reinforcement corrosion. A precise and reliable carbonation rate calculation is essential to ensure the design service life. However, the natural carbonation rate usually assessed from accelerated carbonation tests under high CO2 concentration (1%, 10%, or even 20% according to different standards) can be underestimated. Moreover, though the carbonation process of reinforced concrete is always coupled with the mechanical load in practice, the effect of mechanical load on the carbonation is overlooked. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding, the carbonation process under different CO2 concentration is investigated in terms of reaction mechanisms, reaction product assemblage and microstructure. How the load-induced pore structure and crack pattern changes influence the carbonation and how the carbonation changes the concrete structure in turn are investigated. Finally, transport and reaction models of carbonation combined with load are built and the carbonation rate prediction model is optimized.

FWO-NSFC Carbonation + Load
Crack pattern changes induced by mechanical load


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