Advanced SearchSearch Tips
A Study on Corrosion Properties of Reinforced Concrete Structures in Subsurface Environment
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
  • Journal title : The Journal of Engineering Geology
  • Volume 26, Issue 1,  2016, pp.79-85
  • Publisher : The Korea Society of Engineering Gelolgy
  • DOI : 10.9720/kseg.2016.1.79
 Title & Authors
A Study on Corrosion Properties of Reinforced Concrete Structures in Subsurface Environment
Kwon, Ki-jung; Jung, Haeryong; Park, Joo-Wan;
  PDF(new window)
A concrete silo plays an important role in subsurface low- and intermediate-level waste facilities (LILW) by limiting the release of radionuclides from the silo geosphere. However, due to several physical and chemical processes the performance of the concrete structure decreases over time and consequently the concrete loses its effectiveness as a barrier against groundwater inflow and the release of radionuclides. Although a number of processes are responsible for degradation of the silo concrete, it is determined that the main cause is corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Therefore, the time it takes for the silo concrete to fail is calculated based on two factors: the initiation time of corrosion, defined as the time it takes for chloride ions to penetrate through the concrete cover, and the propagation time of corrosion. This paper aims to estimate the time taken for concrete to fail in a LILW disposal facility. Based on the United States Department of Energy (DOE) approach, which indicates that concrete fails completely once 50% of the volume of the reinforcing steel corrodes, the corrosion propagation time is calculated to be 640 years, which is the time it takes for corrosion to penetrate 0.640 cm into the reinforcing steel. In addition to the corrosion propagation time, a diffusion equation is used to calculate the initiation time of corrosion, yielding a time of 1284 years, which post-dates the closure time of the LILW disposal facility if we also consider the 640 years of corrosion propagation. The electrochemical conditions of the passive rebar surface were modified using an acceleration method. This is a useful approach because it can reduce the test time significantly by accelerating the transport of chlorides. Using instrumental analysis, the physicochemical properties of corrosion products were determined, thereby confirming that corrosion occurred, although we did not observe significant cracks in, or expansion of, the concrete. These results are consistent with those of Smartet al., 2006 who reported that corrosion products are easily compressed, meaning that cracks cannot be discerned by eye. Therefore, it is worth noting that rebar corrosion does not strongly influence the hydraulic conductivity of the concrete.
Low- and intermediate-level wastes (LILW) disposal facility;Radioactive waste;Silo concrete;steel corrosion;Chloride ions;Degradation;
 Cited by
Freeze, R. A. and Cherry, J. A., 1979, Groundwater, Englewood Cliff, NJ, Prentice Hall, 604pp.

Jung, H., Kwon, K.-J., Lee, E., Kim, D.-G., and Kim, G. Y., 2011, Effect of dissolved oxygen on corrosion properties of reinforcing steel, Corrosion Engineering, Science and Technology, 46(2), 195-198.

Song, H. W., Pack, S. W., and Ann, K. Y., 2009, Probabilistic assessment to predict the time to corrosion of steel in reinforced concrete tunnel box exposed to seawater, Construction Building Materials, 23, 3270-3278. crossref(new window)

Cabrera, J. G., 1996, Deterioration of Concrete Due to Reinforcement Steel Corrosion, Cement & Concrete Composites 18, 47-59. crossref(new window)

Ann, K. Y., Ahn, J. H., and Ryou, J. S., 2009, The importance of chloride content at the concrete surface in assessing the time to corrosion of steel in concrete structures, Construction and Building Materials, 23, 239-245. crossref(new window)

Li, Y.-H. and Gregory, S., 1974, Diffusion of ions in sea water and in deep-sea sediments, Geochemical et Cosmochemica Acta, Vol. 38.

NRC, NUREG/CR-5542, 1990, Models for Estimation of Service Life of Concrete Barriers in Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal.

NCRP Report 152, 2005, Report of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP), Performance Assessment of Low-Level Waste Disposal Facilities, Bethesda.

Smart, N. R., Rance A. P., and Fenneall, P. A. H., 2006, Expansion due to the anaerobic corrosion of iron, SKB TR-06-41.

The European Union, EuroLightCon, 1999, Chloride penetration into concrete with lightweight aggregate, Document BE96-3942/R3.

US DOE, 2006, The U.S. Department Of Energy Idaho National Laboratory Site DraftSection 3116 Waste Determination For Idaho Nuclear Technology And Engineering Center Tank Farm Facility. U.S. Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office. No report number. Appendix E. Degradation Analysis of the Grouted Tank/Vault and Piping System at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center Tank Farm Facility And Preliminary Results for the Detailed Analysis of Releases from the Grouted Pipe and Encasement System.

Walton, J. C., Plansky, L. E., and Smith, R. W., 1990, Models for Estimation of Service Life of Concrete Barriers in Lowlevel Radioactive Waste Disposal.