Most of the world’s infrastructure is built from concrete. The premature deterioration of concrete structures is a major global problem with estimated repair costs in the order of billions in the UK alone.
The Concrete Durability Group endeavours to develop more effective methods for use in the durability design, service life assessment and repair of concrete structures.
The most commonly encountered deterioration processes involve deleterious chemical reactions. The rate of degradation is controlled by the mobility of ionic and molecular species within the concrete. The resulting microstructural changes degrade the physical properties of concrete and reduce the corrosion protection it provides to the embedded reinforcement. Reinforcement corrosion leads to concrete cracking and spalling and ultimately to structural failure.
By its very nature, research in this field requires expertise from a wide range of disciplines including:
- Cement Chemistry
- Transport Physics
- Microstructural Characterisation
- Corrosion Science
- Numerical Modelling
- Structural Analysis
The Group is always looking to develop novel approaches to enhance or predict structural durability and many of its research findings have been used to solve industrial problems.