Effect of temperature and acidity of sulphuric acid on concrete properties

Mahmoodian, Mojtaba and Alani, Amir M. (2017) Effect of temperature and acidity of sulphuric acid on concrete properties. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 29(10), ISSN (print) 0899-1561


Concrete corrosion caused by sulphuric acid attack is a known phenomenon in sewer systems, resulting in significant economic losses and environmental problems. However, there is a scarcity of reported laboratory simulations and experimental work investigating the contributing factors controlling the corrosion. In this EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK) funded investigation the effect of temperature and the acidity of sulphuric acid solution on concrete specimens extracted from brand new concrete sewers has been investigated. In this investigation the concrete samples are submerged in three sulphuric acid solutions (pH = 0.5, 1 and 2) for 91 days under different temperatures (10?C, 20?C and 30?C). Mass loss and compressive strength of the concrete specimens were tested and recorded at 7, 14, 28, 42, 56 and 91 days providing interesting data for visualising the changes taking place in the concrete samples (change in properties) during the time of immersion. The results revealed that samples overall mass increased at the early stages of the corrosion process. It also was observed that the overall mass of the samples decreased significantly at the later stages of the testing process with respect to the acidity of the solutions used. Although the change in temperature did not have a significant effect on the compressive strength of the tested samples, rise in temperature however, had considerable effect on the mass loss of the concrete samples which were immersed in the most aggressive solution (i.e., pH=0.5 and temperature = 30oC) at 91 days. This research clearly demonstrated a high correlation between the acidity of the solution and the rate of corrosion with respect to time.

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