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Influence of transverse crack width on reinforcement corrosion initiation and propagation in mortar beams

2008-03-01
Sahmaran, Mustafa
Yaman, İsmail Özgür
This paper discusses the relationship between crack widths, chloride diffusivity, and corrosion rate of cracked mortar beams. Flexural loads are introduced to generate crack widths ranging from 29 to 390 mu m. The specimens were subjected to accelerated corrosion by immersion in a 5% NaCl solution and a constant voltage of 12 V. In addition, salt ponding tests were conducted to determine the chloride ion transport properties. The results showed that as the crack width increased, the effective diffusion coefficient (corrosion initiation) and mass loss of steel reinforcing bars due to the accelerated corrosion (corrosion propagation) also increased. For crack widths less than about 135 mu m, the effect of crack width on the effective diffusion coefficient and mass loss of steel reinforcing bars embedded in mortar specimens was found to be marginal when compared with the virgin specimens. Therefore, it was concluded that the effect of crack width on the corrosion initiation and propagation period was more pronounced when the crack width is greater than about 135 mu m. Moreover, a significant amount of self-healing was observed for the cracks that have widths below 50 mu m when subjected to the NaCl solution exposure.