Competition of several carbonation reactions in concrete: a parametric study

M.A. Peter, A. Muntean, S.A. Meier, M. Böhm

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Carbonation caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide is one of the major physicochemical processes which can compromise the service life of reinforced concrete structures. While the bulk of the carbonation reaction is that of calcium hydroxide, other constituents of the porous matrix can also carbonate and compete with calcium hydroxide for carbon dioxide. Particularly the carbonation of calcium–silicate hydrates and unhydrated constituents are neglected by most authors in carbonation prediction models. In this paper, a mathematical model of carbonation is extended to include additional carbonation and hydration reactions. The competition of the several reactions and their effect on the carbonation depth is investigated by dimensional analysis and numerical simulations. A parameter study emphasises that multiple internal reaction layers appear. Their position and speed essentially depend on the strength of the different reactions. It is also observed that, for a wide range of parameters, the effect of some of the additional reactions on the carbonation depth is small. In particular, a comparison with data from laboratory experiments justifies the neglect of the carbonation of the unhydrated constituents in prediction models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1393
Number of pages9
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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