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Photo courtesy Chevron Australia Pty Ltd
of infrastructure may be less obvious, such as sewer pipes
or water tanks, but often must deal with high hydrostatic
pressure and the corrosive elements that are brought in by
How water attacks concrete structures
Since nature cannot be ‘stopped,’ design/construction
professionals must instead direct careful attention to how nature
operates and plan accordingly when designing, constructing,
and maintaining concrete structures. Not all damage is the result
of spectacular floods, storms, or newsworthy global-warming
events—some are slow and unseen, but the outcome can be just
All concrete infrastructure found in or near marine
environments will face reduced life spans unless steps are taken
to protect them. They are at a higher risk of corrosion due to the
constant wet-dry-wet cycle that forces water through capillary
tracts and micro-pores found in the concrete. When adding
in the extreme freeze/thaw weather conditions experienced
throughout Canada, the protection of these structures must
be of utmost importance.
Water permeability ultimately determines the rate of
deterioration, with some of the deterioration mechanisms
threatening marine concrete infrastructure being:
The liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks above are
nearing completion at the Wheatstone Project in Australia.
Coastal concrete construction must be enduring.
• steel reinforcement corrosion;
• chloride attack;
• sulfate attack;
• alkali aggregate reaction (AAR); and
• freeze/thaw cycles.
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2016-04-21 9:46 AM
June 2016 29
4/29/16 10:59 AM