Corrosion and passivation of steel in concrete

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A study of several chemical and electrochemical factors which affect the behaviour of embedded steel in cement pastes and concrete has been made. The effects of internal and external sources of chloride ions on the pore solution chemistry of Portland cement pastes, with and without additions of anodic corrosion inhibitors, have been studied using a pore solution expression device which has enabled samples of pore solution to be expressed from hardened cement pastes and analysed for various ionic species. Samples of pure alite and tricalcium aluminate have been prepared and characterised with respect to morphology, free lime content and fineness. Kinetics of diffusion of chloride ions in hardened pastes of alite and alite blended with tricalcium aluminate have been investigated and an activation energy obtained for the diffusion process in alite. The pore structures of the hardened pastes and the chloride ion binding capacity of alite have also been determined. Concrete cylinders containing embedded steel with four different surface conditions were exposed to various environments. The electrochemical behaviour of the steel was monitored during the period of exposure by means of rest potential measurements and the steel corrosion products analysed before and after being embedded. An examination was made of the nature of the interfacial zones produced between the embedded steel and cement. Rest potential measurements were monitored for steel embedded in alite paste in the presence of chloride ions and cement paste containing various levels of inhibitors in combination with chloride ions. In the latter case the results were supported by polarisation resistance determinations.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish


  • corrosion
  • passivation
  • steel
  • concrete
  • cement
  • chlorides
  • inhibitors

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