Qingfeng Liu


Chloride-induced corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete is a worldwide problem. In order to predict how chlorides penetrate in concrete and how other ionic species in con-crete pore solution affect the penetration of chlorides, this thesis presents a numerical study on multi-phase modelling of ionic transport in concrete dominated by migration process. There are many advantages in rapid chloride migration test (RCM) method and numeri-cal approach. However, most of models in the literature predicting chloride diffusivity in concrete are diffusion models, which not consider the action of externally applied electric field. In view of this, the specific aim of this thesis is to develop a rational nu-merical migration model to simulate chloride migration tests. By using this model, the diffusion coefficient of chlorides in concrete will be efficiently predicted. Furthermore, other mechanisms of ionic transportation in composite materials can be scientifically in-vestigated in the meantime. In most existing work, researchers tend to use the assumption of electro-neutrality con-dition, which ensures that no external charge can be imported (Bockris and Reddy, 1998), to determine the electrostatic potential within concrete as well as considering a 1-D problem with only one phase structure and single species (i.e. the chlorides) for pre-dicting the ionic migration. In contrast, this thesis presents a number of sets of multi-phase migration models in more than one dimension and uses the Poisson’s equation for controlling the multi-species interactions. By solving both mass conservation and Pois-son’s equations, the distribution profiles of each ionic species and electrostatic potential at any required time are successfully obtained. Some significant factors, i.e. the influ-ence of dimensions, aggregates, interfacial transition zones (ITZs), cracks and binding effect have also been discussed in detail. The results reveal a series of important features which may not be seen from existing numerical models. For quantitative study, this thesis also provides the prediction method of chloride diffu-sivity not only by the traditional stationary diffusion models but also by the migration models presented in the thesis. The obtained results are compared with three proven analytical models, i.e., Maxwell’s model (Dormieux and Lemarchand, 2000), Brug-geman’s equation (Bruggeman’s, 1935) and the lower bound of the effective diffusion coefficient proposed by Li et al. (2012) as well as validated against experimental data sets of an accelerated chloride migration test (ACMT) brought by Yang and Su (2002).

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