Even the toughest materials aren’t invincible

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Even the toughest materials aren’t invincible

Concrete may be tough but that doesn’t mean that it’s invincible. In fact like all other materials it is susceptible to decay and damage over time. The best buildings may have contingencies in place to help prevent issues, but eventually maintenance work in one form or other needs to be done.

One thing to be worried about when it comes to concrete is the deterioration of buried frameworks used to enhance the strength. These can corrode and weaken over time. The best thing that can be done to help prevent it is to ensure that you have trusted monitoring and corrosion control protocols in place. We utilise this approach ourselves and it has never let us down.

Corrosion is the deterioration of materials thanks to chemical interactions within their environment. The term is applied to the degradation of an array of materials including concrete. If left to its own devices, the wearing can lead to a number of varied consequences, including loss of structural integrity and collapsing, so it is important to manage the situation as soon as possible.

Concrete cathodic protection systems were developed with the purpose of addressing corrosion issues in steel reinforced concrete. The primary concern in such structures is the presence of salt that results from the use of de-icing chemicals, exposure to the sea or the use of contaminated aggregate in the original mixture.

Once steel rebar corrodes, the rust formation leads to high internal pressures. Tensile stresses are exerted on the material that surrounds the steel, resulting in cracks that lead to delamination and spalling of the concrete. Simply put, the cathodic protection system offers up a sacrificial metal of sorts in place of the steel metal, offering fantastic protection.

At Churchill Concrete Technology we adapt to all of the unique qualities and purposes of the materials that we encounter in order to come up with the best protection method. Not all concretes are the same and as such, we have to come up with individual methods to counter specific problems. Fortunately we have the skills and expertise to do just that.