Carbonation > Carbonation

Carbonation is a serious problem for many reinforced concrete buildings which have been in service for some decades. It affects residential buildings, but also infrastructures and public buildings. Especially affected are constructions made with visible concrete facades.
Carbonation is a serious problem because it is one of the causes of the starting of corrosion in the reinforcements, and leads to a progressive fall in safety margins on which structural planning is based.

The main factors, which always interact with each other, regulating carbonation may be:
- Environmental: dampness, temperature, CO_2 concentration in the air,
exposure;
- Concerning the concrete: kind of cement, w/c ratio, porosity, laying, compacting, seasoning, cracking, cover.

EVOLUTION
Evolution of decay in the working life of a reinforced concrete structure may be split up into two periods, Starting and Propagation, which may last for longer or shorter time depending on the environmental conditions.


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During the Starting period, phenomena are produced which make the concrete lose its protective properties towards the reinforcements, whereas during the Propagation period, the spread of carbonation
brings about corrosion of the reinforcements.

DIAGNOSTICS
It is only awareness of the extent and evolution of the depth of carbonation which allows to manage reinforced concrete works properly. This is why it is crucial to carry out diagnostics and foresee the kind of decay that is going on during the Starting phase.

In order to evaluate the decay of a structure, it is necessary to use an efficient and effective method of analysis, which is simple and cost effective, quick and practical: CARBONTEST® .
The founding principle of this innovative method involves powdering the concrete, which allows to analyze a sample which has been taken without need to extract cylindrical samples (cores).
This reduces damages to the structure, investigation performance times and testing costs. Analysis of carbonation becomes an analysis that is possible to extend to any building of any kind of importance.