Durability of precast prestressed concrete piles in marine environments
Holland, Robert Brett
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In this research, two phases of work were conducted. First, an investigation into the durability concerns for precast prestressed concrete piles exposed to marine environments was conducted. The investigation characterized the durability concerns of chemical, biological, and physical deterioration mechanisms. The results of this study were used to develop potential high performance marine concretes (HPMC) that would be capable of 100+ year service lives in marine environments. Extensive durability testing and service life modeling of the HPMC was performed. Chloride ingress resistance was investigated using accelerated and long-term test procedures and the results used to perform service life modeling to predict the time before corrosion initiation. Sulfate resistance characterization was performed using multiple techniques to characterize the physical and chemical behavior of binder compositions containing binary or ternary mixes containing cement and supplementary cementitious materials (SCM's) subjected to a sulfate-laden environment. Accelerated carbonation testing and material characterization led to the finding of relationships in the chemical composition of mix designs and the observed durability and the results used to perform corrosion initiation service life modeling. An investigation into the influence of self-healing of cracked concrete led to fundamental findings on the behavior of chloride ingress for cracked concrete structures in marine environments. The results of this research led to the development of concrete mix designs capable of providing service lives over 100 years in Georgia's marine environments, as well as the advancement of the current state of knowledge on the durability characteristics of ternary mix designs.