Materials and Structures

, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 1781–1799 | Cite as

Concrete cover cracking due to uniform reinforcement corrosion

  • Anders Ole Stubbe Solgaard
  • Alexander Michel
  • Mette Geiker
  • Henrik Stang
Original Article


Service life design (SLD) is an important tool for civil engineers to ensure that the structural integrity and functionality of the structure is not compromised within a given time frame, i.e. the service life. In SLD of reinforced concrete structures, reinforcement corrosion is of major concern and reinforcement de-passivation is a frequently used limit state. The present paper investigates an alternative limit state: corrosion-induced cover cracking. Results from numerical simulations of concrete cover cracking due to reinforcement corrosion are presented. The potential additional service life is calculated using literature data on corrosion rate and Faraday’s law. The parameters varied comprise reinforcement diameter, concrete cover thickness and concrete material properties, viz. concrete tensile strength and ductility (plain concrete and fibre reinforced concrete). Results obtained from the numerical simulations reveal that, depending on the serviceability limit state applied, the service life of a reinforced concrete structure can be increased significantly by allowing minor damage of the cover.


Service life design Cracking of concrete cover Numerical simulations Fibre reinforced concrete 



The first author gratefully acknowledges the full financial support of the PhD project “Application of FRC in Civil Infrastructure” by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, COWI A/S, DTU, Bekaert NV, Grace and the Danish Road Directorate. The second author acknowledges the financial support from Femern Bælt A/S, Sund & Bælt Holding A/S, and the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Ole Stubbe Solgaard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander Michel
    • 2
  • Mette Geiker
    • 2
    • 3
  • Henrik Stang
    • 2
  1. 1.COWI A/S DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Structural EngineeringNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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