Materials and Structures

, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 2043–2062 | Cite as

Corrosion induced cover cracking studied by X-ray computed tomography, nanoindentation, and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS)

  • Branko ŠavijaEmail author
  • Mladena Luković
  • Seyed Amir Sajjad Hosseini
  • José Pacheco
  • Erik Schlangen
Original Article


In this study, several experimental techniques are utilized to study different aspects of cracking of the protective cover due to reinforcing steel corrosion. Firstly, micro-computed X-ray tomography technique (CT-scanning) is used for monitoring rust formation during accelerated corrosion of reinforcement, and subsequent cover cracking. Secondly, the nanoindentation technique is employed to determine mechanical properties of the rust layer, which is an important input parameter for numerical models. Finally, energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry is used for elemental mapping around the steel–cement paste interface. Also, as a part of the study, the resistance of a strain hardening cementitious composite (SHCC) to corrosion induced cover cracking is examined. It was found that CT-scanning can be successfully utilized in non-destructive monitoring of the corrosion process in reinforced specimens. The nanoindentation study showed that the Young modulus of rust is highly dependent on the level of confinement provided to the rust layer by the surrounding cement paste. And, finally, SHCC proved to be an excellent alternative to brittle cementitious materials when corrosion induced cracking of the cover is a concern.


Corrosion induced cover cracking Micro-computed tomography Nanoindentation Strain-hardening cementitious composite (SHCC) EDS 



Financial support by the Dutch Technology Foundation (STW) for the project 10978: Measuring, Modelling, and Monitoring Chloride ingress and Corrosion initiation in Cracked Concrete (M3C4) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Arjan Thijssen for his assistance with the X-ray computed tomography experiments.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Branko Šavija
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mladena Luković
    • 1
  • Seyed Amir Sajjad Hosseini
    • 1
  • José Pacheco
    • 1
  • Erik Schlangen
    • 1
  1. 1.Microlab, Faculty of Civil Engineering and GeoscienscesDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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