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Monitoring accelerated alkali-silica reaction in concrete prisms with petrography and electrical conductivity measurements


Deterioration of concrete due to alkali-silica reaction (ASR) involves a reaction between alkaline ions in the cement pore solution and non-crystalline silica found in many aggregates. Diagnosing and quantifying deterioration due to ASR in concrete currently requires destructive testing for microscopy examinations. In this paper, electrical conductivity is investigated qualitatively as an alternative non-destructive evaluation (NDE) method of ASR in hardened concrete. The study was performed using an unrestrained set of small concrete prism specimens made with highly reactive small aggregates, and kept in an environmental chamber according to ASTM C1293 standard. In a companion study, destructive petrography and damage rating index (DRI) assessment, and pore solution extraction and analysis were performed on the same set of accelerated ASR specimens. The results show that temporal evolution of nondestructive bulk resistivity is linearly correlated with destructive DRI score.

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Argonne National Laboratory’s work was supported by the Nuclear Energy Science and Technology Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.

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Correspondence to Alexander Heifetz.

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Strow, M., Bevington, P., Bentivegna, A. et al. Monitoring accelerated alkali-silica reaction in concrete prisms with petrography and electrical conductivity measurements. Mater Struct 55, 119 (2022).

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  • Alkali-silica reaction
  • Petrography
  • Electrical conductivity