Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Alkali-Silica Reaction

  • Brian R. MarkerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_11


The reaction between alkali in cement and noncrystalline or porous silica in aggregate, in the presence of moisture, that may cause expansion and cracking of concrete.


“Concrete cancer”


Alkali silica reaction (ASR) is an acid-base reaction between calcium hydroxide (portlandite, Ca(OH) 2) and silicic acid (H 4SiO 4) which can be represented as:
$$ \mathrm{Ca}{\left(\mathrm{OH}\right)}_2+{\mathrm{H}}_4{\mathrm{SiO}}_4\to {\mathrm{Ca}}^{2+}+{\mathrm{H}}_2{{\mathrm{SiO}}_4}^{2-}+2\ {\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O}\to {\mathrm{Ca}\mathrm{H}}_2{\mathrm{SiO}}_4\cdot 2\ {\mathrm{H}}_2\mathrm{O} $$
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  1. Farney JA, Kirkhoff B (2007) Diagnosis and control of alkali aggregate reactions in concrete. Concrete technology. PCA R&D Serial 2071b. http://www.cement.org/docs/default-source/fc_concrete_technology/is413-02%24;diagnosis-and-control-of-alkali-aggregate-reactions-in-concrete.pdf
  2. Pani JW, Feng YT, Wang JT, Sun QC, Zhang CH, Owen DRJ (2012) Modelling of alkali-silica reaction in concrete: a review. Front Struct Civ Eng 6(1):1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-012-0141-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK