Test methods for sulfate resistance of concrete and mechanism of sulfate attack - state of the art review

Sulfate attack on concrete has been studied worldwide for more than 60 years. However, the mechanisms of attack are still not entirely understood, and deterioration of concrete from sulfates still occurs. The source of the sulfates may be either 'external' or 'internal'. External sources are the naturally occurring sulfates in the environment or those sulfates that are the product of industrial processes or various human activities (for example, fertilisers often release sulfates into the soil and groundwater). Internal sources of sulfate may include the sulfates introduced in the cements from which concrete is made. Standard tests have been developed to evaluate the resistance of concretes to sulfate attack. Some, but not all of these tests, take into account the mechanisms of sulfate attack so far discovered in various research work. One of the first attempts to increase the resistance of concrete to sulfate attack was based on the finding that calcium aluminates in cement react with sulfates to cause expansion of concrete. Some countries, as a result, started to regulate the composition of cements used to make concrete. The recent incorporation of pozzolanic materials in concrete, though having some beneficial effects, complicates the study of the mechanisms of sulfate attack in concrete. This report comprises a review of the standard tests developed to date for sulfate attack, and how the test methods have evolved. It also reviews laboratory research that has been done on the mechanisms of sulfate attack.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 38p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: 5

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01437203
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 0869107720
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 8:27PM