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Proposed Standard Aims to Improve Durability of Concrete


ASTM International’s concrete and concrete aggregates committee (C09) has developed a test method aimed at improving and standardizing the way that resistance of concrete to electrical current flow helps assess its durability.

According to ASTM International member R. Douglas Hooton, saturated specimens of hardened concrete are tested to see how well they resist electrical currents. Concrete’s ability to resist aggressive fluids, and its resistance to electric currents, depend on its pore size and porosity, two factors that help determine its durability. (Exposure to water, salt water, and other fluids breaks down concrete or embedded steel reinforcement over time.)

The test method (C1876-19) aims to assess a concrete’s ability to resist penetration of fluids, helping determine concrete structure durability. 

“Various forms of this test method are already used in the United States and globally, but differences in sample conditioning and testing details cause different results,” said Hooton, a professor in the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto. “Therefore, having this standard will help users obtain reproducible results.”

He added that the committee welcomes participation as they will next be addressing potential changes to allow for alternate versions to verification procedures as well as further development of an appendix (for calculating a formation factor).