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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 8, Number 2, April 2011 , pages 125-142

Mesoscale simulation of chloride diffusion in concrete considering the binding capacity and concentration dependence
Licheng Wang and Tamon Ueda

    In the present paper, a numerical simulation method based on mesoscopic composite structure of concrete, the truss network model, is developed to evaluate the diffusivity of concrete in order to account for the microstructure of concrete, the binding effect of chloride ions and the chloride concentration dependence. In the model, concrete is described as a three-phase composite, consisting of mortar, coarse aggregates and the interfacial transition zones (ITZs) between them. The advantage of the current modelis that it can easily represent the movement of mass (e.g. water or chloride ions) through ITZs or the potential cracks within concrete. An analytical method to estimate the chloride diffusivity of mortar and ITZ, which are both treated as homogenious materials in the model, is introduced in terms of water-tocement ratio (w/c) and sand volume fraction. Using the newly developed approaches, the effect of cracking of concrete on chloride diffusion is reflected by means of the similar process as that in the test. The results of calculation give close match with experimental observations. Furthermore, with consideration of the binding capacity of chloride ions to cement paste and the concentration dependence for diffusivity, the onedimensional nonlinear diffusion equation is established, as well as its finite difference form in terms of the truss network model. A series of numerical analysises performed on the model find that the chloride diffusion is substantially influenced by the binding capacity and concentration dependence, which is same as that revealed in some experimental investigations. This indicates the necessity to take into account the binding capacity and chloride concentration dependence in the durability analysis and service life prediction of concrete structures.
Key Words
    mesoscale simulation; chloride diffusion; binding capacity; concentration dependence; truss network model.
Licheng Wang: State Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Tamon Ueda: Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan

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