Chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion and concrete cracking simulation

This paper develops an integrated computational methodology for chloride-induced degradation assessment of reinforced concrete structures by considering all three phases of the deterioration process. The chloride penetration process is simulated using a finite element-based method by following an analogous transient thermal analysis. A reinforcement corrosion and rust expansion model based on Faraday’s law is developed, and the rust expansion is characterized by an equivalent time-varying radial displacement boundary condition. Two established corrosion rate models – the constant model and the dynamic model – are included in the rust expansion model. Finite element analysis with a smeared cracking approach is implemented to simulate the rust expansion and the associated concrete cracking process. Simulation results are presented for a reinforced concrete slab exposed to a constant chloride environment.