Damage Evolution of Concrete Exposed to Sulfate Attack Under Drying-Wetting Cycles

Lei Jiang1, Ditao Niu*, 2
1 College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Anyang Normal University, Anyang, 455000, P.R. China
2 College of Civil engineering, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, 710055, P.R. China

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© 2014 Jiang and Niu;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The damage evolution of concrete subjected to drying-wetting cycles in different concentration of sodium sulfate solution was investigated based on micro and macro-observations. Through the experiment, weight loss, compressive strength loss and the damage layer thickness of concrete were measured after different drying-wetting cycles. The mechanical properties degradation in the damage layer of concrete was also analyzed. Furthermore, the scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to investigate the corrosion products of concrete, and the damage mechanism was also investigated by the modern microanalysis techniques. The test results show that the deterioration degree of physical properties of concrete specimens increases with increasing concentration. Weight loss of specimens caused by sulfate attack is not obvious compared with the other evaluation index. When the damage layer thickness of concrete is thicker as well as the ultrasonic speed is lower, indicating that the deterioration degree of concrete increases, and the compressive strength loss in damage layer is serious. It was also found that the compressive loss of concrete is correspond with the observations for the damage layer thickness. Additionally, the main corrosion products of concrete in sulfate solutions subjected to drying-wetting cycles were confirmed to be ettringite and gypsum, and the quantity of corrosion products formed is proportional to the concentration of the solution.

Keywords: Concrete, damage layer thickness, drying-wetting cycles, sodium sulfate.

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