Concrete and Earthquake Engineering Research Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Investigation of concrete–clay interaction with regards to the thaumasite form of sulfate attack


Abubaker F, Lynsdale CJ, Cripps JC
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The influence of clay composition on the severity of attack due to thaumasite sulfate attack (TSA) on concrete made with CEM I and CEM I blended with 10% Limestone Filler (LF) was investigated. Concrete specimens were exposed to weathered Lower Lias Clay (LLC), for which the water soluble sulfate corresponded to the BRE sulfate class of DS-2, for 12 months at 5 and 20 C. A parallel study was carried out in which specimens of the same concretes were placed in sulfate solutions equivalent to DS-2 and DS-4 at the same temperatures. It was found that concrete exposed to clay with sulfate design class DS-2 deteriorated at a faster rate than corresponding specimens in DS-2 solution and at a similar or greater rate to those exposed to the DS-4 sulfate solution. This suggests that the aggressively of clay and resulting concrete deterioration could exceed what might be observed in concrete exposed to equivalent standard test solutions.

Publication details

Publication type: 
Journal article
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Construction and Building Materials
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