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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 5973467, 10 pages
Research Article

Mechanical Performance and Chloride Diffusivity of Cracked RC Specimens Exposed to Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Intermittent Immersion in Seawater

1School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100083, China
2State Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

Received 14 June 2016; Revised 15 August 2016; Accepted 4 September 2016

Academic Editor: Robert Cerný

Copyright © 2016 Bei Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The effects of crack width on chloride ingress and mechanical behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) specimens were experimentally studied after exposure to 300 cycles of freeze-thaw and seawater immersion (75 times). Cracks were induced prior to exposure by an eccentric compression load which was sustained until the end of the exposure period. The maximum cracks widths induced in the four column specimens were 0, 0.06, 0.11, and 0.15 mm, respectively. Results show that when the crack width was less than 0.06 mm, the effect of cracks on chloride ingress could be neglected. However, when the crack width was more than 0.11 mm, chloride ingress was accelerated. Results of static loading tests show that both yield load and ultimate load of RC columns decreased as crack width increased. When the crack width was 0.15 mm, yield load and ultimate load of RC column specimen decreased by 17.0% and 18.9%, respectively, compared to a specimen without cracks. It was concluded that crack width significantly promoted local chloride ingress and mechanical performance degradation of RC structures in cold coastal regions or exposed to deicing salts.