To have a sustainable concrete structure, durability is key. Use of inappropriate materials, poor construction practices, curing and mix designs, results in concrete structures often showing serious premature deterioration. This is a global problem that annually costs public and private sectors worldwide billions of dollars.
Measuring the durability of concrete to determine its longevity in service is challenging. It is, however, important in identifying how sustainable structures will ultimately be.
Tests such as water absorption, surface absorption, water permeability, or chloride permeability are commonly specified.
These tests should consider the unique properties of the mix design when used to determine concrete’s durability.
They also have some limitations and it is necessary to understand and recognise them.