Concrete Durability Course
To be announced.
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This 2½ day course will cover the fundamental mechanisms
that impact durability of concrete. Recognize symptoms and learn about
methods to evaluate deterioration of concrete; understand causes of
durability problems and methods to prevent them; test methods for
durability and their limitations; and code and specification criteria
for durable concrete structures.
Topics will cover the
concrete microstructure, cracking, corrosion mechanisms, freeze-thaw
resistance, sulfate resistance, alkali aggregate reactions (AAR), and
other durability-related distress.
The course will be
taught by instructors who are on the forefront of current research and
diagnosis of concrete durability.
The course will conclude
with an exam. Persons who have obtained the NRMCA Concrete Technologist
Level 3 certification at the NRMCA technical short course will qualify
for NRMCA Concrete Technologist Level 4 certification on successful
completion of this exam.
Jump to Instructors
Proposed Course Syllabus
Day 1 – Morning Session (8:30 a.m. –
1.Concrete Gone Wild
In this interactive section students will be shown a wide range of
concrete durability problems and will be asked to identify the cause(s)
of deterioration. Examples will be given where improper design and
specification, inferior quality materials, inappropriate proportioning,
and poor construction practices have contributed to the deterioration.
2. The Nature of Concrete I: Hydration, pore structure and permeability
This session will start with an introduction to cement hydration and the
development of pore structure. This will include a discussion on the
properties and reactions of supplementary cementing materials (SCM’s).
These concepts will be used to explain the role of W/CM and SCM’s on
3. The Nature of Concrete II: Why Does it Crack?
Concrete cracks! Causes of cracking (autogenous, thermal, shrinkage) and
methods for controlling and minimizing cracking will be discussed.
Students will be introduced to a user-friendly model (ConcreteWorks) for
predicting temperature profiles and the risk of cracking in concrete
Day 1 – Afternoon Session (1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
4. Chlorides, Carbonation & Corrosion
The session will include an introduction to steel corrosion and how
concrete protects reinforcing steel. The role of chloride ions and
carbonation in initiating the corrosion process will be explained.
Methods for measuring chloride ingress (including ASTM tests for
diffusion and “chloride permeability”) and carbonation will be
5. Corrosion Protection Strategies
This session will cover various corrosion protection strategies
including the use of low-permeability concrete (role of low W/CM and SCM),
corrosion inhibitors, and corrosion-resistant reinforcement.
6. Service-Life Prediction: Life-365 and Beyond
Students will be introduced to the service-life model Life-365 and be
given a hands-on demonstration of its use. Other models will also be
7. Case History & Homework
Students will work in groups and will be set an assignment to design a
corrosion-protection strategy for a reinforced concrete structure using
Life-365. Groups will make brief presentations to the class after lunch
on the second day.
Day 2 – Morning Session (8:30 a.m. – noon)
8. Alkali-Aggregate Reaction (AAR)
The symptoms and mechanisms of AAR will be discussed. Although the
presentation will focus on alkali-silica reaction (ASR), students will
also be introduced to alkali-carbonate reaction (ACR). Methods of test
including the shortcomings of the different test methods will be
discussed. The presentation will also include a discussion on methods of
prevention (including case histories) and both prescriptive and
9. Sulfate-Related Durability Problems
The presentation will begin with an explanation of the role of sulfates
in normal cement hydration. “Classic sulfate attack” due to deleterious
chemical reactions that occur when concrete is exposed to an external
source of sulfates will be discussed together with test methods, methods
of improving sulfate resistance and code requirements. The presentation
will also include a discussion of other forms of deterioration involving
sulfate compounds including physical sulfate attack, heat-induced
delayed ettringite formation (DEF) and the thaumasite form of sulfate
attack. A number of case histories will be presented.
10. Other Forms of Concrete Deterioration
This presentation will cover abrasion, erosion, chemical and acid
attack, and measures for protecting concrete from aggressive
Day 2 – Afternoon Session (1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
11. Group Presentations on Corrosion Protection Strategies
Each group will make a brief presentation on the corrosion protection
strategy it designed in response to the problem assigned at the end of
the first day.
12. Freeze-Thaw and Salt Scaling
This presentation will cover the mechanisms of deterioration due to
cyclic freezing and thawing, and deicer-salt scaling, the role of air
entrainment, test methods and methods for ensuring frost-resistant
concrete. Problems associated with alternative deicing chemicals (e.g.
magnesium chloride) and anti-icing chemicals (e.g. potassium acetate)
will also be discussed.
13. Specifications Related to Durability
This presentation will be made by NRMCA staff.
14. Taming the Wild
This final interactive presentation will follow on from where the first
presentation left off. Examples will be given of concrete durability
problems and students will be asked to apply what they have learned and
identify what should have been done to prevent the problem from
Michael Thomas, Ph.D., P.Eng., is a Professor in the Department
of Civil Engineering at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and a
registered Professional Engineer in the province of New Brunswick. He
has been working in the field of cement and concrete research since
1983. Prior to joining UNB in 2002 he had been on faculty at the
University of Toronto since 1994 and previous to this he worked as
concrete materials engineer with Ontario Hydro in Canada and as a
research fellow with the Building Research Establishment in the UK.
Dr. Thomas’s main research interests are concrete durability and the use
of industrial by-products including pozzolans and slag. His studies on
durability have included alkali-silica reaction, delayed ettringite
formation, sulfate attack, deicer-salt scaling, carbonation, chloride
ingress and embedded steel corrosion. He is also active in the area of
service-life modeling, and in the repair and maintenance of concrete
structures. He has authored more than 100 technical papers and reports
on these subjects, and is a co-author of the service-life model,
Dr. Thomas is active on technical committees within the American
Concrete Institute (ACI), ASTM, RILEM, and the Canadian Standards
Association. He was a recipient of the ACI’s Wason Medal for Materials
Research in 1997, the ACI Construction Practice Award in 2001 and was
elected to a Fellow of the Institute in 2006.
Kevin Folliard, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Austin
Industries Endowed Faculty Fellow in the Department of Civil Engineering
at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the faculty at
the University of Texas at Austin in September, 1999, Dr. Folliard was
an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware, and previous to
this, he worked for W.R. Grace & Co. in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a
Research Associate Engineer. He was responsible for the research and
development of various concrete admixtures. During his employment at
W.R. Grace & Co., he received the prestigious Vision Award in 1996, as
well as a Research Recognition Award in the same year.
Dr. Folliard received his Ph.D. from the University of California at
Berkeley. His research was primarily on the durability of
high-performance concrete, with special emphasis on frost resistance and
sulfate attack. Dr. Folliard received his M.S. in Civil Engineering from
Berkeley and his B.S. from Florida Institute of Technology.
He is a member of ACI Committees 229
Controlled Low-Strength Material, 236 Materials Science of Concrete, and
544 Fiber-Reinforced Concrete. He is Chair of Committee 201 Durability
of Concrete. He was awarded the prestigious ACI Young Member Award for
Professional Achievement in 2002 and was elected a Fellow of ACI in
2003. He has developed and presented a range of workshops and training
courses for the concrete industry, state highway departments, and
Educational Lineup |
course supports earning a
Certified Concrete Professional
designation in the Concrete Technology career track.
When in the Washington DC Area...NRMCA facilities are easy to get to and close to
good dining, entertainment and culture.