Reinforced concrete durability in marine environments DURACON project: Long-term exposure

O. Troconis De Rincón, J. C. Montenegro, R. Vera, A. M. Carvajal, R. M. De Gutiérrez, S. Del Vasto, E. Saborio, A. Torres-Acosta, J. Pérez-Quiroz, M. Martínez-Madrid, M. G. Lomeli-González, N. Araujo-Arreola, W. Martinez-Molina, E. Alonso-Guzmán, P. Castro-Borges, M. Balancan-Zapata, T. Pérez-López, M. Sosa-Baz, M. Baltazar-Zamora, J. Genescá-LlonguerasM. Salta, A. P. De Melo, I. Martínez, N. Rebolledo, G. Rodríguez, M. Pedrón, V. Millano, M. Sánchez, E. De Partidas, K. Mendoza

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20 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results, after a long-term evaluation in marine environments, from an Ibero-American project called "Effect of the environment on reinforcement durability" (DURACON). This project correlates the influence of urban and marine meteorochemical parameters on the performance of reinforced concrete structures in nine countries (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Portugal, and Venezuela). The environment was evaluated using ISO Standard 9223 and the concrete was characterized physically by measuring compressive strength, elastic modulus, total and effective porosity, as well as the effective porosity and resistance to water absorption using the Fagerlund method. To that effect, concrete specimens (with and without reinforcement) were prepared for electrochemical and physical/mechanical/chemical tests using the existing materials in each participating country, following strict procedures that enabled the preparation of similar concrete specimens. Two water/cement (w/c) ratios (0.45 and 0.65) were selected, where 0.45 w/c ratio concrete had a minimum cement content of 400 kg/m3 and the one with 0.65 w/c ratio had a minimum 28-d compressive strength of 210 kg/cm2. Type I Portland cement, siliceous sand, and crushed rock as coarse aggregates (13-mm maximum nominal size) were used. The results showed that the atmospheric aggressiveness was higher in tropical countries, especially when temperature rises above 25°C, with La Voz station (marine) in Venezuela being the most aggressive. Also, the chloride concentration threshold for rebar depassivation onset was much lower (≈0.42%) in a marine tropical environment, such as La Voz in Venezuela, compared to a nontropical one, such as Cabo Raso in Portugal (≈0.89%), with this concentration dependent on rebar depth and influenced by environmental factors such as time of wetness and ambient temperature, and not only from physical concrete properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-833
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Carbonation
  • Chloride threshold
  • Corrosion
  • Marine environment
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Tropical environment


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