Durability in Concrete
Durable Concrete Structures; Recommended Practice, published by Concrete Institute of Australia offers a very comprehensive definition of Concrete Durability: “Durability of concrete may be defined as its resistance to deteriorating influences which may, through inadvertence or ignorance, reside in the concrete itself, or are inherent in the environment to which it is exposed”. Durability is not only about the property of concrete, but also relates to the environment in which the concrete element is located in and the uses to which it is put.
The environmental and other conditions that the concrete element is exposed during its service life have a direct influence on its performance. These conditions can be quite complex, comprising climatic factors, the presence of airborne deleterious agents, chemicals in the water, ground or soil, marine conditions, etc. The situation can be further complicated by the type of loading and load history.
In a nutshell, moisture level, temperature, presence of aggressive chemicals, abrasion and types of loading have been categorised as environmental and service conditions factors which affect the durability of concrete.