US researchers discover new method for diagnosing concrete cracks

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a harmless method for detecting the alkali-silica reaction (ASR), an alternative to current costly, time-consuming and destructive sampling tests.

The researchers found that pore networks in concrete form during curing and contain ionic fluids (liquids containing charged particles), and the gel formed during the alkali-silica reaction diffuses to fill the voids in these pore networks. The researchers believe that the alkali-silica reaction changes the conductivity of concrete, which can be measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) techniques.

The findings have been published in the journal Materials and Structure.

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