Durability of Concrete After Fire Through Accelerated Carbonation Tests

Degradation of mechanical properties and durability of reinforced concrete structures occur when they are subjected to fire situations, depending on the characteristics of the material, fire duration and the ways of fire extinguishing. Mechanical properties such as compressive strength, tensile strength and elasticity modulus are some examples of typically altered characteristics in concrete during high temperature exposure. Nevertheless, little is known about the advance of the carbonation front on fire-damaged concrete, which is a characteristic directly related to the durability of the structural system. For this purpose, the carbonation front was evaluated in specimens with characteristic strengths of 20 MPa and 35 MPa, subjected to high temperatures (200 °C, 500 ºC and 700 ºC) and different types of cooling (fast and slow). It was observed that the concrete durability is harmed by exposure to high temperatures and fast cooling. However, advance of the carbonation front was not verified in slow cooling situations.