Materiales de Construcción, Vol 53, No 271-272 (2003)

Cement content influence in rebar corrosion in carbonated mortars

P. O. Américo
Depto. de Ingenharia Civil e Ambiental. Facultade de Tecnologia . Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil

A. A. Nepomuceno
Depto. de Ingenharia Civil e Ambiental. Facultade de Tecnologia . Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil


The cement hydration products protect the concrete rebars of the reinforced concrete due to the production of Ca(OH)2, NaOH, and KOH that, upon dissolving in the concrete s aqueous phase, generate a pH above 12.5. However, reinforced concrete structures are exposed to pollutant gases, such as, CO2 which upon penetrating the concrete, reacts with the alkaline components, consequently reducing the pH of the aqueous phase causing the loss of passivity by the rebar and as a consequence its corrosion when there is the presence of humidity and oxygen. The objective of the current paper is the analysis of the alkaline reserve influence, measured by the cement content, in the corrosion of rebars employing the polarization resistance technique for determining the corrosion intensity. Results for corrosion intensity of rebars embedded in prismatic mortar test specimens are produced with three cement content levels, with equal water/cement ratio. Cylindrical test specimens were also used for verification of the capillary absorption and the porosity by means of mercury porosymetry The results show that the initiation period is shorter and the corrosion intensity of the rebars is higher when the cement content is lower However, there is also an alteration in the microstructure upon altering the cement content, and far this reason one cannot conclude that the alkaline reserve alone is responsible for these results.


cement content; microstructure; carbonation; corrosion rate; mercury porosimetry

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