DEF: As a form of sulfate attack


  • J. Skalny Consultant, Timonium, Maryland
  • V. Johansen G.M. Idorn Consult (RAMBOLL UNA/S)
  • N. Thaulow G.M. Idorn Consult (RAMBOLL UNA/S)
  • A. Palomo IETCC/CSIC



Delayed ettringite formation (DEF) is the term used to describe expansion of some heat cured portland cement concretes. Although meaningful progress has been made, the exact mechanism of the expansion itself is not entirely understood. The ettringite reformation is enabled, primarily, by thermal decomposition of ettringite formed prior to or during the cement paste setting as a result of excessive/improper heat curing. Observance in mature concrete of crystalline ettringite in air voids, cracks, and gaps around the aggregate is not in itself an evidence for DEF, but is the consequence of natural recrystallization of ettringite into available larger spaces. Occurance of DEF is dependent on materials, curing, and environmental conditions, and can easily be distinguished from ASR and other deterioration mechanisms by optical and electron-optical methods.


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How to Cite

Skalny, J., Johansen, V., Thaulow, N., & Palomo, A. (1996). DEF: As a form of sulfate attack. Materiales De Construcción, 46(244), 5–29.



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