Chloride penetration resistance of engineered cementitious composite (ECC) subjected to sustained flexural loading

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This paper presents a research on the chloride penetration behavior of engineered cementitious composites (ECC) under sustained flexural loads. Three load levels, i.e. 30 %, 60 % and 75 % of the ultimate flexural load were used. Chloride diffusion depth and concentration profile were measured 30, 60 and 150 days after the specimen was exposed to NaCl solution and compared with pre-loaded specimens. Influence of the sustained local bending stress and microcracks were investigated. It shows that under sustained loads, the relationship between the surface chloride content and maximum normal tensile stress can be described using an exponential equation. A binary model was developed to explain the correlation among the chloride ion diffusion coefficient, maximum normal tensile stress and exposure time. Changes of capillary pore structure and phase compositions were measured using mercury intrusion porosimeter and X-ray diffraction, respectively. Unlike mortar, the fiber bridging of ECC helps with limiting crack width and thus the diffusion process, and the measured results were used to explain the observed penetration behavior of ECC. It is believed that the current study provides theoretical foundation for the durable design of the ECC/concrete composite structure.