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Last edited 11 Jun 2017

Concrete in aggressive ground (SD 1)

BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.

On 12 June 2005, BRE published, Concrete in aggressive ground (SD 1), written by the BRE Construction Division.

Concrete in aggresive ground.jpg

Chemical agents found in the ground can destroy concrete. In the UK, these agents are most commonly sulfates and acids that occur naturally in soil and groundwater, and can cause the expansion and softening of concrete. Other substances, most resulting from human activity, can be aggressive but present less of a problem as they only rarely come into contact with concrete.

The 2005 edition of BRE Special Digest 1 (SD1:2005) simplifies, updates and consolidates Parts 1 to 4 of the previous edition published in 2003. It was revised to reflect new thinking and changes to the British Standards, including:

  • A new ranking of cements in relation to sulfate resistance.
  • Removal of the aggregate carbonate range.
  • Revision of sulfate class limits.
  • Simpler requirements for additional protective measures.

It provides guidance on the specification of concrete for installation in natural ground and brownfield sites. The procedures for ground assessment and concrete specification cover the common occurrence of sulfates, sulfides and acids as well as the more rarely occurring aggressive carbon dioxide found in some ground and surface waters. It is intended to provide practical guidance for ground specialists as well as specification advise for concrete designers, specifiers and producers.

It is presented in 6 parts:

  • Part A: Introduces the chemical attack of concrete in the ground.
  • Part B: Describes modes of chemical attack and discusses the principal types.
  • Part C: Deals with the assessment of the chemical aggressiveness of the ground.
  • Part D: Gives recommendations for the specification of concrete for general cast-in-situ use.
  • Part E: Gives recommendations for specifying surface carbonated precast concrete for general use.
  • Part F: Includes design guides for the specification of precast concrete products.

--BRE Group

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