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Last edited 06 Nov 2020
Concrete in aggressive ground (SD 1)
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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Alkali-activated binder.
- Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR).
- Architectural concrete.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Brownfield land.
- Building Research Establishment.
- Cellular concrete.
- Concrete-steel composite structures.
- Concrete repair mortars.
- Concrete superplasticizer.
- Concreting plant.
- Contaminated land.
- Ground investigation.
- Precast concrete.
- Prestressed concrete.
- Reinforced concrete.
- Self-compacting concrete.
- Testing concrete.
- The properties of concrete.
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