Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Fast Analysis of Ingress Profiles of Ions on Concrete

An increasing number of reinforced concrete structures, mainly in transportation infrastructure, suffer from deterioration, e.g. freeze-thaw effects or corrosion. Deicing salts, which have been intensively used in the last decades, cause pitting corrosion on reinforcement due to penetration of chloride ions. The penetration of alkaline ions may also influence the alkali silica reaction (ASR) of highway structures. A comparatively new method for the application at building materials, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), was used to determine element distributions and ingress profiles of ions on concrete specimens. With this method it is possible to measure directly on an optical accessible surface of a specimen. The time needed for sample preparation and measurement is low. With LIBS repeatable automated measurements on a large number of specimens can be carried out. The presented results show that the heterogeneity of the material is taken into account and thus the errors due to the sampling is minimized. A mobile setup for on-site element analysis is presented. The paper describes the results measured on concrete samples obtained from parking decks and cores taken from highways. A comparison with standard chemical analysis will be presented.

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