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Detection of ion ingress by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for evaluation remaining lifetime of a concrete structure

In view of the ageing of vital infrastructure facilities a reliable condition assessment of existing concrete structures is becoming of increasing interest for asset owners to plan timely and appropriate maintenance and repair interventions. For the majority of concrete structures reinforcement corrosion induced by penetrating chlorides is the dominant deterioration mechanism affecting the serviceability and eventually structural performance. But also sulphates or alkalis may trigger damage processes. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is used to determine the 2-dimensional quantitative distribution of ions in concrete samples with a spatial resolution up to 0.1 mm. The time for the evaluation of 50 mm x 70 mm sample with a resolution of 1 mm is less than 5 minutes. The technique can be used in laboratory to investigate a large number of samples in a short time. Also a mobile system for on-site use is available. The state of the art of this technique is presented by practical examples. The advantages and the limitations are discussed.



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