New Sensors for Monitoring pH and Corrosion of Embedded Steel in Mortars during Sulfuric Acid Attack


The sulfuric acid attack is a common form of degradation of reinforced concrete in contact with industrial wastewater, mine water, acid rain, or in sewage treatment stations. In this work, new pH-sensitive IrOx electrodes were developed for monitoring the pH inside mortar or concrete. To test their ability, the pH sensors were embedded in mortar samples at different depths and the samples were exposed to sulfuric acid solution. In another set of experiments, iron wires were placed at the same depths inside similar mortar samples and their corrosion was monitored as the acid attacked the mortar. Severe acid attack led to cement dissolution and formation of gypsum. The new pH sensors succeeded in measuring the pH changes inside the mortars. The pH gradient, from the high acid environment to the high alkaline mortar interior, occurred in a narrow region. Corrosion of the iron electrodes started only when the acidic solution was in their close vicinity.




Chemistry; Engineering; Instruments & Instrumentation


Sampaio, R; Bastos, A; Ferreira, M

nossos autores


This research was funded by the HORIZON 2020 collaborative project LORCENIS (Long Lasting Reinforced Concrete for Energy Infrastructure under Severe Operating Conditions, Grant agreement nffi 685445). This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 & LA/P/0006/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC (PIDDAC). A.B. acknowledges FCT--Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, I.P., in the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5 and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law 57/2016, of 29 August, changed by Law 57/2017, of 19 July.

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