Impact of ETICS on corrosion propagation of concrete facade
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The durability of reinforced concrete facades is an important field of research as the majority of dwellings in Northern and Eastern Europe were constructed 30–50 years ago. Recent condition assessments of the façades have indicated damage related to carbonation induced corrosion. Moreover, the problem might escalate since the future climate scenarios predict a significant increase of CO2 in ambient air being a driving force for carbonation. Assessment of residual service life of concrete facades is a complex phenomenon with a high level of uncertainty. A validated method used in this study combines dynamic hygrothermal simulation tool Delphin and existing corrosion models. Corrosion propagation consists of the time needed to concrete cover cracking and further expansion of a crack up to a width of 0.3 mm as a limit criterion. Additional exterior thermal insulation (mostly ETICS) is applied to existing dwellings as a renovation scenario in order to decrease the heat loss, improve thermal comfort and prevent the degradation mechanism e.g. carbonation induced corrosion. Hence, reinforcement corrosion before and after installing ETICS with mineral wool, EPS or PIR has to be evaluated. Impact of boundary conditions, e.g. wind-driven rain in addition to material properties, and built-in moisture was included. The results indicate that corrosion propagation after carbonation has reached the reinforcement, is three to six years depending on the ratio of concrete cover depth against the reinforcement diameter. While applying ETICS, corrosion accelerates for a short period of time up to one year. Temperature inside the wall rises above +10 °C throughout the year, meaning no more freeze-thaw damage. Corrosion of reinforcement in carbonated concrete after applying ETICS is so slow, that no cracking will develop. Drying out moisture or vapour diffusion from indoor air is not able to propagate corrosion of reinforcement in carbonated concrete.