Rapid analysis of chloride content of contaminated concrete

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Virginia Tech


In 1989, the specific ion electrode was identified as the best field method available to assess the chloride content of powdered concrete samples. Since the initial investigation, the manufacturer of the packaged device has altered the product. The alterations presented a equipment difference, as well as an increase in cost.

To eliminate the problem of random manufacturer alternations, a generic method was developed for evaluating the chloride contents of concrete with the specification electrode. The method outlined the required equipment, the proportioning of the calibration solutions, the proportioning of the concrete digestion solution, and the measuring procedure. The developed method eliminated the problems of the digestion reaction temperature and the measurement inaccuracies of the higher chloride contents by diluting the measured concentrations.

The testing procedure was validated for field application by measuring the chloride contents of concrete samples from four state bridge structures. The analysis of operator variance proved the method was applicable to any operator capable of following the procedure.