Research progress in corrosion mechanism of reinforced alkali-activated concrete structures

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In this paper, the recent research progress on the corrosion of reinforced alkali-activated materials (AAMs) concrete structures is reviewed. The corrosion mechanisms induced by carbonation and chloride ingress in AAMs concrete are discussed, from the perspectives of composition, microstructure and pore solution chemistry, in comparison to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete. The steel–alkali-activated concrete interface is a key to investigating corrosion initiation and propagation, which has different physical and chemical characteristics of the steel–concrete interface in OPC concrete. Moreover, the electrochemical process testing methods including half-cell potential and linear polarization resistance are critically discussed with a focus on what could be inherited from the OPC concrete and what criteria are no longer suitable for AAMs concrete due to underestimation in most cases. New data and theories are urgently needed for using AAMs in concrete structures to replace OPC. At the end of this paper, the research gaps and future research needs are summarised for the sake of widespread application of AAMs in concrete structures for sustainable and low-carbon construction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-656
Number of pages16
JournalCorrosion and Materials Degradation
Issue number4
Early online date3 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021


  • corrosion
  • alkali-activated materials
  • reinforced concrete structures
  • chloride ingress
  • carbonation
  • cracking


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