Location

New York, New York

Session Start Date

4-13-2004

Session End Date

4-17-2004

Abstract

This paper presents the methodology and results of an investigation into the causes of structural damage to a reinforced concrete block wall building in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The structural damage was in the form of cracking and spalling of the lower courses of the block along the building perimeter. The structural damage to the building had been incorrectly attributed to the Hector Mine Earthquake by another investigator. An evaluation of the response of the building to the estimated level of ground shaking, coupled with site observations, conclusively ruled out the earthquake ground shaking as a cause for the structural damage. Site observations indicated corrosion of reinforcing steel as the fundamental cause for the cracking of the concrete block. Samples of the block, grout, soil, flatwork concrete, and irrigation water were collected during the site investigation. Chemical testing of the soil and water samples, which indicated high levels of sulfates and chlorides, substantiated the site observations that over time the exposure to the soil and water had resulted in an environment that facilitated and resulted in severe corrosion of the steel. This case study highlights the potential for serious structural damage in a corrosive environment, and also cautions against reaching engineering conclusions without a holistic understanding of the problem.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Fifth Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

4-13-2004

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2004 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 13th, 12:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

Investigation of Structural Damage in a Corrosive Environment: A Case Study

New York, New York

This paper presents the methodology and results of an investigation into the causes of structural damage to a reinforced concrete block wall building in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The structural damage was in the form of cracking and spalling of the lower courses of the block along the building perimeter. The structural damage to the building had been incorrectly attributed to the Hector Mine Earthquake by another investigator. An evaluation of the response of the building to the estimated level of ground shaking, coupled with site observations, conclusively ruled out the earthquake ground shaking as a cause for the structural damage. Site observations indicated corrosion of reinforcing steel as the fundamental cause for the cracking of the concrete block. Samples of the block, grout, soil, flatwork concrete, and irrigation water were collected during the site investigation. Chemical testing of the soil and water samples, which indicated high levels of sulfates and chlorides, substantiated the site observations that over time the exposure to the soil and water had resulted in an environment that facilitated and resulted in severe corrosion of the steel. This case study highlights the potential for serious structural damage in a corrosive environment, and also cautions against reaching engineering conclusions without a holistic understanding of the problem.