Klaartje De Weerdt is a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. She graduated as civil engineer from KULeuven (Belgium) in 2006, did her PhD on the hydration of composite cements (2011), and her postdoc on durability of concrete in marine environment (2013) at SINTEF/NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. From 2014, she has worked as a professor at NTNU. Together with her research team, she focuses on hydration and durability of concrete with the specific focus on novel low-CO2 cements. In 2021, she was awarded the RILEM Robert L’Hermite medal for her contribution to the research in this field.
Understanding chloride ingress in concrete
Chloride induced reinforcement corrosion is one of the main degradation mechanisms for reinforced concrete structures exposed to chloride loaded environments. It is a major threat to our global infrastructure. Even so, the fundamental mechanisms are still not fully understood. In this talk we will focus on the chloride ingress through the concrete cover protecting the steel from chloride induced corrosion. Commonly used prediction models for chloride ingress in concrete require extensive experimental data to make reliable long-term predictions. The expected changes in the cement compositions due to scarceness of materials and a movement towards more environmental cements, challenges these commonly applied partially experience-based models. We need a more fundamental understanding of the chloride ingress mechanisms in concrete. In this talk we will dive into chloride profiles, describe the state of the chlorides in concrete i.e. free, adsorbed and bound, and discuss how we should interpret chloride profiles and use them for predictions.