Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. The production of replacement building materials depletes natural resources and can produce air and water pollution.
Concrete resists weathering action, chemical attack, and abrasion while maintaining its desired engineering properties. Different concretes require different degrees of durability depending on the exposure environment and the properties desired. Concrete ingredients, their proportioning, interactions between them, placing and curing practices, and the service environment determine the ultimate durability and life of the concrete.
Exposure Conditions and Deterioration Mechanisms in Concrete Structures
The table below shows important exposure conditions and deterioration mechanisms in concrete structures. In practice, several of these deterioration mechanisms can act simultaneously with possible synergistic effects.