Structural concrete is a versatile construction material that is used for over 100 years already. TNO has the knowledge required to understand the structural behavior of concrete structures. In practice, structures often turn out to have load capacity reserves. Existing structures are thus demonstrably safer than was originally assumed.
Concrete structures are robust and have a long service life. However, it is not easy to prove a service life of 100 years, or in some cases even more. Which factors have to be taken into consideration when such a durable structure is built? TNO has the knowledge to assess this reliably and with substantiation.
With more information on the strength of a structure, it is possible to estimate its structural reliability more accurately. Hidden reserves can be quantified and loads and their effects on structures can be determined more precisely using advanced models and measurements. The most important knowledge that TNO has in this field is knowledge of the background of design codes, the probabilistic basis for standards. In addition to this, TNO is able to utilize experiments and advanced calculating models for determining the actual strength of structures.
The current approach to preventing corrosion damage is based on inspection and repair. However, the service life of repairs is relatively short. In some cases it is therefore worthwhile preventing the need for new repairs, for example by using cathodic protection (CP). In CP, reinforcement corrosion is prevented by applying a small permanent electrical current. Apart from this, there are techniques (e.g. hydrophobing) that can be used to delay chloride penetration, and techniques to improve the quality of repairs. TNO has the knowledge and insight required to decide on the right repair or prevention method. The methods vary from a Quick Scan to overseeing the design and implementation of CP systems. The decisions can be based on information such as the results from corrosion simulations.