Sulphate in groundwater or soil can attack concrete placed in the ground or on surface. A reaction takes place between the sulphate and the aluminate compounds present in the cement, causing crystallisation of complex compounds. The expansion, which accompanies crystallisation, induces stresses in the concrete, which results in mechanical disintegration.


In moist conditions, such as exposure to seawater, the presence of chloride ion, Cl a serious possibility of the corrosion of the reinforcement. The presence of Ca(OH)2 provides a strong alkaline environment in which a thin film of iron oxide is formed on the metal surface which protects it against corrosion. However, if the concrete is permeable to the extent that the soluble chlorides can reach up to the reinforcing steel, then in the presence of water and oxygen, the corrosion of the reinforcement will take place. Rust occupies more volume than the original steel, and hence the ensuing expansion of concrete, results in cracking and spalling. , presents
Due to adverse effect of sulphates and chlorides on the quality of concrete it is essential to conduct chemical tests on soil and groundwater. This helps in quantifying the expected exposure of concrete to these chemicals and in devising precautionary measures to ensure integrity of concrete.

The following chemical tests are carried out on groundwater samples:

Total dissolved solids

Chloride content

Sulphate content




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