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The Use of Lithium to Prevent or Mitigate Alkali-Silica Reaction in Concrete Pavements and Structures

Research/Reference: useful for researchers doing further work in the pavement area as well as those developing improved testing and design procedures. Includes documents of historical value.

Primary Topic: Materials-Concrete

Description: Alkali-silica reaction (ASR) was first identified as a form of concrete deterioration in the late 1930s (Stanton 1940). Approximately 10 years later, it was discovered that lithium compounds can be used to control expansion due to ASR. There has recently been increased interest in using lithium technologies to both control ASR in new concrete and to retard the reaction in existing ASR-affected structures.

This facts book provides information on lithium, its origin and properties, and on its applications. The mechanism of alkali-silica reaction is discussed together with methods of testing to identify potentially alkali-silica reactive aggregates. Traditional methods for minimizing the risk of damaging ASR are presented; these include the avoidance of reactive aggregates, controlling the levels of alkali in concrete and using supplementary cementing materials such as fly ash, slag and silica fume. The final two sections of the facts book discuss the use of lithium, first as an admixture for new concrete construction and second as a treatment for existing concrete structures affected by ASR.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-133

Publication Year: 2007

Document Links: HTML  PDF (file size: 3 mb)

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Updated: 07/26/2011
 

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration