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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-133
Date: March 2007

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

Chapter 6. Summary

  1. Lithium-based admixtures can be used to control expansion due to ASR provided they are used in sufficient quantity. The amount of lithium required increases as the amount of alkali in the concrete increases. LiNO3 is more efficient (i.e., can be used in lesser amounts) than other lithium compounds.
  2. Some aggregates require higher doses of lithium than others for efficiently controlling deleterious expansion due to ASR. It would appear that lithium is more effective with rapidly reactive aggregates containing opaline silica, chert, or volcanic glass as the reactive component, and that lithium is relatively less efficient (at similar dosages) with more moderately reactive aggregates that contain microcrystalline or strained quartz as the reactive phase.
  3. At this time, it is recommended that the lithium dose required to control ASR with a specific aggregate be determined by testing using the concrete prism test, with an expansion limit of 0.04 percent at 2 years.
  4. Laboratory testing has shown that ASR-affected concrete specimens can be treated topically using lithium-based compounds to slow down the rate of expansion.
  5. Many structures have been treated with lithium using either a simple topical application or electrochemical or vacuum impregnation techniques to increase lithium penetration.
  6. The extent to which lithium penetrates hardened concrete or controls expansion in the field structures has not been unequivocally established.
  7. It is recommended that treated structures be monitored and tested to provide information on the efficacy of lithium treatment.

Acknowledgements

A special thank you goes to the FHWA Expert Panel for their assistance reviewing this document and providing useful feedback that was integrated into the final printed version of this facts book.

References

British Cement Association, The Diagnosis of Alkali-Silica Reaction—Report of a Working Party, Wexham Springs, Slough, England, SL36PL, p. 36, 1992.

Bérubé, M-A., Chouinard, D., Pigeon, M., Frenette, J., Rivest, M., Vézina, D. "Effectiveness of Sealers in Counteracting Alkali-Silica Reaction in Highway Median Barriers Exposed to Wetting and Drying, Freezing and Thawing, and Deicing Salt," Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 329-337, 2002.

Bleszynski, R., Hooton, R.D., Thomas, M.D.A., Rogers, C.A. "Durability of Ternary Blend Concrete with Silica Fume and Blast-Furnace Slag: Laboratory and Outdoor Exposure Site Studies," ACI Materials Journal, Vol. 99, No. 5, pp. 499-508, 2002.

Canadian Standards Association, Guide to the Evaluation and Management of Concrete Structures Affected by Alkali-Aggregate Reaction, Canadian Standards Association, CSA A864-00, Mississauga, ON, Canada, 108p, 2000.

Durand, B. "More Results About the Use of Lithium Salts and Mineral Admixtures to Inhibit ASR in Concrete," Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction, Centre de Recherché Interuniversitaire sur le Beton, Quebec, Canada, p. 623, 2000.

Diamond, S., "ASR-Another Look at Mechanisms," Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, Edited by K. Okada, S. Nishibayashi and M. Kawamura, Kyoto, Japan, pp. 83-94, August 1989.

Feng, X., Thomas, M.D.A., Bremner, T.W., Balcom, B.J., Folliard, K.J. "Studies on Lithium Salts to Mitigate ASR-induced Expansion in New Concrete: A Critical Review," Cement and Concrete Research, 2005, in press.

Folliard, K.J., Thomas, M.D.A., Kurtis, K. E. Guidelines for the Use of Lithium to Mitigate or Prevent Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR), Publication No. FHWA-RD-03-047, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, July 2003

Folliard, K.J., Thomas, M.D.A., Fournier, B., Kurtis, K.E., Ideker, J.H. Interim Recommendations for the Use of Lithium to Mitigate or Prevent Alkali- Silica Reaction (ASR), Publication No. FHWA-HRT-06-073, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, March 2006.

Kojima, T., Miyagawa, T., Nakano, K., Yamaguchi, Y. and Kobayashi, S.," Effect of Coating to Inhibit AAR in Concrete Structures," Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on AAR in Concrete, London (UK), Published by The Concrete Society, July 27-31 1992, pp. 550-555.

Lane, D.S. Laboratory Investigation of Lithium-bearing Compounds for Use in Concrete, Virginia Transportation Research Council, VTRC 02-R16, June 2002.

Lumley, J.S. "ASR Suppression by Lithium Compounds," Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 235-44, February 1997.

McCoy, W.J.,Caldwell, A.G., "A New Approach to Inhibiting Alkali-Aggregate Expansion," Journal of the American Concrete Institute, 47, 1951, pp. 693-706.

Nixon, P.J., Sims, I. "RILEM TC106 Alkali Aggregate Reaction - Accelerated Tests Interim Report and Summary of National Specifications," Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, Vol. 2, Published by The Concrete Society, Slough, England, pp.731-738, 1992.

Oberholster, R.E. "The Effect of Different Outdoor Exposure Conditions on the Expansion Due to Alkali-Silica Reaction," Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, Vol. 2, Published by The Concrete Society, Slough, pp. 623-628, 1992.

Rogers, C.A. , Lane, B., Hooton, R.D. "Outdoor Exposure for Validating the Effectiveness of Preventive Measures for Alkali-Silica Reaction," Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, Québec City, Canada, pp. 743-752, 2004.

Shehata, M.H., Thomas, M.D.A. "Use of Ternary Blends Containing Silica Fume and Fly Ash to Suppress Expansion due to Alkali-Silica Reaction in Concrete," Cement and Concrete Research, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 341-349, 2002.

Stark, D., Handbook for the Identification of Alkali-Silica Reactivity in Highway Structures, Strategic Highway Research Program, SHRP-C-315, Publication No. FHWA-SA-94-037, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, 1994.

Stark, D., Morgan, B., Okamoto, P. Eliminating or Minimizing Alkali-Silica Reactivity, Strategic Highway Research, SHRP-C-343, Publication No. FHWA-SA-94-036, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, 1993.

Stanton, T.E., "Expansion of Concrete through Reaction between Cement and Aggregate," Proceedings, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 66, 1781-1811, New York, 1940.

Stokes, D.B., Thomas, M.D.A., Shashiprakash, S.G. "Development of a Lithium-Based Material for Decreasing ASR-induced Expansion in Hardened Concrete." Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, (Ed. M.A. Bérubé et al.), CRIB, Quebec City, Canada, pp. 1079-1087, 2000.

Stokes, D.B., Pappas, J., Thomas, M.D.A., Folliard, K.J. "Field Cases Involving Treatment or Repair of ASR-affected Concrete Using Lithium," Proceedings of the 6th CANMET/ACI International Conference on Durability of Concrete, Greece, Supplementary Papers, pp 631-642, 2002b.

Thomas, M.D.A., Hooper, R., Stokes, D. "Use of Lithium-Containing Compounds to Control Expansion in Concrete due to Alkali-Silica Reaction," Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction (ICAAR), Quebec, Canada, 783-810, June 11-16, 2000.

Thomas, M.D.A., Fournier, B., Folliard, K.J. Protocol for Selecting Affected Structures for Lithium Treatment, Publication No. FHWA-RD-04-113, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, August 2004.

Thomas, M.D.A., Fournier, B., Folliard, K.J., Shehata, M., and Ideker, J., Rogers, C. "Performance Limits for Evaluating Supplementary Cementing Materials Using the Accelerated Mortar Bar Test," Portland Cement Association, R&D Serial No. 2892, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL, USA, 2005, 22 pages.

Thomas, M.D.A., Stokes, D.B. "Lithium Impregnation of ASR-Affected Concrete: Preliminary Studies," Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction in Concrete, Beijing World Publishing Corporation, Beijing, China, October, Vol. 1, pp. 659-667, 2004.

Tremblay, C., Bérubé, M.A., Fournier, B., Thomas, M.D.A. "Performance of Lithium-based Products Against ASR: Effect of Aggregate Type and Reactivity, and Reaction Mechanisms," Proceedings of the 7th CANMET/ACI International Conference on Recent Advances in Concrete Technology (suppl. Papers), Las Vegas, NV, May 2004, pp. 247-267.

Whitmore, D., Abbot, S. "Use of an Applied Electric Field to Drive Lithium Ions into Alkali-Silica Reactive Structures," International Conference on Alkali-Aggregate Reaction, (Ed. M-A. Bérubé et al.), Quebec City, Canada, pp.1089-1098, 2000.



[1] Note that the expansion limits shown in the graph are based on CSA recommendations.

[2] Note that SCM replacement levels are expressed as the mass percentage of the total cementitious material content of the concrete. For example, 10-percent silica fume means that 10 percent of the total mass of cementitious material is comprised of silica fume, the remaining 90 percent being portland cement.

[3]If lithium were added to concrete containing 4 kg/m3 (6.7 lb/yd3) Na2Oe at the standard dose of 4.6 Liters of 30 percent LiNO3 solution per 1 kg Na2Oe (0.55 gal of solution for every 1.0 lb of Na2Oe), the lithium concentration in the concrete would be approximately 280 ppm.

 

 


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