Predicting the Service Lives of Materials of Construction.
Predicting the Service Lives of Materials of
Frohnsdorff, G. J. C.
Materials for the New Millennium. Proceedings.
Materials Engineering Conference, 4th. Volume 1.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). November
10-14, 1996, Washington, DC, American Society of Civil
Engineers, New York, NY, Chong, K. P., Editor(s), 38-53
construction materials; building technology; concretes;
coatings; environment; performance; prediction;
probabilistic prediction; reliability; service life
standards; sustainable engineering
Reliable predictions of the service lives of new
construction materials (and components), or of any
construction material or system in a new application,
are a continuing need. However, though predictions are
essential, present-day service life predictions may
merely be unreliable deductions from imperfect
knowledge, not based on sound materials science. Among
major factors contributing to uncertainties in service
life predictions are lack of knowledge about: service
conditions, defects and flaws in materials, degradation
mechanisms and the kinetics of degradation under likely
service conditions, and the appropriate failure
criteria; also, in the present state of knowledge,
another important factor is the variability in the
knowledge and insights of persons responsible for making
the predictions. To prepare for a new generation of
safe and durable constructed facilities, several actions
should be taken. These include: facilitate use of a
standard methodology for prediction of service life and
provide subsidiary standards to aid application of the
parts of the methodology (such as, for example, how to
characterize service environments); develop the
databases and integrated knowledge systems needed to
support service life predictions; and develop guidelines
expressing recommended qualifications for those entrused
with the responsibility of predicting service lives of
construction materials. Some of these developments are
already taking place, but they should be expedited.