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AlyB (Mechanical) (OP)
1 Jun 09 10:31
Anyone know whether using concrete in a high sulfur environment is a bad idea?  

I know sulfur is added to concrete, but I couldn't find any info on sulfur in the environment.

iandig (Civil/Environmental)
1 Jun 09 12:20
Sulfate is very very very bad for concrete, and when sulfur oxidises it forms sulfate. Not something I would do without proper design and assessment. If in UK, refer to the BRE Special Digest on Concrete in Aggresive Ground.
PST09 (Civil/Environmental)
10 Jun 09 5:03
Hi AlyB.  If you concrete is in ground with potentially high sulphate levels i would sepcify concrete with a high chemical resistance.  Something like design chemical class DC-3.

Ron (Structural)
10 Jun 09 5:41
Both sulfates and weak acids that form when sulfur is exposed to moisture will attach concrete.  The attack is primarily to the cement paste, but can attack certain aggregates as well.  In either case, it is not good.

If it is only sulfate exposure, you can use a high sulfate resisting cement (Type V),or if only mild sulfate exposure, Type II cement has some resistance.
AlyB (Mechanical) (OP)
10 Jun 09 15:35
Good to know, thanks folks.
DMcGrath (Civil/Environmental)
11 Jun 09 21:43
The Virginia DOT has a research program dedicated to high-sulfur soils - concrete degredation is part of the problem.  This presentation has a couple of good examples of concrete attacked by high-sulfur soils:

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