Field experience of UHPFRC durability in an air cooling tower
ABSTRACT: Samples were drilled in February 2008 from two girders made of RPC (Ultra-High Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) presently integrated as a material of Ductal® range for structural applications). These girders had been made in 1996 and then placed in the bottom part of one of the cooling towers of Cattenom nuclear power plant in Eastern France. Exposed to an intense water drops aspersion, these pre-stressed I-shaped girders maintained under permanent bending constitute durability warning samples with respect to the beams situated above. In this paper, microscopic observations as well as mechanical and chemical measurements are displayed and analyzed. They help conclude to the very high durability potential of these UHPFRC structures.