Rapid Chloride Penetration Test (RCPT) For Durability of Concrete as per ASTM C1202

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The Rapid Chloride Penetration Test (RCPT) is a non-destructive test method used to measure the electrical conductance of concrete, which is an indication of its permeability to chloride ions. Chloride ions are a major cause of corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete, so a high RCPT result indicates that the concrete is more permeable to chlorides and therefore more susceptible to corrosion.

Rapid Chloride Penetration Test (RCPT) as per ASTM C1202

ASTM C1202 - Standard Test Method for Electrical Indication of Concrete's Ability to Resist Chloride Ion Penetration.
This standard specifies the apparatus, test procedure, and interpretation of results for the RCPT. It is widely used by engineers and scientists around the world to assess the durability of concrete.
The RCPT is a valuable tool for assessing the durability of concrete and for identifying concrete structures that may be at risk of corrosion.



Equipment Use For RCPT

The RCPT apparatus typically consists of two reservoirs connected by a concrete specimen. The reservoirs are filled with solutions of sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH), respectively. A voltage is applied across the specimen, and the current passing through the specimen is measured.

Sample Preparation For RCPT

The concrete specimen for the RCPT must be cylindrical with a diameter of 100 mm and a thickness of 50 mm. The specimen must be saturated with water for at least 24 hours before testing.

Rapid Chloride Penetration Test Procedure

Step-1: Place the saturated concrete specimen between the two reservoirs of the RCPT apparatus.
Step-2: Fill the reservoirs with the NaCl and NaOH solutions.
Step-3: Apply a voltage of 60 V DC across the specimen.
Step-4: Measure the current passing through the specimen at regular intervals for 6 hours.
Step-5: Calculate the total charge passed through the specimen in Coulombs.

Interpretation of Results of RCPT

The RCPT results are interpreted by comparing the total charge passed through the specimen to the following table:
Concrete with a very high chloride permeability rating is considered to be at high risk of corrosion, while concrete with a very low chloride permeability rating is considered to be at very low risk of corrosion.

Charge Passed (Coulombs) Chloride Permeability Rating
< 400 Very low
400 - 1000 Low
1000 - 2000 Moderate
2000 - 4000 High
> 4000 Very high

Applications of RCPT

The RCPT is a commonly used test method for assessing the durability of concrete. It is used in a variety of applications are:
  • Quality control of concrete production.
  • Assessment of concrete structures for rehabilitation.
  • Investigation of concrete failures.
  • Research and development of new concrete materials and construction methods.
The RCPT is a rapid and relatively inexpensive test method, and it can be performed on both laboratory and field samples. It is a valuable tool for assessing the durability of concrete and for identifying concrete structures that may be at risk of corrosion.

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