Durability deterioration of concrete under marine environment from material to structure: A critical review

Fulin Qu, Wengui Li, Wenkui Dong, Vivian W.Y. Tam, Tao Yu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

190 Citations (Scopus)


Durability deterioration of cementitious concrete and reinforced concrete (RC) is critical to durability, safety, and sustainability of infrastructures, especially for offshore concrete structures under marine environment. In this paper, the effects of marine environment on the deterioration mechanism, performance, and durability of concrete materials and structures are systematically reviewed. For the deterioration mechanism, the effect of various chemicals in seawater and different marine exposure zones on the cementitious concrete and reinforced concrete is firstly analyzed and compared. At material level, this paper discusses the characterizations of cementitious concrete, including compressive strength, chloride diffusion, carbonation depth, and pore structure. On the other hand, the performance of cementitious concrete with the addition of supplementary cementitious materials was also compared when exposed to marine environment. At structure level, the durability of RC structures, including beams and slabs and other elements with corrosion protection under marine environment is evaluated. This paper also assesses some cases studies of RC structures after many years of exposure to marine environment. Furthermore, prospectives are proposed for practical applications on concrete under marine environment. The conclusions are of great benefit to the researchers and engineers in the concrete-related industry who aim to develop durable and sustainable concrete infrastructures under marine environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102074
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cementitious concrete
  • Deterioration
  • Durability
  • Marine environment
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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