Passivation of reinforcing steel in reactive MgO cement blended with Portland cement

Tangwei Mi, En-Hua Yang, Cise Unluer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reactive MgO cement (RMC) has an ability to gain strength by carbonation. One of the main concerns in RMC systems is the potential corrosion of reinforcing steel in structural applications. This study evaluated the feasibility of replacing small proportions of RMC with Portland cement (PC) to promote the passivation of reinforcing steel. Reinforcing steels embedded in RMC with different proportions of PC were investigated by electrochemical measurements and microstructural analysis. Pore solutions extracted from these pastes were evaluated for their chemical compositions. Inclusion of ≥2% PC enabled the passivation of steel. Passive film forming in RMC-PC blends consisted of Fe3O4 and Mg(OH)2, which was thicker than those in pure PC mixes. The formation of passive film was mainly attributed to the increased pH of the pore solution, which reached over 12 in RMC mixes containing only 2% PC. These findings highlighted the potential of using RMC mixes in reinforced concrete applications.Surface layer
Original languageEnglish
Article number105269
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Early online date23 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Surface layer
  • pore solution
  • electrochemical properties
  • MgO
  • blended cement


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