Electrokinetics Application in Concrete and Well Construction
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Electrically induced or coupled transport processes including electrophoresis, electroosmosis and electromigration in solutions and porous media under an external electric field have been extensively studied and employed in many disciplines. For protection and rehabilitation of concrete structures, cathodic protection, electrochemical realkalization, and chloride extraction are extensively used. Other electrokinetic techniques are developed for the concrete industry, but have not been widely used so far, including electrokinetic treatment processes, for corrosion mitigation, recovery from sulfate attack, crack healing, and porosity and permeability reduction. These processes can improve the microstructure of the cement-based systems resulting in an improved performance in long-term and can be applied to repair failed structures. Application of electrokinetic processes are rapidly extended in well construction due to the increased interest in techniques enabling manipulation of micro- and nanosized particles. The techniques could be beneficial in building a robust cement sheath in oil and gas wells. Additionally, electrokinetic remediation techniques can possibly be introduced for repairing damaged structures in oil and gas wells. This review provides an overview of electrokinetic-based techniques, which has been introduced to cement-based materials, mainly reinforced concrete. The potential application of these techniques in oil well construction is discussed.