Shotcrete is simply a placement method for concrete, so characteristics of concrete that are resistant to erosion are equally applicable to shotcrete. ACI 210R-93, “Erosion of Concrete in Hydraulic Structures,” has guidance on flow characteristics that lead to erosion of concrete. Also, ACI 350-06, “Code Requirements for Environmental Engineering Concrete Structures and Commentary,” Sections 4.6.2 and 4.6.3, also provide guidance on concrete mixture characteristics helpful for protecting against cavitation erosion. Properly designed shotcrete mixtures can easily meet the ACI 350 4.6.3 concrete requirements.
In 2000, Rusty Morgan compiled a list of some 37 water supply tunnels that had been lined with shotcrete (a copy of the data sheet can be supplied upon request). Shotcrete was not the final lining in all of these tunnels and not all the inverts were lined with shotcrete. The evaluation does not document the water velocity in these tunnels, but could be ascertained by contacting the project owners.
It should be noted, however, that the 16.4 ft/s (5 m/s) water flow rate is not particularly fast. The water velocity needs to be in excess of 39.3 ft/s (12 m/s) before cavitation erosion can be expected (refer to A. M. Neville, Properties of Concrete) and cavitation would be the most likely cause of erosion of the concrete surface.
Supplemental cementitious materials including microsilica, fly ash, and slag will generally reduce the porosity of the hardened concrete. Microsilica is used in many shotcrete mixtures, as it helps to reduce rebound, as well as gives the fresh concrete better adhesion and cohesion that can allow for thicker or overhead placements.