Evaluation of Multiple Corrosion Protection Systems for Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks
Locke, Carl E., Jr.
University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
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The performance of corrosion protection systems for reinforcing steel in concrete is evaluated. In addition to conventional and conventional epoxy-coated reinforcement, the corrosion protection systems tested include epoxy coatings with improved adhesion to the underlying steel, conventional and conventional epoxy-coated reinforcement used in conjunction with concrete containing one of three corrosion inhibitors, DCI-S, Rheocrete 222+, or Hycrete, epoxy-coated reinforcement with a microencapsulated calcium nitrite primer, multiple-coated reinforcement with a layer of zinc between the epoxy and steel, and pickled 2205 duplex stainless steel. The systems are evaluated using bench-scale and field tests. Two bridges in Kansas, cast with 2205 stainless steel, are monitored using corrosion potential mapping. Epoxy-coated and multiple-coated bars are evaluated to determine the effect of corrosion loss and time on the disbondment of the epoxy coating. Conventional, galvanized, and epoxy-coated reinforcement are evaluated using impressed current to determine the corrosion loss required to crack concrete for each system. A finite element model is developed to represent general and localized corrosion, and the results are used to develop a relationship between concrete cover, bar diameter, and area of bar corroding, and the corrosion loss required to crack concrete. An analysis of pore solutions expressed from cement pastes containing corrosion inhibitors is performed, with pH and selected ion concentrations measured from solutions collected one and seven days after casting. The results obtained from bench-scale and field test specimens are used to estimate cost effectiveness for each system under a 75-year service life. The results show epoxy coatings significantly reduce the corrosion rate compared to conventional reinforcement. Corrosion inhibitors significantly reduce corrosion rates in uncracked concrete. In cracked concrete, corrosion inhibitors also reduce corrosion rates, but their relative effectiveness is reduced. Specimens containing Hycrete exhibit the lowest corrosion rates; however, field specimens containing Hycrete also show signs of scaling. Epoxies with improved adhesion exhibit no improvement over conventional epoxy-coated reinforcement in terms of corrosion rate or disbondment of the epoxy coating. Multiple-coated iv reinforcement exhibits significantly less disbondment than epoxy-coated reinforcement. Pickled 2205 reinforcement exhibits the least corrosion among all systems tested. Testing of conventional and galvanized reinforcement indicates galvanized reinforcement requires more than twice as much corrosion loss to crack the surrounding concrete compared to conventional reinforcement. An analysis of pore solution extracted from cement pastes containing inhibitors indicates an elevated sulfate content in pore solution collected from specimens containing Hycrete. Increased sulfate levels may explain the reduced strength and critical chloride corrosion threshold observed in concrete containing Hycrete. Elevated sulfate levels are also observed in pore solutions collected 7 days after casting from cement paste containing Rheocrete. An economic analysis of a 0.216-m (8.5-in.) thick bridge deck over a 75-year design life indicates that corrosion protection systems using either coated or stainless steel reinforcement are significantly more cost-effective than any of the systems containing conventional reinforcement.
O'Reilly, M., Darwin, D., Browning, J.P., and Locke, Jr., C. E., "Evaluation of Multiple Corrosion Protection Systems for Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decks," SM Report No. 100, University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas, January 2011, 535 pp.
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