Cathodic Protection of Concrete Bridge Decks


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Title: Cathodic Protection of Concrete Bridge Decks

Author(s): Richard E. Weyers and Philip D. Cady

Publication: Journal Proceedings

Volume: 81

Issue: 6

Appears on pages(s): 618-622

Keywords: bridge decks; cathodic protection; corrosion; economics; evaluation; reinforcing steels.

Date: 11/1/1984

Protecting aging bridge decks containing black (bare) steel reinforcement from the corrosive effects of deicing salts is of critical concern to the nation’s highway agencies. The use of cathodic protection for corrosion resistance is highly attractive from the viewpoint of simplicity and potential long-term effectiveness. This paper presents the theory the corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete and cathodic protection theory. Cathodic protection design considerations as applied to concrete bridge decks are reviewed. In addition, the three cathodic protection systems (sacrificial-anode, conductive- layer, wire-anode) used for concrete bridge decks are also reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of each of the three systems are pointed out, as are the factors that must be resolved before cathodic protection of bridge decks surpasses the experimental stage. An economic analysis indicates that cathodic protection is not yet competitive with the conventional repair/rehabilitation/replacement processes; however, this situation may be reversed in the near future as field implementation procedures, con tractor familiarity, methods, and materials improve.