Holistic Approach to Corrosion of Steel in Concrete


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Title: Holistic Approach to Corrosion of Steel in Concrete

Author(s): N. S. Berke, M. C. Hicks, J. J. Malone, and K. A. Rieder

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 206


Appears on pages(s): 137-156

Keywords: chloride ingress, concrete, corrosion, durability, fibers, life-cycle cost, shrinkage reducing admixture

Date: 4/1/2002

Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world with over 8 billioin tons of it being produced yearly. Much of this concrete is steel reinforced since the concrete/steel composite has improved ductility over concrete alone, and the concrete provides a protective environment for the steel. However, reinforced concrete must be used in severe corrosive environments such as found in marine and deicing salt applications. The ingress of chloride leads to corrosion of the steel resulting in early repairs of the structure. The subsequent costs are over $50 billion/year in the United States, and represent a major drain on infrastructure resources throughout the world. In this paper the use of improved concrete designs to control corrosion of steel in concrete are addressed. These designs incorporate the use of low permeability concrete, corrosion inhibiting admixtures, reduced shrinkage and increased toughness with fiber reinforcement. It is demonstrated that this holistic approach to the concrete design provides a lower life-cycle cost.