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Home > Publications > International Concrete Abstracts Portal
The International Concrete Abstracts Portal is an ACI led collaboration with leading technical organizations from within the international concrete industry and offers the most comprehensive collection of published concrete abstracts.
Title: Durability of a Precast Prestressed Concrete Bridge Structure at a Salt Mine After 17 Years of Service
Author(s): Randall W. Poston and Morris Schupack
Publication: Special Publication
Appears on pages(s): 363-384
Keywords: bridges (structures); chlorides; concrete durability; conveyors; corrosion; cover; cracking (fracturing); evaluation; precast concrete; prestressed concrete; prestressing steels; reinforcing steels; rock salt; serviceability; sodium chloride; Structural R
Abstract:An investigation was conducted to assess the structural integrity of a 17-year-old precast prestressed concrete conveyor bridge used to transport sodium chloride rock salt from a storage building to an outside stockpile area. The stockpile, depending on storage requirements, quite often buried most of the structure and/or subjected it to sodium chloride dust. The investigation revealed that the structure had performed remarkably well, considering the small concrete cover used to protect the reinforcing elements and the inadequate consideration of structural cracking induced by unanticipated loading from stockpiled salt. The concrete strength of the single tee members was estimated to be 7000 psi (48 MPa), with cover to the stirrups varying from virtually 0 to 1 1/2 in. (0 to 38 mm) and cover to the prestressing strands varying from 3/4 to 2 in. (19 to 51 mm). It was observed that aggressive prestressing strand corrosion causing pitting and some brittle wire failures occurred locally at flexural crack locations in single tee column members with little corrosion activity immediately adjacent to the cracks, even after 17 years of aggressive chloride exposure. This observation seems to conflict with the prevailing theory of the role of cracking on corrosion--that cracks perpendicular to steel reinforcement should result in limited early localized corrosion but, with time, chloride ions penetrate even uncracked concrete and initiate widespread corrosion.
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