Environmental Factors Influencing Surface Chloride Exposure of RC Wharf Infrastructure


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Title: Environmental Factors Influencing Surface Chloride Exposure of RC Wharf Infrastructure


Publication: CIA



Appears on pages(s):


Date: 2/14/2011

It is well known that steel corrosion is one of the main causes of deterioration to reinforced concrete wharf infrastructure. The extent of this deterioration is largely dependant on the exposure of the respective wharf element to seawater immersion, splash and/or spray. This paper presents findings from an investigation of seven wharves located at the mouth of the Brisbane River in Queensland. The investigation was undertaken by GHD’s Materials Technology Group and forms part of a commission for the Port of Brisbane Corporation (PBC) assessing the overall condition of reinforced concrete wharf infrastructure. The investigation involved diagnostic testing and core sampling of representative areas of the deck, crane beams, relieving slab and abutment walls of each wharf. Core samples were analysed for chloride content at varying depths from the surface in order to establish a chloride penetration profile. The calculated surface chloride level results were then analysed and discussed in terms of (1) the geographic location of wharf within the bay i.e. its exposure to prevailing winds and tidal flow, (2) the location and aspect of the element within the wharf and (3) the reduced level of the wharf. The likely impact of predicted rises in sea levels over the next 100 years is also discussed.

Concrete Institute of Australia, International Partner Access.

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