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Title: Effect of Cracking on Reinforced Concrete Corrosion

Author(s): Brian M. Pailes

Publication: Web Session

Volume: ws_S18_Pailes.pdf


Appears on pages(s):



Date: 11/16/2018

The primary cause of reinforced concrete corrosion is due to the exposure of the imbedded steel to chlorides or carbonation which breakdown the passive layer formed by the alkaline environment of concrete. While chlorides and carbonation both can diffuse through sound concrete, the presence of cracking can expedite this process. Cracking in the concrete cover provides a pathway for chlorides and carbonation to travel directly to the reinforcement. The cracking in turn leads to localized and aggressive corrosion activity which can reduce the cross-section of the steel in short order. Vector Corrosion Services (VCS) has been involved with several projects throughout North America in which concrete cracking has led to the premature deterioration of a reinforced concrete structure. VCS will provide a project based presentation detailing structures that have deteriorated due to cracking that has allowed contaminates to directly reach the imbedded steel. These structures include a salt storage dome, a port facility wharf, a subgrade parking structure and several bridges. The presentation will identify the investigation methods and results used in determining the deterioration mechanisms and how cracking has strongly influenced the structure’s service life. In addition, for each of these projects VCS will present the various rehabilitation strategies developed to mitigate further corrosion and concrete deterioration. With a focus on projects, VCS will provide real-world examples of crack induced corrosion, how it has reduced the service life and how the structure can be rehabilitated effectively.