Title page for ETD etd-11092004-135837

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ramniceanu, Andrei
URN etd-11092004-135837
Title Correlation of corrosion measurements and bridge conditions with NBIS deck rating
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Anderson-Cook, Christine M. Committee Co-Chair
Weyers, Richard E. Committee Co-Chair
Mokarem, David W. Committee Member
Roberts-Wollmann, Carin L. Committee Member
Sprinkel, Michael M. Committee Member
  • cover depths
  • potentials
  • bridge deck
  • resistivity
  • NBIS
Date of Defense 2004-10-11
Availability unrestricted
Since the use of epoxy coated steel has become mandatory starting in the 1980s, recent studies have shown that epoxy coating does not prevent corrosion, but instead will debond from the steel reinforcement in as little as 4 years (Weyers RE et al, 1998) allowing instead a much more insidious form of corrosion to take place known as crevice corrosion. Therefore, it is important to determine if the nondestructive corrosion activity detection methods are applicable to ECR as well as institute guidelines for interpreting the results. Since the corrosion of reinforcing steel is directly responsible for damage to concrete structures, it is surprising that nondestructive corrosion assessment methods are not part of regular bridge inspection programs such as PONTIS and NBIS. Instead, the inspection and bridge rating guidelines of federally mandated programs such as NBIS are so vague as to allow for a relatively subjective application by the field inspectors.

Clear cover depths, resistance, corrosion potentials, linear polarization data, as well as environmental exposure and structural data were collected from a sample of 38 bridge decks in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These structures were further divided in three subsets: bridge decks with a specified w/c ratio of 0.47, bridge decks with a specified w/c ratio of 0.45 and bridge decks with a specified w/cm ratio of 0.45. This data was then correlated to determine which parameters are the most influential in the assignment of NBIS condition rating. Relationships between the non-destructive test parameters were also examined to determine if corrosion potentials and linear polarization are applicable to epoxy coated steel.

Based on comparisons of measurements distributions, there is an indication that corrosion potential tests may be applicable to structures reinforced with epoxy coated steel. Furthermore, these conclusions are supported by statistical correlations between resistivity, half cell potentials and linear polarization measurements. Unfortunately, although apparently applicable, as of now there are no guidelines to interpret the results. Based on the linear corrosion current density data collected, no conclusion can be drawn regarding the applicability of the linear polarization test. As far as the NBIS deck rating is concerned, since the inspection guidelines are so vague, age becomes a very easy and attractive factor to the field personnel to rely on. However, this conclusion is far from definitive since the very large majority of structures used in this particular study had only two rating values out of theoretically ten and realistically five possible rating values./p>

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