Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Jerzy Zemajtis
Title:Modeling the Time to Corrosion Initiation for Concretes with Mineral Admixtures and/or Corrosion Inhibitors in Chloride-Laden Environments
Degree:Doctor of Philosophy
Department:Civil and Environmental Engineering
Committee Chair: Dr. Richard E. Weyers
Committee Members:Dr. Thomas E. Cousins
Dr. John G. Dillard
Dr. Richard D. Walker
Dr. James P. Wightman
Keywords:concrete, corrosion, permeability, reinforcement
Date of defense:January 19, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


The application of a mineral admixture, or a corrosion inhibitor, or a combination of both are methods used for the corrosion protection for reinforced concrete bridges. The results of a study on evaluation of corrosion inhibitors from three different manufacturers and of concretes with fly ash, slag cement, and silica fume and a concrete with silica fume and a corrosion inhibitor are presented. The specimens were built to simulate four exposure conditions typical for concrete bridges located in the coastal region or inland where deicing salts are used. The exposure conditions were horizontal, vertical, tidal, and immersed zones. The specimens were kept inside the laboratory and were exposed to weekly ponding cycles of 6% (w/w) sodium chloride solution. In addition, cover depth measurements from 21 bridge decks and chloride data from 3 bridge decks were used, together with laboratory data, in modeling the service lives of the investigated corrosion protection methods. The methods used to assess the condition of the specimens included chloride concentration measurements, corrosion potentials, and corrosion rates (3LP). Additionally, visual observations were performed for identification of rust stains and cracking on concrete surfaces. Modeling the time as a function of probability of the end of functional service life (EFSL) is presented. It has been shown that the distributions of surface chloride concentration, C0, and diffusion coefficient, Dc, are key elements in the model. Model predictions show that the concretes with mineral admixtures provide much better level of protection against moisture and chlorides than the ordinary portland cement concrete alone. Application of a corrosion inhibitor causes an elevation of the chloride threshold resulting in an additional increase in time to EFSL. More field studies are needed to better estimate distributions of surface chloride concentration and diffusion coefficient of Virginia bridge decks, and to confirm predicted times to EFSL for low permeable (LP) concretes.

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