This report presents the findigs of field investigations of the condition of aluminum culverts. A total of 56 sites were investigated varying in age from 11 to 18 years, and metal, adjacent soil, and water samples taken and subjected to laboratory analysis. Pipe-to-soil standard half-cell potentials were also taken at some sites. Field inspection and sampling were conducted by Kaiser Aluminum and Caltrans personnel. Subsequent laboratory analyses and evaluation were conducted by Kaiser. Results indicate that soil-side corrosion is considerably more severe than the inner side. The soil-side cladding layer (7072 Aluminum) provided sacrificial protection to the core (3004 Aluminum) and prevented pitting in the majority of samples taken. Caltrans' evaluation of the data generated by this study does not support Kaiser Aluminum's recommendation that "Alclad (7072) 3004" culverts will have sufficient life expectancy in an environment having a pH from 4 to 9 and minimum resistivity of 500 ohm-cm. Caltrans' assessment is that pH and min. resistivity do not allow confident prediction of life expectancy. Nevertheless, as a result of this study and through input from other sources, Caltrans plans to approve the use of aluminum in non-saline, non-clayey soils of pH between 5.5 and 8.5, and a minimum resistivity of 1500 ohm-centimeters fully realizing the limitations of these two parameters. (FHWA)

  • Corporate Authors:

    California Department of Transportation

    Transportation Laboratory
    5900 Folsom Boulevard
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95819
  • Authors:
    • Apostoleos, J A
    • Myhres, F A
  • Publication Date: 1980-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00325362
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/CA/TL-80/12 Final Rpt., FCP 45I3-254
  • Contract Numbers: D-4-161
  • Created Date: Apr 15 1981 12:00AM