It is estimated that $500 million dollars is spent annually for repair of bridge decks which suffer from deterioration. The major cause of bridge deck deterioration is corrosion of reinforcing steel induced by exposure to chlorides from deicers and salt water spray. Dissolved salts seep into bridge decks primarily at crack locations and cause steel corrosion which sets up a splitting force because of the volumetric expansion and eventually breaks the concrete. This report briefly presents background information on the mechanism of corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete, and summarizes the observations and findings from an experimental corrosion study. A simple test specimen was developed to simulate the behavior of a transversely prestressed bridge deck subjected to an aggressive deicing salt exposure. The experimental program investigated the primary variables affecting corrosion of steel in prestressed concrete: concrete cover, crack width, protective coatings for steel reinforcement, type of prestressing protective system, concrete quality, and level of prestressing. Behavioral trends are presented as determined from half cell potential measurement of the nonprestressed reinforcement, chloride analysis of the concrete, and visual observation from a post mortem autopsy of the specimens.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Texas, Austin

    Center for Transportation Research, 3208 Red River Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78705

    Texas State Department of Highways & Public Transportation

    Transportation Planning Division, P.O. Box 5051
    Austin, TX  United States  78763

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Poston, R W
    • Carrasquillo, R L
    • Breen, J E
  • Publication Date: 1985-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: 176 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00457529
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/TX-86/16+316-1
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1988 12:00AM