The plates which form the metal trough on ballast deck bridges are subjected to a severe corrosion environment created by the salt brine from refrigerator cars. A variety of metals and alloys is available for this use, but until the AAR began its investigation in 1958, no comparative data were available on the corrosion resistance of these metals and alloys for the intended use. A previous research report, ER-40, includes the data for a five year exposure period. the present report contains data from ten years of exposure and a future report will present data from 15 years of exposure. Test plates, 7 in by 10 in., were installed on the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Huey Long bridge, New Orleans, Louisiana. At this location, only plates of stainless steel and aluminum, 6061-T6, indicated significant resistance to this brine environment. The aluminum, Alclad 2014-T6, plates were seriously foliated. The average weight loss of the specimens after ten years exposure (except stainless steel and aluminum) varied between 44.8 percent and 59.9 percent. The depth of pitting was severe and varied from 0.34 in to 0.55 in. The inspection of corrosion specimens of deck plate material shows that after 10 years exposure in a brine environment, most of the metal compositions have a high corrosion rate. Exceptions to this general conclusion are Aluminum 6061-T6 and 316 stainless steel. It is expected that results of inspections after the 15 years of exposure that was planned when the investigation was started, will show further deterioration of those metals and alloys that now exhibit poor corrosion resistance.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Conducted in collaboration with AREA Committee 15, Iron and Steel Structures.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Association of American Railroads Research Center

    3140 South Federal Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60616
  • Publication Date: 1968-8

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 6 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00096569
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Association of American Railroads
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ER-83
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 1975 12:00AM