Statistical Variations in Chloride Diffusion in Concrete Bridges

Designing durability into the civil infrastructure requires advanced knowledge of deterioration mechanisms, material science, properties and methods of production of construction materials, structural design, quality control, and construction methods. In the case of reinforced concrete structural elements, corrosion is initiated and accelerated by, among other things, the presence of chlorides at the depth of the reinforcing steel. This article describes the simulation-based reliability assessment (SBRA) method which can be used for the probabilistic prediction of chloride diffusion. The authors present data from the in-place measurement of chloride penetration and concrete cover from more than 200 samples taken from 40 bridge decks in the northeastern United States. The bridge decks were constructed under identical construction and design specifications over a 13-year period and exposed to deicing salts as well as normal environmental cycles. The results of simulation and analysis show that the initiation of corrosion from the diffusion of chlorides can be delayed for decades by using high-performance concrete with lower diffusion coefficients. The article includes histograms that illustrate the effect of variations in diffusion coefficients and cover depths.

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  • Authors:
    • Tikalsky, Paul J
    • Pustka, David
    • Marek, Pavel
  • Publication Date: 2005-5


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01000393
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 2005 8:31AM