Wearing Course: Seismic Cable Corrosion Problems

This article discusses the durability of suspension bridge cables on both suspension and cable-stayed bridges. Traditional waterproofing of suspension bridge cables have involved the use of helical wrapping to form a protective outer layer, often using soft galvanized wire. The authors note that the start and stop points of the outer layer, located at the cable clamps, is where deterioration problems occur. When water enters at this point, the zinc coating deteriorates, leading to corrosion and embrittlement of the wires. In cable-stayed bridges, the start of corrosion is often observed in the galvanized bridge strand at the anchoring socket. There, the bending and fatigue effects often lead to outer wire fracture and progressive cable failure. The authors conclude, based on corrosion already seen in suspension bridge cables worldwide, that some tough decisions will likely need to be made in the near future regarding some of world’s larger bridges. In most cases, there will need to be an increase in the replacement or augmentation of cables to keep bridges open to traffic. The authors include two sidebar articles on case studies of bridge strengthening and rehabilitation due to cable corrosion.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046524
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 15 2007 3:37PM