Concrete Bridge Durability: Extending the Performance Envelope with Coatings. Part 2: Coating Concrete Picks Up Steam with Transportation Departments

This is the 2nd article in a year-long series dedicated to the topic of protective coatings for reinforced concrete bridge structures. As described in the 1st article (JPCL, April 2006, pp 20-26), there is substantial evidence that the concrete bridge infrastructure in the U.S. is deteriorating and presents a maintenance and repair burden that outpaces current resources and conventional methods of protection. Much of this deterioration can be attributed to corrosion caused by the elements of the natural environment coupled with the increased use of deicing salts in cold climates. Moreover, because of the impact on traffic, the maintenance, repair, and replacement of in-service highways have become extremely difficult and costly because an increasing portion of work must be conducted during non-rush hours or at night. Bridge construction data from recent years shows that prestressed concrete is now the dominant material used for construction of new and replacement bridges nationwide. Significant work has been done to improve the inherent corrosion resistance of reinforced concrete highway structures; however, the high-strength prestressing steel strands that carry significant load in prestressed bridge members are usually protected only by the concrete cover itself. This article presents the growing interest among departments of transportation in the area of concrete coatings. Specific examples of some of the current and recent efforts of bridge owners demonstrate the growing acceptance of coatings as a viable option for providing the additional corrosion protection needed by these critical structures in many environments.


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  • Accession Number: 01055329
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 14 2007 12:07PM