Improved Corrosion-Resistant Steel for Highway Bridge Construction Knowledge-Based Design

The use of weathering steels for construction of new highway bridges has recently increased significantly. These steels provide construction cost savings of more than 10 percent because there is no need to paint the steel, as unpainted steel is easier to install and handle. In addition, the life-cycle cost savings are more than 30 percent because weathering steels require less maintenance and are more durable than common construction steels. Also, use of weathering steels provides significant environmental benefits because there are no volatile organic compounds from paints, and there is no need for removal or disposal of contaminated blast debris over the life span of the structure. However, the current weathering steels are not considered adequate for marine and other high saline environments. The objective of this project was to point out new directions for the development of low-cost steels with much better weathering characteristics than those of currently used weathering steels. Based on research performed by different groups and on work performed at Northwestern University, it was found that many of the less used elements in steel such as aluminum (Al), titanium (Ti), tungsten (W), and rare earths (REs) could significantly improve the weatherability of steel. Weathering steel could not be designed solely on its weathering characteristics. The composition should be optimized in respect to weathering characteristics, strength, ductility and fracture properties, ease of processing and fabrication, cost, and adverse health effects.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 4p
  • Serial:
    • TechBrief
    • Publisher: Federal Highway Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01142620
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-HRT-09-053
  • Files: NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 29 2009 2:06PM