Repair and corrosion management of reinforced concrete structures

2013-11-18T12:47:11Z (GMT) by Christian Christodoulou
The durability of concrete structures is affected by a number of factors such as environmental exposure, electrochemical reactions, mechanical loading, impact damage and others. Of all of these, corrosion of the reinforcement is probably the main cause for the deterioration of steel reinforced concrete (RC) structures. Corrosion management is becoming increasingly necessary as a result of the growing number of ageing infrastructure assets (e.g. bridges, tunnels etc.) and the increased requirement for unplanned maintenance in order to keep these structures operational throughout their design life (and commonly, beyond). The main RC repair, refurbishment and rehabilitation approaches generally employed can be broadly categorised under a) conventional, b) surface treatments, c) electrochemical treatments and d) design solutions. The overarching aim of this research was to identify the key corrosion management techniques and undertake empirical investigations focused on full-scale RC structures to investigate their long-term performance. To achieve this, individual research packages were identified from the above broad five approaches for repair, replacement and rehabilitation. These were 1) Patch repairs and incipient anodes, 2) Impressed Current Cathodic Protection, 3) Galvanic Cathodic Protection and 4) Hydrophobic treatments. The selection of the above research packages was based on past and present use by the construction industry to repair, refurbish and rehabilitate RC structures. Their contributions may be broadly categorised as i) Investigations on how specific treatments and materials perform, ii) Investigations on the effectiveness of existing methods of measurements and developing alternatives, iii) Changes to the existing theory of corrosion initiation and arrest and iv) Changes to management framework strategies. The key findings from each research package can be summarised as follows: Macrocell activity appears to be a consequence rather than a cause of incipient anode formation in repaired concrete structures, as has previously been presented; ICCP has persistent protective effects even after interruption of the protective current; Discrete galvanic anodes installed in the parent concrete surrounding the patch repair are a feasible alternative to galvanic anodes embedded within the patch repairs of RC structures; Silanes may have a residual hydrophobic effect even after 20 years of service.