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Proceedings Paper

Detection of active corrosion in reinforced and prestressed concrete: overview of NIST TIP project
Author(s): M. A Gonzalez-Nunez; A. Nanni; F. Matta; P. Ziehl
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Paper Abstract

The US transportation infrastructure has been receiving intensive public and private attention in recent years. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 42 percent of the nearly 600,000 bridges in the Unites States are in need of structural or functional rehabilitation1. Corrosion of reinforcement steel is the main durability issue for reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, especially in coastal areas and in regions where de-icing salts are regularly used. Acoustic Emission (AE) has proved to be a promising method for detecting corrosion in steel reinforced and prestressed concrete members. This type of non-destructive test method primarily measures the magnitude of energy released within a material when physically strained. The expansive ferrous byproducts resulting from corrosion induce pressure at the steel-concrete interface, producing longitudinal and radial microcracks that can be detected by AE sensors. In the experimental study presented herein, concrete block specimens with embedded steel reinforcing bars and strands were tested under accelerated corrosion to relate the AE activity with the onset and propagation stages of corrosion. AE data along with half cell potential measurements and galvanic current were recorded to examine the deterioration process. Finally, the steel strands and bars were removed from the specimens, cleaned and weighed. The results were compared vis-à-vis Faraday's law to correlate AE measurements with degree of corrosion in each block.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 April 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7983, Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2011, 79832I (19 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880416
Show Author Affiliations
M. A Gonzalez-Nunez, MISTRAS Group, Inc. (United States)
A. Nanni, Univ. of Miami (United States)
F. Matta, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)
P. Ziehl, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7983:
Nondestructive Characterization for Composite Materials, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Infrastructure, and Homeland Security 2011
H. Felix Wu, Editor(s)

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