Corrosion of Reinforcing Steel Embedded in Structural Concrete

James T. Houston, Ergin Atimtay, and Phil M. Ferguson


Results of a literature review provide a broad overview of more than twenty parameters affecting the process of corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete. In addition, a four year experimental program utilizing a relatively severe salt spray exposure to promote corrosion in numerous loaded beams and unloaded slab specimens is reported. Experimental parameters used in the study included quality of concrete (cement type, water-cement ratio, aggregate type, relative permeability), placement of steel and concrete (concrete cover, bar size, bar spacing, casting position), and exposure and loading conditions (concrete cracking, level of steel stress, prestressing, rates of corrosion). The study of these parameters provides information useful in the selection of the concrete quality and structural detail required the produce corrosion resistant structures.

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