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By J.P. Broomfield

The corrosion of reinforcing metal in concrete is an incredible challenge dealing with civil engineers and surveyors in the course of the global this day.

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Extra resources for Corrosion of steel in concrete - Ubderstanding investigation and repair

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6. Check and calibrate the half cell and voltmeter 7. If necessary wet the whole area to ensure good electrical contact. Alternatively wet the immediate area of the measurement. Tap water, soap solution and even saline solutions have been recommended for wetting. The author prefers tap water (for a reading to be made charged ions must flow from the steel to the half cell; the concrete must therefore be damp enough for an ionic path; direct contact to the steel must not occur, the current must flow as ions, not electrons).

This is partly due to the mechanism of chloride attact, with ppit formation and with small concentrated anodes being ‘fed’ by large cathodes. It is also because chloride attact is usually associated with high levels of moisture giving low electrical resistance in the concrete and easy transport of ions so the anodes and cathodes can separate easily. In North America, this is used as a way of measuring corrosion by measuring ‘marcrocell currents’. 11. 4 ELECTROCHEMISTRY, CELLS AND HALF CELLS The first two reactions we discussed in this chapter were the anodic and cathodic reactions for steel in concrete.

Most forms of chemical attack are therefore concrete problems before they are corrosion problems. Carbon dioxide and the chloride ion are very unusual in penetrating the concrete without significantly damaging it. Accounts of (for instance) acid rain causing corrosion of steel embedded in concrete have been shown to attack the steel and not the concrete. 1 CARBONATION Carbonation is the result of the interaction of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere with the alkaline hydroxides in the concrete.

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