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This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-09-020
Date: April 2009

Corrosion Resistant Alloys for Reinforced Concrete

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2.0 Project Objective

In response to the above concerns regarding ECR, interest has focused on additional corrosion-resistant alternatives to ECR, stainless steels in particular, over the past 15 years. Such alloys may become competitive on a life-cycle cost basis since the higher initial expense of the steel per se may be recovered over the life of the structure via reduced maintenance expenses arising from corrosion-induced damage.

Corrosion resistant reinforcements (CRR) may be advantageous beyond the considerations discussed above. This is illustrated by the flow diagram in figure 4, where the obvious explicit benefit of reduced corrosion rate and extended service life is indicated to the left. However, CRR can also impact design by possibly allowing concrete cover to be reduced which, in turn, should result in lower superstructure weight and potentially smaller substructure size and weight. Furthermore, lower cover can lead to the reduced width of concrete cracks and, hence, less corrosion at these cracks, which translates to lower maintenance costs.

This research was performed jointly by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a 6-year effort to evaluate the suitability of various CRR for concrete bridges exposed to chlorides. An initial phase of the study provided a critical literature review of CRR and an initial interim report, as subsequently published. (18,19) The present report updates results from this interim report and provides findings for the subsequent 3 years of the project.

Figure 4. Chart. Schematic representation of benefits that can be derived from CRR. This chart shows the two approaches that are considered: one where corrosion resistance and longer life are achieved because of greater corrosion resistance and one where reduced cover is specified, which either lowers structure weight resulting in lower initial cost or results in smaller crack width in service. This results in greater corrosion resistance and lowered maintenance cost.

Figure 4. Chart. Schematic representation of benefits that can be derived from CRR.

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