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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-078
Date: June 2006

Job Site Evaluation of Corrosion Resistant Alloys

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Economic considerations have historically precluded consideration and widespread use of high-performance (corrosion-resistant) reinforcements such as stainless steels in bridge construction. However, with the advent of life-cycle cost analysis as a project planning tool and of a requirement that major bridge structures have a 75–100 year design life, the competitiveness of such steels has increased such that enhanced attention has now focused in recent years upon these materials.

This investigation was a component of the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) Program that was authorized by Congress in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) legislation. The project objective was to evaluate and provide a historical record of approved State bridge construction projects throughout the United States that employed corrosion-resistant reinforcement. The study involved site visits, documentation of attributes and any problems associated with the various reinforcement types, and acquisition and testing of reinforcement samples.

Gary Henderson

Director, Office of Infrastructure

Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No. 3 Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Job Site Evaluation of Corrosion-Resistant Alloys for Use as Reinforcement in Concrete

5. Report Date

June 2006

6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)

William H. Hartt, Rodney G. Powers, Diane K. Lysogorski, Mario

Paredes, and Y. Paul Virmani

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Center for Marine Materials
Florida Atlantic University–Sea Tech Campus
101 North Beach Road
Dania Beach, Florida 33004


Florida Department of Transportation–State Materials Office

5007 NE 39th Avenue

Gainesville, FL 32609

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

The contract officer technical representative (COTR) for this document is Paul Virmani, HRDI-10.

16. Abstract

Premature deterioration of the Nation’s concrete highway and bridge structures as a consequence of chloride (salt) exposure and resultant corrosion of reinforcing steel has evolved during the past four decades to become a formidable technological and economic problem. In response to this, epoxy-coated reinforcing steel (ECR) was adapted in the mid-1970s as a proactive measure to control this problem. Premature corrosion-induced cracking of marine bridge substructures in Florida indicated, however, that ECR is of little benefit for this type of exposure; and while performance of ECR in northern bridge decks has been generally good to date (30-plus years), still the degree of corrosion resistance to be afforded in the long term to major structures with design lives of 75–100 years is uncertain. Corrosion-resistant reinforcements, including stainless steels, are an alternative for such applications, and a component of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program addressed incorporated of such reinforcements into approved State bridge construction projects. The present project evaluated a selected number of these in terms of the type of reinforcement used and difficulties and advantages that were encountered. Of the 27 approved State projects for which information could be gathered; 20 were either completed as planned or utilized an alternate corrosion-resistant reinforcement. The different reinforcements types were solid Types 316 (3 projects), 2201LDX (1 project), and 2205 (5 projects) stainless steels, Type 316 stainless clad black bar (3 projects), MMFX-II (13 projects), and galvanized steel (3 projects). In some cases, more than one corrosion-resistant reinforcement was used on a single project. The various State projects demonstrated that, subject to availability, corrosion-resistant reinforcing steel can be incorporated into bridge construction with relative ease and placed with less difficulty than ECR. Thus, these reinforcements are a viable technical alternative to ECR. Realizing the full benefit of this IBRC program, however, will depend upon individual States acquiring performance data and maintaining records on these structures for decades into the future.

17. Key Words

Corrosion, corrosion-resistant reinforcing steel, stainless steel, concrete, bridges

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 Reproduction of completed page authorized

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