Effects of Air Void at the Steel-Concrete Interface on the Corrosion Initiation of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete under Chloride Exposure

  • Nam Jin-Gak (Florida Atlantic University) ;
  • Hartt William H. (Florida Atlantic University) ;
  • Kim Kijoon (Korea Maritime University)
  • Published : 2005.10.01


A series of reinforced G109 type specimens was fabricated and pended with a 15 weight percent NaCl solution. Mix design variables included 1) two cement alkalinities (equivalent alkalinities of 0.32 and 1.08), 2) w/c 0.50 and 3) two rebar surface conditions (as-received and wire-brushed). Potential and macro-cell current between top and bottom bars were monitored to determine corrosion initiation time. Once corrosion was initiated, the specimen was ultimately autopsied to perform visual inspection, and the procedure included determination of the number and size of air voids along the top half of the upper steel surface. This size determination was based upon a diameter measurement assuming the air voids to be half spheres or ellipse. The followings were reached based upon the visual inspection of G109 specimens that were autopsied to date. First, voids at the steel-concrete interface facilitated passive film breakdown and onset of localized corrosion. Based upon this, the initiation mechanism probably involved a concentration cell with contiguous concrete coated and bare steel serving as cathodes and anodes, respectively. Second, the corrosion tended to initiate at relatively large voids. Third, specimens with wire-brushed steel had a lower number of voids at the interface for both cement alkalinities, suggesting that air voids preferentially formed on the rough as-received surface compared to the smooth wire brushed one.


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