Building Maintenance Solutions for Concrete Defects
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Corrosion of steel generates iron oxides and hydroxides, resulting in the increase of volume 5 to 8 times of its original size. This increase in volume causes expansive forces to accumulate within the concrete around reinforcement and results in cracking and in areas with low cover, concrete spalling. Cracks provide easier access to oxygen, moisture, chlorides and other corrosive agents that create conditions suitable for accelerating the electrochemical corrosion process. Pretensioned concrete bridge girders may exhibit unexpected end cracking upon pre-stress release. Leakage from the bridge expansion joint could penetrate the bottom flange cracks and trigger severe corrosion. In this case expansion joint leakage must be arrested prior to the crack and concrete repair activity.