Nine Years' Service with Deep Polymer Impregnation

by Philip D. Cady, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,
Richard E. Weyers, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,
John A. Manson, Pennsylvania State Univ, University, Park, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Developments in New and Existing Materials


A test installation of deep polymer impregnation was applied to a heavily traveled bridge deck in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1975. The deep polymer impregnation process involved drying the concrete, impregnating it to a depth of 3 to 4 inches (7. 6 to 10. 2 cm) with a catalyzed acrylic monomer, and thermally polymerizing the monomer. At the time of the installation, the bridge was 8 years old and, while no surface spalls existed, the chloride contents at the level of the top reinforcing mat exceeded the corrosion threshold value of 2 lb/cu. yd (1. 2 kg/m**3). The test area consisted of approximately 40 sq. ft (3. 7 m**2) centered on the right wheel path of the portion of the deck that had the highest chloride levels. The most significant finding came from petrographic (microscopical) examination of the core specimens wherein an instance of the arrest of a pre-existing corrosion cell by the impregnation process was uncovered.

Subject Headings: Polymer | Synthetic materials | Bridge decks | Corrosion | Concrete bridges | Chloride | Bridge tests | Concrete | Pennsylvania | United States

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