Battling Concrete Corrosion

by David Whitmore, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Vector Constr. Group, Winnipeg, MB,
Sean Abbott, Electrochemical Engr.; Vector Constr. Group, Winnipeg, MB,
Emmanuel Velivasakis, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Vice Pres.; LZA Tech., New York,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 1, Pg. 46-48

Document Type: Feature article


For decades engineers have fought concrete corrosion, but few methods have offered a long-term solution�until now. Electrochemical techniques such as electrochemical chloride extraction (ECE) and realkalization have gained considerable attention in recent years because they attack the source of corrosion, not just its symptoms. ECE, for example, not only stops the corrosion reaction, but removes the chloride ions that cause corrosion and creates a protective zone around the rebar. Realkalization works similarly, stopping corrosion caused by the often-overlooked problem of carbonation. By raising the pH of the concrete, realkalization restores the concrete's natural protection against corrosion.

Subject Headings: Corrosion | Concrete | Electrokinetics | Chloride | pH | Reinforcing steel | Carbonation

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