A step towards standardising accelerated corrosion tests on laboratory reinforced concrete specimens

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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

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University of Cape Town

Natural steel corrosion of reinforced concrete (RC) structures is a slow process which researchers find necessary to accelerate in laboratory tests to obtain needed damage in a short time. Regrettably, there is no standard procedure for accelerating steel corrosion in RC specimens. Researchers therefore continue to use various techniques to accelerate it. Unfortunately, structural damage and rate of steel corrosion are dependent on the accelerated corrosion technique used. Despite that, results obtained by researchers are applied by structural engineers and asset managers to in-service structures. This paper reviews previous techniques used to accelerate steel corrosion. Where possible it proposes standard procedures to accelerate steel corrosion. In other instances it points out needed further research. One of the procedures recommended in the paper is to contaminate selected faces of RC specimens with chlorides, as opposed to immersing samples in NaCl solution or adding chlorides to concrete mixes. It is also recommended to allow specimens to sufficiently dry during steel corrosion so as to promote steel corrosion.