Protecting concrete bridges from corrosion

Home / Blog / Protecting concrete bridges from corrosion

Protecting concrete bridges from corrosion

Bridges need to be carefully maintained to ensure they don’t decay or get damaged and become hazardous. This is particularly important for bridges used in transport infrastructures, because the potential for injury and mass disruption is higher. Even the sturdiest bridge in the world will need maintenance, structural strengthening and remedial care from time to time to keep it stable and functioning. This is even more important when they are exposed to adverse weather conditions.

Concrete bridges are at a great deal of risk because they are prone to high degradation due to wet weather, temperature variations and even pollution. As well as this, the steel rebar used to reinforce the structure can corrode over time, eventually weakening the span to the point where it can no longer be used. Protecting both the integrity of the concrete and the condition of the structural steel is important for extending the life of the bridge.

There are many different corrosion control options for buried structural steels including using sacrificial anodes that will corrode in place of the steel. This is amongst the easiest methods, but each anode needs to be monitored carefully to make sure the rate of corrosion is within acceptable parameters. Monitoring also means you can conduct large scale repairs at the most opportune time.

The right material needs to be used when using sacrificial anodes as part of corrosion control measures. It needs to have a more active voltage than the steel to ensure it will corrode in its place. Each anode needs to be the right size for the setting; if there is not enough material it will rust away too quickly and leave the structural steel vulnerable. Anodes need to be placed correctly around the whole structure to provide the best level of protection.

Getting the corrosion measures right in the first instance will keep your costs down because you’ll have less unplanned maintenance to worry about. The more frequently you require work the higher the expense so it is always best to take steps to protect the structure for as long as possible right from the off. If you need help putting measures into place or need urgent repairs doing on a bridge we have the skills to help. We provide a range of services to facilitate the reduction of corrosion and structural strengthening on structures of all kinds. Our experience has already seen us work on civic projects so you can rely on us to deliver the best service.