Rebar corrosion is a concern for bridge engineers

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Rebar corrosion is a concern for bridge engineers

We always have the same goal when we carry out concrete bridge repair jobs; restore the structure to the state it was formerly in, ensuring it is safe and stable. In order to truly get things done however, we must find long-term solutions. Our aim is to make sure the bridges will last as long as possible.

Reinforced concrete complexes like bridge decks lose their integrity over time. This is due to things like overloading, fatigue, and de-icing salt damage. There are several types of deterioration as well. One of the greatest concerns to engineers is rebar corrosion.


The reinforcing steel you find in concrete naturally has protection from corrosion. This is thanks to the materials’ high alkalinity. There is also a very thick concrete cover to insulate it. Because the material is alkaline, a non-corroding and passive protective oxide film can form. It appears on the surface of the steel. If the film ends up being destroyed, an electric cell forms between the steel bars or along the steel. After this the corrosion process starts and the support will weaken if you do not do anything about it.

Chloride diffusion

One of the main causes of this issue is chloride diffusion. Chlorides mainly stem from the use of de-icing salts. The corrosion of a bridge’s steel reinforcement can lower the deck’s structural capacity. In addition, it can lead to delamination, cracking, stresses and even spalling. This shall happen above the level of reinforcement or at it.

There are two common steel corrosion processes here; carbonation and chloride-induced pitting corrosion. It is vital to tackle each one in the most appropriate way.

concrete bridge repairAt Churchill Concrete Technology, we work to reverse the damage to bridges caused by corrosion. It doesn’t matter what the root cause is however. Our abilities and capacity to get things done properly will allow us to perform a successful concrete bridge repair job.

If you require our help, please get in touch. We achieve the highest standards on every project so clients can have complete faith in us.