chapter  5
Glass fiber reinforced plastics components for bridge deck replacement
Pages 35

The deterioration of reinforced concrete bridge decks is a major problem in cold regions where salt is commonly employed for de-icing the road surface. The penetration of chloride ions depassivates the steel reinforcement and initiates corrosion. Subsequent water absorption and expansion of the rust lead to cracking and surface spalling of the concrete deck. Moreover, with salt on the road surface, an osmotic pressure will be set up to draw water towards the top of the deck. Once the upper surface reaches a high level of saturation (above 91 percent), the increase in volume associated with freezing water will also lead to the formation of cracks in the concrete. With repeated freezing and thawing, the deck surface can be severely damaged.