Influence of concrete cracking on the corrosion of steel reinforcement
ABSTRACT: In the present research the effect of crack width on the corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete specimens exposed to a natural marine environment was analyzed. To do this, small-scale concrete slabs where prepared and placed at the experimental facilities of U.S. Corps of Engineers, located at Treat Island, Maine during five years. Corrosion potentials and corrosion current density were assessed yearly using a Calomel electrode and LPR technique, respectively. Visual inspection was also carried out to record, if any, stains, additional cracking or concrete surface deterioration. Based on the results, it can be concluded that under the studied conditions the width of cracks in concrete did not affect considerably the corrosion of steel; however, the existence of cracking was a matter of paramount importance especially in concrete with low water-to-cement ratios.