Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Alberto A. Sagüés, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rajan Sen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrés Tejada-Martinez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Matthias Batzill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Venkat Bhethanabotla, Ph.D.


zinc, cathodic protection, patch repair, reinforcing steel, potential


The polarization performance of two types of commercial galvanic point anodes for protection of reinforced steel around patch repairs was investigated. Experiments included measurement of the polarization history of the anode under constant current impressed by galvanostatic circuits and in reinforced concrete slabs. The tests revealed, for both types of anodes, a potential-current function (PF) indicating relatively little anodic polarization from an open circuit potential at low current levels, followed by an abrupt increase in potential as the current approached an apparent terminal value. Aging of the anodes was manifested by a continually decreasing current output in the concrete tests, and by increasingly more positive potentials in the galvanostatic tests. Those changes reflected an evolution of the PF generally toward more positive open circuit potentials and, more importantly, to the onset of elevated polarized potentials at increasingly lower current levels. There was considerable variability among the performance of replicate units of a given anode type. Modest to poor steel polarization levels were achieved in the test yard slabs. Modeling of a generic patch configuration was implemented with a one-dimensional approximation. The model calculated the throwing distance that could be achieved by a given number of anodes per unit perimeter of the patch, concrete thickness, concrete resistivity, amount of steel and amount of polarization needed for cathodic prevention. The model projections and aging information suggest that anode performance in likely application scenarios may seriously degrade after only a few years of operation, even if a relatively optimistic 100 mV corrosion prevention criterion were assumed. Less conservative criteria have been proposed in the literature but are yet to be substantiated. Other investigations suggest a significantly more conservative corrosion prevention may apply instead. The latter case would question the ability of the point anodes to provide adequate corrosion prevention.