Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.C.E.

Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Alberto Sagues, Ph.D.

Keywords

Chloride penetration, Diffusion, Crack, Cover, Durability

Abstract

Concrete cylinder piles produced by a centrifugally cast, vibrated, roller compacted process have shown promising corrosion durability in marine environments. Three bridges in the Florida Panhandle with approximately 40 years of service in aggressive marine service were examined. A newly constructed marine bridge utilizing concrete cylinder piles was also examined to verify corrosion performance of piles manufactured with modern building materials and construction compared to piles built several decades ago. Survey of the marine bridges showed minimal corrosion distress despite low design concrete cover to steel hoop reinforcements (20-40 mm). Typical concrete distress included minor rust staining but not necessarily indicating corrosion of reinforcement steel. Thin longitudinal cracks were frequently observed but were likely caused by mechanical damage from pile driving rather than stemming from corrosion distress.

Chloride ion diffusivity was low, in the order of 1x10-13 m2/s. Other measured parameters such as concrete resistivity, porosity, and water absorption indicate low permeability. Chloride analysis of cracked and uncracked concrete cores from the older bridges in this study did not show pronounced preferential chloride penetration. Chloride analysis from the contemporary marine bridge did show some preferential transport of chloride ions at shallow depths through cracks with further evidence of lower electrical resistivity indicating enhanced electrolyte transport. The pore water pH of concrete samples from the contemporary bridge was high despite the presence of pozzolanic materials suggesting that normal chloride threshold values may be valid.

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