STP1100: Fourteen Years' Service with Deep Impregnation of a Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck

    Weyers, RE
    Associate professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

    Cady, PD
    Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

    Feeney, MA
    Graduate research assistants, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

    How Lum, SF
    Graduate research assistants, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

    Pages: 12    Published: Jan 1990


    Abstract

    A test installation of deep impregnation was applied to a heavily traveled bridge deck in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1975. The deep impregnation process involves drying the concrete, impregnating with a monomer to a depth of 3 to 4 in., and polymerizing the monomer in situ. At the time of the impregnation, the bridge deck was eight years old and the chloride contents were above the corrosion threshold level. The test area, 3.7 m2, is centered on the right wheel path of the traffic lane.

    During the 14-year period, spalling and delaminations have occurred, on 20% of the deck with no evidence of spalling or delamination in the impregnated area. The deep impregnation has reduced the surface wear in the wheel path by 65%. Chloride contents have increased in both areas but at a slower rate in the impregnated area. The percent active corrosion potentials have remained the same in the nonimpregnated area but increased to 50% in the impregnated area. However, the corrosion current in the impregnated area is a factor of six less than in the nonimpregnated area. The concrete resistivity is a factor of six higher in the impregnated area and of sufficient magnitude to significantly reduce the rate of corrosion. Microscopical examination of cores showed that preexisting corrosion cells were arrested by the impregnation process.

    Keywords:

    polymer impregnation, corrosion, concrete surface wear, petrographic examination, corrosion current, concrete resistivity


    Paper ID: STP14546S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D04.36

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14546S


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