ASTM Subcommittee A01.05
Its Quest to Develop Standards for Corrosion-Resistant Steel Reinforcement
by David P. Gustafson
ASTM Subcommittee A01.05 on Steel Reinforcement has been influencing
the development and manufacture of corrosion-resistant reinforcing
steel for two decades. Subcommittee Chairman David P. Gustafson
describes the many ways the committee has been a force in the
Premature deterioration caused by corrosion of steel reinforcement
is the Achilles heel of reinforced concrete structures. Structures
exposed to deicing salts, such as highway bridges and parking
garages, are prime candidates for premature deterioration. Marine
structures exposed to seawater, wastewater treatment plants, and
other structures exposed to corrosive environments are also vulnerable
to premature deterioration. The ways and means to mitigate corrosion
of the steel reinforcement and extending the service life of structures
are of worldwide concern.
For over 20 years, ASTM Subcommittee A01.05 on Steel Reinforcement
(part of Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys) has been developing
standards to enhance the corrosion resistance of reinforcement.
Six specifications for coated carbon steel reinforcement and a
specification for stainless steel reinforcing bars have been published.
See the accompanying table are the current specifications.
Presently, Subcommittee A01.05 is developing a new specification
for stainless steel clad carbon steel reinforcing bars. The Bar
Products Task Group, chaired by James G. Hutchinson, metallurgical
services manager, AmeriSteel, Knoxville, Tenn., has led the effort
to develop a draft standard for letter-balloting. Several subcommittee
members, and individuals and organizations outside of A01.05,
have contributed to the development of the draft standard.
According to Hutchinson, stainless-clad bars are currently produced
by two known processes. In one of the processes, stainless steel
strip is formed and welded into a tube shape. Carbon steel granulate
is then packed under pressure into the tube to form the core.
The ends are crimped to complete the manufactured round billet.
The billet is then heated and rolled into reinforcing bars. In
the other existing process, a carbon steel continuous cast billet
is spray metallized with a stainless alloy cladding. Then the
billet is heated and rolled into reinforcing bars.
The draft specification intentionally does not restrict the production
methods to the currently known processes. In other words, the
door is open to other technologies. An advisory note is included
in the draft specification that encourages the purchaser to become
familiar with a particular producers process and its attributes
and any limitations.
At this time, Subcommittee A01.05 is also preparing a specification
for stainless steel wire and welded wire fabric for concrete reinforcement.
Development of this new specification is headed by Roy H. Reiterman,
technical director, Wire Reinforcement Institute, Findlay, Ohio,
under the auspices of the Wire Products Task Group. Professor
Steven L. McCabe, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering, University of Kansas, is the task group chairman.
Subcommittee A01.05 is at the forefront of new technology for
corrosion-resistant reinforcement. One example of this is epoxy-coated
reinforcing bars and A01.05s role in technology transfer. In
the 1970s, the basic research and product development of epoxy-coated
reinforcing bars was conducted by the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) and the National Bureau of Standards (now the National
Institute of Standards and Technology). The landmark FHWA-NBS
research  resulted in the creation of a new industry. Today
there are some 40 epoxy coating applicator plants in North America,
and several plants in the Middle East and Asia. Several of the
largest production capacity epoxy coating plants in the world
are located in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. ASTM A775/A775M, Specification for Epoxy-Coated Reinforcing Steel Bars, was issued
in 1981. The popular standard is used in its entirety in many
countries or is the basis for the technical provisions in several
In 1999, ISO issued three standards for epoxy-coated reinforcementISO
14654, Epoxy-coated steel for the reinforcement of concrete; ISO
14655, Epoxy-coated strand for the prestressing of concrete; and
ISO 14656, Epoxy powder and sealing material for the coating of
steel for the reinforcement of concrete. A standard for zinc-coated
(galvanized) reinforcing bars, wire, and welded wire fabric is
in the final stages of development, and is expected to be adopted
soon by ISO.
The established ASTM standards for epoxy-coated and galvanized
reinforcement have had a major influence on the ISO effort. They
helped to get the work started within ISO TC 17 on SteelSubcommittee
16 on Steel Reinforcement, and much of the technical content in
the ISO documents is parallel to the requirements in the ASTM
No Time to Rest
Subcommittee A01.05s membership, in addition to those from reinforcing
bar producing mills, includes representation from several State
Departments of Transportation; the FHWA; the epoxy coating, galvanizing
and stainless steel industries; consulting engineers; researchers;
academia; and other individuals interested in corrosion-resistant
steel reinforcement. This pool of expertise and wide range of
experience, coupled with the members dedication, has translated
into a highly productive unit within the subcommittee.
The subcommittee cannot rest on its laurels. It anticipates interest
in the development of a new specification for microcomposite steel
reinforcing bars. In this case, the steel itself would have a
high degree of corrosion resistance through the use of innovative
chemical analyses. There should be no requirement for a cladding
or a barrier coating to provide the improvement in corrosion resistance.
ASTM, through its technical committee and standards development
structure, is making a significant contribution to society's needs
to construct more durable, longer-lasting reinforced concrete
structures. It is a challenge, and at the same time an exciting
and fulfilling experience, to participate in the process of mitigating
the corrosion problem. //
1 J. R. Clifton, H. F. Beegly and R. C. Mathey, Nonmetallic Coatings
for Concrete Reinforcing Bars, Report No. FHWA-RD-74-18, Federal
Highway Administration, Washington, D.C., 1974.
Copyright 2001, ASTM