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An extensive study was conducted to determine the performance of weathering steel tubular utility structures. Utilization of weathering steel started more than 30 years ago and has slowly grown as some utilities realized it was a viable alternative to conventional protective coatings such as hot-dip galvanizing and paint. Unfortunately, weathering steel has not been widely accepted by potential users. Their reluctance is a result of corrosion problems identified in other types of steel structures. Those problems, which have since been resolved by design changes, included: lattice (angle-iron) towers containing pack-out in lap-joints; excessive rusting of bridge members detailed so joints held runoff-water and decaying refuse such as bird nests; rust stains on concrete supporting steel members of buildings and bridges. In comparison, tubular weathering steel utility structures have performed even better than anticipated. The corrosion data obtained from 23 sites correlate well with published laboratory test data.
weathering steel, corrosion, performance, tubular, utility structures, pack-out, galvanic corrosion
Consultant, Hoitomt Consulting Services, Hager City, WI