The deterioration of the nation's highway infrastructure is proceeding at an alarming rate. A major element of the problem involves chloride-induced corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete bridge components. In order to rationally implement bridge management strategies, it is generally recognized that life-cycle cost analyses of viable alternatives are required. This necessitates the development of reliable means for predicting the service lives of alternative procedures. The major components of a rational model for predicting service life in this scenario center on the time for the chloride ion concentration to reach the corrosion threshold level at reinforcement locations and the corrosion reaction time necessary to produce loss of serviceability. Obviously, the definition of the terminal serviceability in terms of deterioration level also constitutes an important element of the model. This paper examines a semi-empirical deterioration model for predicting service life based on fundamental concepts, augmented with historical data.
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