Rebar Corrosion Protection: How to Prevent Concrete Deterioration

Rebar Corrosion Protection has become increasingly important as the concern for infrastructure continues to rise. Reinforcing steel, known as rebar, is used widely on common infrastructure projects such as bridge repair and exposed beams.

In fact, most reinforced concrete failure in the USA is a result of a steel reinforcement bar or mesh corrosion.

Corrosion is caused by moisture and oxygen and promoted by chlorides and carbonation.

The Calcium Hydroxide found in concrete results in a pH of 12 or 13, and this protects the steel.

This highly alkaline environment creates a protective film around on the steel known as the passivating layer.

What is Rebar Corrosion?

“Rebar corrosion occurs when chloride ions migrate to concrete material like steel bars. It is a type of corrosion that occurs in most highway bridges. These structures are usually constructed with rebar that is reinforced by steel throughout the support structures” (Corrosionpedia).

Combatting Concrete Deterioration and Corrosion

Concrete Deterioration and corrosion is mitigated by maintaining the alkalinity of the surrounding concrete and preventing the water-soluble chloride ingress. Corrosion inhibitors which reduce concrete porosity, create additional moisture barrier and create additional pacifying layer on the embedded steel surfaces are the best preservation and rehabilitation tools available.

Preventing and inhibting the embedded steel corrosion is is the key step on the way to concrete structure rehabilitation and protection.

Corrosive Effects for Rebar

The loss of this protective layer exposes the steel to the corrosive effects of air, water, and acidic compounds. This corrosion causes the steel to expand in volume and places lateral forces on the concrete, which causes cracks and spalls. This leads to a rapid, almost exponential increase in area of failure.

SURTREAT® Rebar Corrosion Protection Applications

Our concrete solutions solve reinforced concrete failures through the following:

• Stops and prevents corrosion and concrete degradation.

• Maintains the beneficial pH and the passivating layer.

• Establishes a protective film on the rebar surface.

• Converts the corrosion rust to a hard, inert shell.

• Purges and stabilizes contaminants in the concrete.

• Increases concrete compressive, flexural, and tensile strength.

• Increases hardness of the concrete surface.

• Substantially reduces porosity and related water penetration under pressure.

• Increases surface adhesive properties if subsequent repair is to be applied.

SURTREAT® solutions, such as SurCoRepair, protects against rebar corrosion and related deterioration in multiple ways, thus providing a significant increase to the useful life of concrete structures.