Steel Reinforcement Section Loss Guidance Tables

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  11/07/2022


Steel rebar reinforces concrete bridge structures. Harsh weather, road salt and age can lead to corrosion of the embedded steel rebars. Rust has a higher volume than steel and results in expansion-induced concrete damage. Knowing how much of the rebar remains intact is necessary to estimate any changes to structural capacity. Accurate measurements of the steel loss due to corrosion, however, are difficult to obtain, especially when the rebar is still partially or fully embedded in concrete. New research has produced a tool to help bridge inspectors document damage, leading to better structural evaluation. Researchers examined materials and conditions specific to Minnesota that can lead to steel corrosion. They obtained rebar samples during a bridge repair to assess the extent of steel loss and implications for structural capacity. From this data, they developed and calibrated models to predict the section loss of rebars. These models and associated guidance tables will inform bridge maintenance actions, such as the inclusion of supplemental substructure strengthening with concrete repairs.

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