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Research: Bacteria Slows Steel Bar Corrosion

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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By embedding concrete with aerobic bacteria, researchers based out of Ehime University, in Japan, recently found that the corrosion of steel bars found in reinforced concrete could be slowed.

According to Science Daily, the corrosion can largely be attributed to electro-chemical reactions occurring in anodic and cathodic areas.

Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete

In order to reduce the amount of oxygen contributing to corrosion, the research team added Bacillus subtilis natto in with the cement. The aerobic bacteria is inherently resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions, including salinity. This is largely due to the development of an endospore when customary nutrition is not available. The endospore remains until conditions change to something more favorable for survival.

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By embedding concrete with aerobic bacteria, researchers based out of Ehime University, in Japan, recently found that the corrosion of steel bars found in reinforced concrete could be slowed.

Electrochemical, half-cell potential and macrocell corrosion measurements were used to get a read on the corrosion. Cathodic polarization curves were measured 28 days before the specimens were exposed to corrosion tests, and again at 91 days after. The tests included wet and dry cycles.

As noted in the paper abstract, the mortar specimens “cast with a w/c ratio of 0.50 were cracked by 4-point bending test and then they were exposed to dry (4 days) and wet (3 days) cycles.” The research team used “tap water containing 10% NaCl in order to accelerate corrosion especially at cracked parts,” according to the abstract.

As a result of introducing the bacteria, the dissolved oxygen is consumed and organic matter was oxidized. Additionally, bacteria-catalyzed reactions also contributed to the formation of calcium carbonate, which in turn led to the sealing of cracks in the concrete.

The team’s findings were published in the journal Cement and Concrete Research.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; concrete; Corrosion; OC; Quality control; Quality Control; Research and development

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