Problem Solving Forum
December 10 - December 14, 2018
What’s the best way to prevent corrosion of reinforcing bar in concrete?
Fred Goodwin of BASF Construction Chemicals on
December 13, 2018:
The Pantheon in Rome is still standing after 2000 ...read more The Pantheon in Rome is still standing after 2000 years but has no reinforcing steel, so that is a solution. Likely the best way is to use alternative reinforcement, if one can afford FRP bar or stainless steel. Cathodic prevention can also solve the issue with conventional steel if it is properly designed, installed, monitored, maintained and cost-justified. Following good trade practices such as with proper cover, appropriate material selection for the service environment, low w/cm, proper consistency for consolidation, sufficient cementitious material for required strength, and proper curing with attention to concrete maintenance (i.e. fixing cracks as soon as they form), and consideration of an appropriate coating or sealer will delay reinforcing steel corrosion for many years at minimal additional cost. However, conventional steel will eventually corrode, that is just thermodynamics. The trick is to keep corrosion from happening for the desired service life of the structure.