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Experimental Beam End Treatment


By Bobby Meade, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. and Sudhir Palle, Kentucky Transportation Center

Presented at SSPC 2014; Session: Bridge Protection and Repair; Session chair: Mark Hudson, Sherwin-Williams

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One of the, if not the most, vexing problems for bridge maintenance personnel is the deterioration of bridge components below leaking joints. The joints may be open or closed, construction or expansion, but seemingly inevitably leak shortly after construction or resealing. The bridge components affected by the leaking joints may be steel or concrete but the end result is the same, deterioration. Due to the extended Time of Wetness (TOW) and the high levels of contaminants (deicing chemicals), structural steel coatings and reinforcing steel in concrete consistently fail first at these locations. Bridge maintenance personnel are seeking a low-level-of-effort process and user friendly coatings for maintaining these problem areas.
The University of Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) selected an Interstate bridge with an intermediate, not an abutment, expansion joint with a nonfunctioning strip seal. There was significant corrosion of the structural steel and delamination of the concrete pier beneath the joint. KTC performed a low-level-of-effort surface preparation on the corroded steel surfaces and applied nine experimental protective coatings. The concrete surfaces were pressure washed and eight experimental coatings/stains were applied. All coatings are being evaluated for effectiveness and user friendliness.

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