Quantifying Reinforced Concrete Bridge Deck Corrosion Using Ground Penetrating Radar
Throughout the life cycle of a bridge deck the most costly component is the deck. This is most commonly due to the damaging effects of corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Current inspection methods that decide which areas must be repaired, or which decks need to be replaced are visual inspection and chain drag. Both of these methods are only successful if the deterioration process is in an advanced stage, and visually observable cracking and spalling, or delaminations are available for deterioration quantification. However, the deterioration process starts well before these signs are noticeable, and if the process can be detected in its early stages, the cost of repair will be significantly decreased, and the life cycle of the deck will be increased. The goal of this work is to use nondestructive evaluation techniques like ground penetrating radar (GPR) and half-cell potential (HCP) to develop relationships that departments of transportation can use to quantify corrosion of bridge decks quickly, efficiently, and accurately. To accomplish this, the corrosion process was better understood by analyzing laboratory slabs subjected to an accelerated corrosion process, yielding a correlation coefficient of over 86%. Additionally, various in field bridge decks were analyzed with these methods to develop a relationship between GPR and the amount each bridge deck was corroded, resulting in a correlation coefficient of over 92%. This relationship will allow for the immediate understanding of the condition of a bridge deck, and will aid in deciding which areas require repair.