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Embedded Galvanic Anodes Increase Sustainability of Reinforced Concrete Structures


The benefits of galvanic techniques for corrosion protection have been known for more than 150 years. In the previous decade this technology has been studied, and adapted for use in reinforced concrete structures, consider the use of galvanized reinforcing steel as an example. By sacrificially corroding, galvanic anodes prevent corrosion of the steel reinforcement. While thin coatings are well suited to providing uniform protection over the surface of reinforcing steel in new construction, they can be consumed quickly in localized areas and may not be suitable for rehabilitation scenarios. Discrete sacrificial anodes can be concealed within the concrete, and enable designers to focus long-lasting protection at specific corrosion “hot spots”. In the transportation sector, embedded galvanic anodes are being used in applications ranging from bridge deck widenings to patch repairs in wharf structures. Different anode configurations are available, allowing the specifier to tailor how much protection is provided, and to where. The systems are self-powered, and most are simple to install and require no maintenance making them cost-effective, even for small or isolated projects. The essential function of galvanic protection systems is to extend the life of aging and deficient concrete structures by addressing the corrosion of reinforcing steel. The condition of our transportation infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, and galvanic anodes can provide a practical method of enhancing its useful life.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Whitmore, D
Abbott, S