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Brent Frickey

CIMT 348
Feraidon Ataie, Ph.D.
Options For Extending the Life of Concrete Structures Summary
In the article Options For Extending the Life of Concrete Structures by Stig
Strombeck and Chris Ball, the authors layout issues leading to corrosion in concrete
structures, as well as give their possible solutions to a number of different situations
leading to concrete corrosion. Strombeck is a Business Development Associate for Vector
Corrosion Technologies as well as a CSU, Chico CIM Program graduate, and Ball is Vice
President of Marketing and Innovation at Vector Corrosion Technologies. Upon knowing
this, I expected this article to be of particular interest to me because I spent the last 3
months of summer working for Vector Corrosion Technologies and got the chance to
meet both of these men and actually work with Strombeck for a short amount of time.
Overall I found the article to be very informative and useful in problem solving corrosion
issues in concrete.
The authors begin with a brief summary of corrosion and concrete repair in
general. They suggest that one of the leading causes of corrosion in steel in concrete is
salt used to de-ice roads. They also point of many marine concrete structures corrode due
to nature of the salt water environment. Carbonation is process caused when the concrete
around the reinforcing steel comes in contact with carbon dioxide and the pH drops. They
then proceed to inform us about different ways to mitigate corrosion in concrete
according to Vector Corrosion Technologies.

One way to mitigate corrosion in reinforcing steel in concrete is by way of

electrochemical treatment. There are two ways to do this. Chloride extraction applies an
electric field that raises the pH through a process called electrolysis. Another
electrochemical treatment is Realkalization. This process uses an electrolyte raise the
alkalinity in concrete. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) occurs when a
constant supply of DC power is applied to the reinforcing steel. This option generally
provides long term protection of the concrete structure. Galvanic Protection is a very
interesting solution to corrosion in which a metal is applied using a spray gun or other
method as a sacrificially material to corrode rather than the reinforcing steel. The same
concept applies for embedded galvanic anodes except these are placed within the
concrete through the structure. These systems can target what the authors call hot spots.
Galvanic anodes can also be applied to marine environments in a form of a zinc mesh
jacket. This system applies to concrete piers and piles that are susceptible to salt water
and a wetting and drying cycle due to the tides. One benefit to galvanic anodes are that
they do not require a power surface and require minimum maintenance.
Overall, the authors did an excellent job highlighting options to corrosion of
reinforcing steel in concrete structures. I enjoyed learning some of the education behind
corrosion mitigation, as I have personally performed a galvanic protection zinc arc spray
in a coal power plant drainage tunnel and have also seen cathodic protection applied. I
plan on visiting Monterey, CA for a few days this semester to participate in a Norcure
Chloride Removal on a deteriorating bridge deck along the Pacific Ocean. This system is
done by Vector Corrosion Technologies and removes salt from the concrete, realkalizes

the concrete, and provides galvanic protection to the concrete. In conclusion, Stig
Strombeck and Chris Ball did an excellent job informing about corrosion in concrete.