Corrosion is a serious threat to the long-term function and integrity of a steel bridge. Structural steel will corrode if left unprotected or inadequately protected from the natural environment. This corrosion can take the form of general uniform thickness loss or concentrated pitting depending on exposure to the environment and the steel design detail in question. Bridge designers should view corrosion as a long term threat to the integrity of the bridge structure, and is a critical consideration that must be addressed in a rational manner during the design process.
While there are several proven strategies for corrosion protection of steel bridges, there is no universal solution. The proper
system must be chosen to accommodate cost, fabrication and productivity, and long term performance and maintenance. Additionally, each corrosion protection system must be selected based on the anticipated exposure of the structure to corrosive elements over its lifetime. This module highlights the most common issues confronting bridge designers regarding corrosion protection and provides guidance in this area.
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