ISSN 2305-6894

Experiences on corrosion inhibitors for reinforced concrete

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Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica, "Giulio Natta", Politecnico di Milano, Via Mancinelli 7 Milano Italia

Abstract: Corrosion of carbon steel reinforcement is the most important cause of premature failure on reinforced concrete structures. Prevention of corrosion is primarily achieved in the design phase by using high quality concrete and adequate cover. Additional prevention methods are adopted when severe environmental conditions occur or on structures requiring very long service life. Among these methods, corrosion inhibitors seem to offer a simple and cost effective prevention technique. They may be used both as a preventative techniques, if added to fresh concrete, and as a repair system, if applied on hardened concrete. The performance of corrosion inhibitors for reinforced concrete structures affected by chloride induced and carbonation corrosion has been studied at PoliLaPP, Laboratory of Corrosion of materials “P. Pedeferri” of the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “G. Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, in the last 15 years. Organic commercial admixed corrosion inhibitors delayed the occurrence of chloride induced corrosion. This result is related to two effects: reduction of the rate of chloride transport into concrete and increase of the critical chloride threshold. Commercial migrating corrosion inhibitors (MCI) are able to delay time-to-corrosion of passive rebars in concrete subjected to chlorides ponding; this effect is mainly related to the reduction of chlorides diffusion coefficient. MCI can reduce the corrosion rate after corrosion initiation only in carbonated concrete, nevertheless efficiency is low and residual corrosion rate is not negligible. Commercial MCI can penetrate into concrete mainly through capillary sorption but penetration depth is limited to 20 mm. The results obtained with nitrite-based inhibitor confirm literature data: the inhibitor is effective if the molar ratio [NO2-]/[Cl-] is higher than 0.5–0.6; in carbonated concrete, due to insufficient amount of inhibitor, no significant effect has been observed on corrosion rate. Among the tested organic substances, compounds containing carboxylic group showed the best results solution tests: pitting potential, time-to-corrosion and critical chloride content are similar to those obtained with sodium nitrite. In concrete tests, only one amine and one amino acid showed good performance increasing the critical chlorides threshold with respect to the reference condition. For carboxylate substances, a strong link was found between inhibiting properties and molecular structure.

Keywords: rebar corrosion, admixed corrosion inhibitors, migrating corrosion inhibitors, nitrite based inhibitors, amines, carboxylates

Int. J. Corros. Scale Inhib., , 4, 254–278 PDF (1 427 K)
doi: 10.17675/2305-6894-2014-3-4-254-278

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