AUTC project number: 510000
Reinforced concrete is utilized in a wide spectrum of transportation infrastructure but may suffer significantly from unrecognized corrosion in cold weather regions. Addressing AUTC's mission of maintaining cold region transportation systems, AUTC Director Billy Connor is working with Dr. Xianming Shi, PhD, P.E., director of the TWI Corrosion and Sustainable Infrastructure Lab at Montana State University-Bozeman, on research to develop a reliable, cost-effective corrosion monitoring system from existing reinforced concrete (RC) transportation structures. The technology resulting from the project will provide a lower cost system for existing Department of Transportation RC structures in aggressive service environments, offering higher quality carion condition information. T will also detect corrosion initiation and propagation in the RC structures at the earliest possible time, enabling condition-based maintenance strategies. Connor and Shi hope to reach four specific objectives in their research of RC structures: 1) improve and validate the SwRI corrosion sensor prototype for concrete corrosion monitoring systems, 2) develop algorithms for quality control and sensor data interpretation, 3) make viable implementation recommendations for corrosion monitoring systems and existing DOT inventory of RC bridges, and 4) deliver a deployable prototype corrosion sensing system for DOTs to continue field evaluations. The project should increase reliability and remote-sensing capability for condition assessment and service life prognosis of RC structures, enabling lifecycle performance assessment of corrosion affect RC structures. Given its potential to minimize the corrosion impact on the durability, serviceability, reliability, safety and aesthetics of DOT RC structures, the payoff of this research is substantial. Appropriate maintenance and rehabilitation strategies would generate substantial cost savings for DOTs by minimizing the premature rehabilitation or failure of highway bridges.