This paper summarizes the grand societal, economic, technological, and educational challenges related to corrosion of steel in concrete, and presents the state-of-the-art of the most relevant issues in the field. The enormous financial impact of infrastructure corrosion seems to be inadequately balanced by educational and research activities. This presents a unique opportunity in many countries for maintaining or improving their competitiveness, given the major technological challenges can be solved. The main technological challenges are (1) the ever-increasing need to cost-effectively maintain existing, ageing reinforced concrete structures, and (2) designing durable, thus sustainable new structures. The first challenge arises mainly in industrialized countries, where there is a need to abandon conservative, experience-based decision taking and instead move to innovative, knowledge-based strategies. The second challenge regards mainly emerging countries expanding their infrastructures and where thus a major beneficial environmental impact can still be made by providing long-lasting solutions. This means to be able to reliably predict the long-term corrosion performance of reinforced concrete structures in their actual environments, particularly for modern materials and in the absence of long-term experience. During the second half of the last century, civil engineers, materials scientists, and chemists have in many countries made considerable attempts towards understanding corrosion of steel in concrete, but many of the approaches got bogged down in empiricism. From reviewing the state-of-the-art one can conclude that transport modeling in concrete is relatively well-advanced, at least in comparison with understanding corrosion initiation and corrosion propagation, where many questions are still open. This presents a number of opportunities in scientific research and technological development that are discussed in this paper.
Materials and Structures – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 4, 2018
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