A novel accelerated corrosion test method which enhances oxygen supply has been proposed for reinforcing steel in concrete in this study. Oxygen reduction current density (ORCD) was measured by means of potentiodynamic polarization test for an iron specimen embedded in cement paste or mortar in a saturated Ca(OH)2 solution in ambient air. The ORCD decreased with an increase in cover thickness and the current density was reciprocally proportional to the cover thickness from 1mm to 10 mm, suggesting that diffusion limited oxygen reduction can be accelerated by reducing the cover thickness below 10 mm. The oxygen supply to iron surface in cement paste or mortar was enhanced by pressurized oxygen gas using a newly developed hyperbaric-oxygen accelerated corrosion test container. Iron specimens with 5mm cement paste and mortar covers showed almost 25 times higher ORCD in 0.5 MPa oxygen gas than that in ambient air, respectively. The iron specimens covered with 5mm of cement paste or mortar containing chloride ion were immersed in a saline solution and exposed to 0.5 MPa oxygen gas in the container for 30 days. The thickness of the rust layer formed for 30-days was in good agreement with that estimated from the ORCD obtained in 0.5 MPa oxygen gas, indicating that the corrosion was accelerated in proportion to the oxygen (partial) pressure. Furthermore, the rust formed in pressurized oxygen gas showed similar characteristics to that formed in a practical service environment. Thus, the hyperbaric-oxygen is beneficial and effective to validly accelerate the corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete.
- Accelerated corrosion test
- Reinforcing steel