Galvanic effect induced by coupling of stainless steel and carbon steel reinforcements

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Conference14th Asian-Pacific Corrosion Control Conference: 21 October 2006, Shanghai, China
Pages16; # of pages: 6
AbstractA cost-effective approach that has the potential to extend the service life and reduce maintenance costs of concrete structures is to use stainless steel rebar in high corrosion risk areas, combined with carbon steel rebar in low-risk areas. However, concerns about galvanic corrosion associated with the use of two different metals in direct (electrical) contact prevented the application of this design approach. This paper investigates the galvanic coupling behaviours of carbon steel and three different stainless steels (304 LN, 316LN and 2205). Tests were performed using both electrochemical cells and specimen-containing concrete blocks. The polarization curves and cyclic voltammograms of carbon and stainless steels, as well as the galvanic coupling behaviours of the steels are presented. The results indicate that the oxygen reduction reaction is the rate-determining step and is much lower on stainless steel than on passive carbon steel. Therefore, the galvanic coupling current between stainless steel and corroding carbon steel is lower than the coupling current between passive and corroding carbon steels. Consequently, the use of stainless steel with carbon steel rebars will not increase the risk of corrosion of carbon steel rebar.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number49226
NPARC number20377996
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Record identifier6151cd7b-eeb2-4ff4-a807-1fd6a439d743
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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