Parameters Governing the Corrosion Protection Efficiency of Fusion-bonded Epoxy Coatings on Reinforcing Steel

Report No: 08-CR5

Published in 2008

About the report:

The purpose of this study was to investigate various epoxy coating and exposure parameters to determine their effects on the corrosion of reinforcing steel. The parameters investigated were: chloride content at the bar depth, coated bar corroded area, corrosion product color under the coating, epoxy coating adhesion, coating color, coating damage (holidays and holes), coating thickness, TGA, DSC and EDS analysis and SEM coating cracking investigation. This study demonstrated that the ECR coating samples extracted from concrete exhibited extensive cracking compared to the new ECR samples in which the coating cracking was limited to only one sample. The coating cracking correlated with the amount of chloride at bar level, residual adhesion of the epoxy to the steel surface, and the percent moisture in the coating. The coating cracking is also related to the change in color of the epoxy and indicates that the epoxy coating degradation in concrete influences the surface condition of the coating. The DSC results showed that both the extracted epoxy coating samples as well as new samples are not fully cured during the manufacturing process. Additionally, the extracted epoxy coated samples investigated presented significant permanent adhesion loss with little or no epoxy coating residue present on the bar surface, while the EDS analysis showed that once adhesion is lost, corrosion will proceed unimpeded under the coating even in the absence of chlorides. The parameters that presented a direct correlation with the observed corrosion activity were the number of holidays and the number of damaged areas per unit length of bar. The results also show a distinct loss of quality control in the handling and possibly storage of new coated bars. The new ECR samples had significantly higher damage density than the samples extracted from concrete, while there was no change in the number of holidays and cure condition.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Andrei Ramniceanu, Richard E. Weyers, Ph.D., Michael M. Sprinkel, P.E., Michael C. Brown, Ph.D., P.E.

Last updated: November 24, 2023

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