Corrosion Protection Performance of Corrosion Inhibitors and Epoxy-coated Reinforcing Steel in a Simulated Concrete Pore Water Solution

Report No: 98-R42

Published in 1998

About the report:

We used a simulated concrete pore water solution to evaluate the corrosion protection performance of concrete corrosion-inhibiting admixtures and epoxy-coated reinforcing bars (ECR). We evaluated three commercial corrosion inhibitors, ECR from three coaters removed from job sites, one ECR shipped directly from the coater's plant, and one ECR removed from a job site plus a corrosion inhibitor. The corrosion inhibitors were calcium nitrite, an aqueous mixture of esters and amines, and a mixture of alcohol and amine. Corrosion protection performance was based on the amount of visually observed corroded surface area. For bare steel tested with and without corrosion inhibitors, corrosion increased with increasing chloride concentration, and specimens saturated with oxygen were more corroded than specimens saturated with breathing air. The amount of corrosion over the 90-day test period was controlled by the amount of oxygen in solution at the higher chloride concentrations. The ester-amine and alcohol-amine did not inhibit corrosion. Calcium nitrite inhibited corrosion at all levels of chloride concentration. For ECR, corrosion occurred both at sites where the coating was damaged and underneath the coating. Coating debondment was greatest in pore water solutions containing chloride. The least coating debondment and corrosion occurred in the solution containing calcium nitrite and the ECR shipped directly from the manufacturer. Coating debondment and corrosion of ECR are directly related to the amount of damage as holes; mashed, dented, and cracked areas; and holidays. The researchers recommend that the developed test method be adopted as a standard test for concrete corrosion inhibitors and that calcium nitrite remain the only concrete corrosion inhibitor approved for use in Virginia.

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.


  • Wioleta A. Pyâc, Richard E. Weyers, Michael M. Sprinkel, P.E.

Last updated: December 15, 2023

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