Use of the time constant to detect corrosion speed in reinforced concrete structures

The relatively simple to measure ‘time constant’ is presented as an index for characterizing the level of corrosion experienced by steel in concrete. This communication, largely in the form of a technical note, explicitly illustrates that the time constant determined from electrochemical testing has significant merit for monitoring corrosion of steel in concrete, and appears to be insensitive to the area of electrode being probed. In this work, the time constant, κ, is determined following a galvanostatic excitation signal, revealing a good correlation between the value of κ and corrosion status across specimens of widely varying geometry. Although this notion has been suggested in the past, this work presents both a survey and consolidated review to indicate the utility of the parameter as an index to corrosion rate on-site.