How To Assess Corrosion in Concrete with an NDT Method

Have you ever been driving over a bridge and wondered who is in charge of making sure it is safe? Or how they test for rust and corrosion? Or maybe you have some knowledge of testing methods for corrosion, but you still aren’t sure of the best way to assess concrete structures, or what concrete NDT methods are all about. No matter where you are at, this blog will explain why corrosion assessment is important, the different ways to do it, and the differences between destructive and non-destructive testing (NDT).

Why Corrosion Assessment is Important

Rusty chain

ASTM International defines corrosion as “a chemical or electrochemical reaction between a material, usually a metal, and its environment that produces a deterioration of the material and its properties.” Or, in simpler words, they summarize with this: “corrosion is the deterioration of a metal and is caused by the reaction of the metal with the environment.” Corrosion is a natural process and is visible in everyday life (like on a cast iron pan). However, there are many types of corrosion. When large concrete structures with steel rebar begin to corrode it can create serious hazards for the bridges, highways, and buildings we use every day. This type of corrosion can often go unnoticed for a long time, which is one of the reasons regular testing is important. By the time you see corrosion of the rebar coming through a concrete structure, it may be too late to repair.

Click here to read more about the process of corrosion in reinforced concrete.

How to Test Concrete for Corrosion

There are so many ways to test for corrosion. Some common methods for testing damage and deterioration on rebar include:

  • Visual Inspection
  • Infrared/Thermal Imaging Inspection
  • Coring and chipping
  • Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)
  • Half-cell potential test

Each of these methods have their own pros and cons. Some are destructive methods, which we will explain in the next paragraph. Others are very difficult to implement, like the Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) technique, which requires an expert for data interpretation. Finally, some of these methods can be ineffective or inaccurate. In particular, the visual inspection method is only a starting point to determine immediate repair needs but cannot provide a proper assessment.
Read more about these methods here.

Non-Destructive vs Destructive Testing Corrosion Testing Method

As the name suggests, destructive testing – such as coring and chipping – damage the concrete in such a way where it needs repair after testing. The idea is that by breaking off or destroying a piece of concrete, you can easily examine it using a variety of methods. However, this has obvious side effects. If the results reveal that the rate of corrosion is not of concern, you have damaged the structure for no reason.

On the other hand, non-destructive methods, such as Infrared/Thermal Imaging Inspection allow an engineer to test a concrete structure safely, without damaging it. These methods allow you to gather results quickly, and if the concrete is performing well you can leave it as is. These methods are often simple, and there is no need to worry about performing them too frequently, as your concrete structure will not be negatively affected by using the device. However, it is important to note that some of these methods are more accurate than others.

An Award-Winning NDT Device for Concrete Corrosion Monitoring

iCOR corrosion detection device

If are considering using an NDT device to monitor corrosion and are deciding which method is best for you, we highly recommend our iCOR® device. ICOR is a unique, wireless option for NDT corrosion detection in reinforced concrete structures. iCOR uses patented CEPRA technology which allows the device to estimate the corrosion rate of rebar without requiring a physical connection to the rebar (as most other devices do). This makes iCOR the most convenient and only wireless corrosion rate measurement device that may be used in the field or the laboratory. For further details, check out our iCOR FAQ page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Use These Tech Tools for More Efficient Cold Weather Concreting

Let’s dive into our sensors in detail.   Learn More SmartRock Sensors:    SmartRock is a wireless concrete sensor designed for temperature and strength monitoring with the ability to record real-time temperature data for every 15-minute interval for 2 months and comes with remote-monitoring capabilities. It is fast, simple, designed rugged and waterproof, and can be activated and installed hassle-free. The sensor contains two points of temperature measurements located in the sensor cable and body, and comes with an extended temperature cable and probe for mass concrete purposes. This sensor can measure temperature as low as -22℉ (-30℃) with an accuracy range of ±1℃.   The SmartRock sensor, containing a black box, a…

Everything You Need to Know About Pouring Concrete in Winter

Winter is coming! Worried about the cold weather concreting that comes with it in the construction industry? We’ve got it covered with Giatec’s SmartRock sensors.  Keep reading to learn more.  Learn More The temperature is dropping, the days start to get shorter, and frost covers the ground. While it may be exciting to imagine a festive winter season, that is not what comes to mind when working in the construction industry. Especially, when you have a project to complete, a schedule to maintain, and a desired concrete temperature and strength to achieve; the pressure is on when dealing with factors like freezing of concrete at an early age, rapid temperature changes, all…

Giatec’s Unique Concrete Knowledge Resources

The Giatec Scientific website is a treasure trove of concrete knowledge, ranging from blogs and case studies to podcasts and videos! Find a few of our exclusive resources below: Learn More Giatec’s Concrete Terminology Search Bar Need a one-stop destination for searching definitions for a plethora of terms related to concrete knowledge? Make sure to check out our concrete terminology search bar! To search for a term related to cement or concrete, just type a word in the search bar. Try rebar, rodding, aggregates, cracking, or…

Essential Guide for World of Concrete!

January 18-20, 2022 | Las Vegas

Visit us at Booth #N1253

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy Page.