Influence of loading on corrosion and mechanical response of reinforced concrete elements

Sanchun Yoon, Hang Rae Kim, Kejin Wang, W. Jason Weiss, Surendra P. Shah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Concrete structures are deteriorating at an alarming rate. While a substantial body of research exists to describe the corrosion process of pristine concrete systems, this paper describes a recent study in which the corrosion and mechanical response were assessed for beams exposed to various loading histories. Specifically, different levels of preloading were applied to generate damage while sustained loading was also used to investigate the interaction between load level and corrosion rate. Results illustrate that loading history can significantly influence the corrosion and mechanical response of reinforced concrete elements. Corrosion is initiated in cracked beams much faster than in uncracked beams, presumably due to the cracks which facilitate the ingress of aggressive agents to the surface of reinforcing steel. Specimens with high levels of loading illustrated higher corrosion rates. Corrosion of the beams under sustained loading illustrated a similar load deflection history until the point at which significant corrosion was initiated. After significant corrosion occurred, the creep/corrosion behavior resulted in increased deformations which ultimately resulted in a creep/corrosion failure of high load level beams. Beams with higher loading levels were observed to have corrosion initiation sooner and undergo larger deflection. These results indicate that corrosion is accelerated in cracked structures and even further accelerated in structures where the load is maintained over a long-period of time. This suggests the need for models which assess the impact of the loading history in addition to corrosion driving forces, environmental conditions, and material proportions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh-Performance Concrete
EditorsH.G. Russell
PublisherAmerican Concrete Institute
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780870316883
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
EventHigh-Performance Concrete Research to Practice 1999 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Mar 14 1999Mar 19 1999

Publication series

NameAmerican Concrete Institute, ACI Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0193-2527


ConferenceHigh-Performance Concrete Research to Practice 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Beams
  • Corrosion
  • Cracking
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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