What is the life cycle of concrete structures that have embedded steel?
The life cycle can be broken into three periods:
- The first period starts when the structure is originally built. During this period corrosion is not occurring but the environment that leads to corrosion can be developing.
- The second period starts when internal corrosion begins. This is when the corrosion is invisible from the outside. Rust and section loss are beginning to occur but not enough to cause cracking or spalling
- And finally, the third period begins when visible signs of corrosion damage appear. This is when you start to see cracks, delaminations, and spalls. Once this occurs the rate of corrosion typically accelerates until the structure fails.