Economic effects of full corrosion surveys for aging concrete structures

Authors

  • R. B. Polder,

    Corresponding author
    1. TNO, Research Group Building Materials, P.O. Box 49, 2600 AA Delft (The Netherlands)
    2. Delft University of Technology, Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Section Materials and Environment, P.O. Box 5048, 2600 GA Delft (The Netherlands)
    • TNO, Research Group Building Materials, P.O. Box 49, 2600 AA Delft (The Netherlands)
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  • W. H. A. Peelen,

    1. TNO, Research Group Structural Reliability, P.O. Box 49, 2600 AA Delft (The Netherlands)
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  • M. Raupach,

    1. RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Building Materials Research, Schinkelstr. 3, Aachen 52062 (Germany)
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  • K. Reichling

    1. RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Building Materials Research, Schinkelstr. 3, Aachen 52062 (Germany)
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Abstract

This paper investigates the economic effects of full corrosion surveys of concrete structures. The background is that the existing concrete infrastructure is aging, while being exposed to aggressive influences, which increases the occurrence of corrosion and related concrete damage over time. The central proposition is that solely relying on visual inspection for interventions (repair) may result in unnecessarily high costs and associated risks. The reason is that visual inspection can only signal deterioration that is in a relatively advanced stage of development. Consequently, heavy and costly repairs are needed, while undetected degradations still go on developing, presenting future risks. On the other hand, carrying out full surface corrosion surveys may be considerably more economic. This is because using detailed survey information, degradation can be detected at an early stage. Prevention of corrosion is generally less costly than correction. Consequently, an optimal mix of preventive and corrective measures can be applied at the right time and at the right places. These alternative approaches to inspection may be considered elements in so-called reactive and proactive strategies for maintenance of infrastructure, respectively.

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