Most transportation infrastructure is built from steel and concrete. The steel may be in structural sections, such as girders, piles or rails, or embedded in concrete to form reinforced or prestressed concrete. Concrete provides excellent protection for embedded steel because Portland cement is very alkaline, forming a passive, protective layer on the steel surface. Concrete is also permeable, and even good-quality concrete can be penetrated by aggressive chemical ions that may initiate steel corrosion. Migrating corrosion inhibitors (MCIs), a blend of amine carboxylates and amino alcohols, show versatility as admixtures, surface treatments (coatings) and in rehabilitation programs. Examination of the embedded steel rebar after corrosion tests showed no corrosion attack for the MCI treated concrete samples, while non-treated concrete showed localized corrosion. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and depth profiling confirmed that the inhibitor had reached the rebar surface in about 150 days. The amine-rich compound on the rebar surface improved corrosion protection for the MCI treated steel rebar even in the presence of chloride ions and prevented red rust formation.
Key words: admixture, corrosion inhibitor, polarization resistance, ASTM G180, X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)