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Identification of the reinforcing steel's corrosion state in RC beams based on electrochemical sensor

Guofu Qiao (School of Civil Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Huigang Xiao (School of Civil Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Guodong Sun (Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 28 June 2011

412

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel five‐electrode electrochemical corrosion sensor. Health degradation by the corrosion of steel in civil engineering is a persistent problem. Structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques, including embedded sensors, can greatly improve the quantification of the steel corrosion information, which can lead to promote assessments of structural safety and serviceability. To integrate the corrosion monitoring system in future, the corrosion sensor and the monitoring methods have been explored here in advance. Also, the corrosion monitoring system has been applied preliminarily in the investigation of reinforcing concrete (RC) beams.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a novel five‐electrode electrochemical corrosion sensor has been developed as the hardware to provide the platform for corrosion monitoring methods. Second, half‐cell potential of the RC beams has been measured before and after corrosion. Third, galvanostatic step method has been used to excite the steel‐concrete system, and the transient response of the system has been obtained and analyzed. Finally, wavelet transform algorithm has been established to analyze the electrochemical noise (EN) data of the steel bars in RC beams.

Findings

The results show that the corrosion sensor can be used effectively as the hardware to support the electrochemical measuring techniques. Much valuable information which is extracted by analyzing the potential response to the galvanostatic pulse excitation can be applied to determine the general corrosion state of the reinforcing steel. For pitting corrosion, the energy distribution plot of EN can be adopted as a benchmark method to identify the presence of the corrosion pit.

Originality/value

The paper provides the key techniques for a SHM system to realize corrosion monitoring of large‐scale RC structures in the future.

Keywords

Citation

Qiao, G., Xiao, H. and Sun, G. (2011), "Identification of the reinforcing steel's corrosion state in RC beams based on electrochemical sensor", Sensor Review, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 218-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/02602281111139995

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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