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ABSTRACT

Water ingress and de-icing salt cause deterioration of reinforcement in land-based concrete structures. Mitigation has involved application of retrofit Cathodic Protection (CP) systems of both surface-mounted anodes, and anodes installed in holes bored into the concrete. Cathodic Prevention has been used for marine reinforced concrete structures, using anodes immersed in the seawater to control the cathodic potential of the steel, and thereby modify the critical chloride threshold for the initiation of corrosion. For many years simulation has been successfully applied to CP of steel structures immersed in electrolyte (water, soil or rock), for design optimisation of new CP systems; assessment of combined performance of CP systems nearing end of life and retrofit CP systems for life extension of the structure; and forensic investigations which aim to improve understanding of unexpected observed effects. Techniques developed initially for marine-based steel structures can readily be applied to determination of cathodic potential on reinforcement of both land-based concrete structures (such as bridge beams) and marine-based structures (such as pontoons). This paper shows examples of application of simulation to CP of reinforced concrete structures, and demonstrates how parameter studies may be used to optimise the design and so improve the distribution of potential on the reinforcement.

Key words: ICCP, sacrificial anode, reinforcement, cathodic

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