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Professor Peter Robery | Robery Forensic Engineering Ltd

Effective Corrosion Management of Reinforced Concrete  Assets

The history of reinforced concrete usage over the last 60 years offers a chronology of ambition and achievement, but with a sobering sprinkling of construction projects that did not go as well as was intended in terms of durability.

Exposure to chloride ion continues to present industry with the greatest challenges. To the present day in Europe, industry has continued to amend its durability performance criteria for reinforced concrete to account for chloride ion, as the latest edition of BS8500 1:2015 sets out – in the UK, for CEM I (OPC) in seawater, we now recommend 90mm cover and a cube strength Class of 55N/mm2, compared with CP110:1972 that required 50N/mm2 cube strength and only 50mm cover.

The challenge for effective corrosion management is to provide robust design solutions that allow reinforced concrete to perform reliably in hostile exposure conditions that are outside the provisions of standards, either on the basis of climate or long life expectancy.

This paper explores the practical aspects of the durability of concrete, how the performance can be modelled and enhanced in extreme environments and how performance can be managed by effective corrosion management strategies that include impressed current cathodic protection.

Peter is Royal Academy of Engineering visiting Professor in Forensic Engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham and Director of his own forensic engineering consultancy RFEL, investigating failure of infrastructure assets and materials.

Peter was formerly a technology Fellow in Concrete Materials with CH2M HILL (formerly Halcrow Group Ltd), specialising in concrete durability, asset management and repair strategy.

He is a chartered civil engineer, with over 35 years in industry, and a past president of the Concrete Society in the UK.