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RE: Reinforcement failure due to concrete expansion

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I am not a bridge designer, but I have just completed an evaluation of a fishing pier that is built of a precast concrete system. The salt water intrusion caused significant corrosion in the reinforcement at the bearing seat of the precast double tees.  The corroded steel then expanded, forcing the concrete to break off.  I think corroded steel + spalling concrete = destined to fail.  If stainless steel were used for the bearing reinforcement, the pier would probably not have these problems.  A more adequate cover depth would have also been beneficial to this project.  There are ways to coat the steel and also new proprietary steel such as MMFX steel that are supposed to be resistant to this atmosphere. 




Andy Ricahrdson

Bluffton, SC