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RE: Structural steel protection below grade

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In the telecommunication tower industry guy cables are connected to concrete anchors via steel bars that are embedded in soil. The standard is to use hot dipped galvanized steel anchors, and any steel in contact with the earth is coated with a bitumastic coating.

The water treatment industry is very fond of coal tar epoxy coatings.

In your particular example, I would tend to use the bitumastic coating, and then place a concrete barrrier around the column. Provide positive slopes. I would also use a polyurethane calk around the perimeter at the interface between the concrete and the steel. Concrete will shrink.

Harold Sprague

From: "Raymond Shreenan" <rshreenan(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Subject: Structural  steel protection below grade
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 21:38:57 -0700

Hi sport fans:

I have a project under construction with structural steel tubes embedded in deep concrete piers for roof support and lateral restraint for open carport structures with shed roofs. The plans called for the concrete piers to be poured up to the slab grade. The piers are 3" 6" square with the columns centered in the piers. Unfortunately the piers for some of the end columns that were adjacent to dirt planters were only poured up to the bottom elevation of the 4" concrete slab leaving the outboard face of the steel tube that is in line with the slab edge exposed to the dirt for 4". I suppose was done for appearance. The other 3 sides of the column are encased with concrete up to finished slab grade.

Is there a water proofing product that will endure a hostile environment (irrigation water and fertilizer) and protect the steel from corrosion as wll as a thick concrete cover below grade? Or, should I spec a second 4" concrete pour bonded to clean concrete surfaces of the adjacent slab edge and top of concrete pier? The steel below grade is currently coated with a shop coat of primer only.

Thanks in advance for any information that you steel and water proofing experts may provide.

Ray shreenan SE

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