Cathodic Protection Field Trials on Prestressed Concrete Components, Final Report
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Cathodic Protection Field Trials on Prestressed Concrete Components, Final Report

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    • Abstract:
      This is the final report in a study to demonstrate the feasibility of using cathodic protection (CP) on concrete bridge structures containing prestressed steel. The interim report, FHWA-RD-95-032, has more details on the installation of selected CP systems. Past laboratory and test yard studies had indicated that overprotection could result in the evolution of atomic hydrogen and the embrittlement of prestressing steel. Systems utilizing catalyzed titanium mesh, conductive rubber, and arc-sprayed zinc anodes were installed on prestressed pilings and girders of the Howard Frankland Bridge in Tampa, Florida; and systems using flame-sprayed zinc and conductive paint anodes were installed on the soffit of prestressed box beams of the Abbey Road and West 130? Street bridges near Cleveland, Ohio.

      For most of the components tested, CP was achieved safely and reliably without reaching conditions that could result in embrittlement of prestressed steel. Operation of these CP systems was best achieved in constant voltage mode which, in most cases, prevented hydrogen generation. Analyses of data indicated that the application of CP had no adverse effect on either the mechanical properties of the prestressing steel or the bond between the prestressed steel and concrete.

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