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surface treatments can all be applied to prevent and repair rebar corrosion.

However,Though,
these treatments are expensive. To optimize the application ofhow these treatments are applied,
bridge engineers and managers need information about the status of chloride penetration. The
lack of such information severely limits the effectivenessoptimization of treatments, leading to
inefficient spending of an already limited budget.
AlthoughCurrently, many non-destructive techniques are currently available to assess the deck
condition at different stages of deterioration. Though, these techniques lack two important
abilities. First, none of these techniques can directly quantify the degree to which reinforcing
steel is protected against chloride penetration [2]. Most techniques are inhibited by the presence
of protective membranes and asphalt overlays, which are common treatments applied to bridge
decks to prevent chloride ingress [3]. Second, current evaluation techniques acquire data slowly,
which result in extended bridge closures [2]. Traffic control for a bridge closure is financially
costly and creates inconvenientunpopular congestion. Simply put, rapid scanning methods that
requireing minimal traffic control to quantitatively evaluate corrosion protection of the rebar are
not available.
One potential evaluation technique is impedance testing. Impedance testing can provide
quantitative information about chloride penetration in a bridge deck. In the context of this
proposal, impedance testing implies the measurement of the in-phase (resistive) and out-of-phase
(reactance) current that is measured when an alternating potential is applied to a material.
Because an alternating potential is used, the frequency at which interrogation is performed is
important. For example, at very low frequencies (below 1 Hz) the interfacial impedance between
an electrode and the concrete may be dominant, whereas at high frequencies (above 1 MHz), the
capacitive properties of the concrete take on greater prominence. [5]. This frequency dependence
can be an advantage for impedance testing because selection of the frequency can be tuned for
the particular concrete condition or other conditions of interest.
Impedance is a suitable method to characterize concrete because the electrical resistivity of
concrete is largely a function of the properties of the concrete matrix and the pore water .[5]. A
concrete matrix with high porosity characterized by high interconnectivity and low tortuosity
allows for the passage of high amounts of electrical current and would have low resistivity
compared to a concrete with low porosity characterized by low interconnectivity and high
tortuosity, all other factors constant .[3]. Regarding the pore water, high ion concentrations and
high temperatures allow for the passage of high amounts of electrical current through the
concrete due to the high abundance and mobility of current carriers .[3,5,9]. Impedance testing is
an appropriate method for assessing concrete quality because the development of corrosion
currents in concrete is also largely a function of the properties of the concrete matrix and the
pore water .[3]. Higher porosities, moisture contents, chloride concentrations, and temperatures
are all consistently correlated with higher corrosion rates and are manifest by lower resistivity
values. [3]. Resistivity values can consequently be useful for identifying areas of deteriorating
protection of the reinforcing steel.
DHowever, despite the value of impedance measurements in this context, current methods for
measuring the resistivity of the concrete cover on a bridge deck are limited in several respects.
These methods, which typically involve injection of a horizontal current, parallel to the surface
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of the concrete, and subsequent measurement of the voltage drop across the electrodes, are prone
to operator error to various degrees and subsequently require very strict measurement protocols
for meaningful data to be obtained .[3]. Some of these challenges include Ddependenceing on the
brand of instrument;, probe alignment with concrete surface tlining;, surface impedance
contributions caused by laitance and/or efflorescence;, contact with exposed coarse aggregates;,
the presence of surface moisture on the concrete;, position of the probe relative to the location of
embedded rebar;, pressure applied to the probe by the operator;, precise application of
conductive liquids;, and, in some cases, drilling complications.are some of the challenges
associated with these techniques. [3]. In addition, while the depths of interrogation of existing
methods available forof evaluating bridge deck cover are generally shallow, the true depth of
interrogation cannot be readily estimated and may vary unpredictably from point to point. [3].
Furthermore, the relatively small area of interrogation associated with these methods may not be
adequately representative of the deck and may therefore require high numbers of readings for an
operator to achieve acceptable confidence levels. [3]. Finally, these methods may not provide
accurate evaluations of actual reinforcing steel protection on bridge decks; while they can be
used to evaluate the concrete cover material, they cannot be used to evaluate the degree of
additional protection against chlorides potentially afforded the reinforcing steel by any rebar
coatings and/or deck surface treatments .[3]. For this reason, the results of horizontal resistivity
testing are commonly supplemented with other test data in condition assessments of concrete
bridge decks. [3].
An alternative technique involves injection of a vertical current, perpendicular to the surface of
the concrete, and measurement of the voltage drop between the point of insertion and the surface
of the concrete [3]. This vertical method has the potential to directly quantify the degree of
protection against chlorides afforded the reinforcing steel by the concrete cover and by any rebar
coatings and/or deck surface treatments. Because of the apparent superiority of the vertical
method for more accurately characterizing complete deck protection systems, our group first
deployed instruments to measure vertical impedance in 2012 as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. LEFT: Deployed static vertical impedance probe in Haymarket, Virginia in 2011 (left).
RIGHT: The impedance map, with a logarithmic impedance scale showing a delamination and
the halo effect around the delaminated region (right). [3].