The impact of non-uniformity and resistivity on the homogenised corrosion parameters of rebars in concrete – a circuit model analysis


When rebar corrosion parameters are characterized from an electrochemical polarisation curve, the non-uniform rebar surface conditions need to be considered. In this research, a circuit model was developed to simulate the polarisation behavior of rebar in concrete. It is found that the resistivity of concrete leads to a non-uniform potential on the rebar, which causes the polarisation curve of the entire rebar to deviate from the Butler–Volmer kinetics. This deviation results in an overestimation of the Tafel constants and the corrosion current density. Such deviations are more pronounced with higher concrete resistivity, especially when the active and passive rebar surfaces have a similar area ratio. The study recommends using potentiodynamic scans of representative reinforced concrete samples reflecting the field conditions, or applying the calculated parameters using an averaging technique, such as the proposed circuit model, to obtain accurate E-I curves or parameters for electrochemical modelling and corrosion rate prediction.

Corrosion Engineering, Science and Technology
Gang Li
Gang Li
Sessional Lecturer, R&D

My research focuses on durability of cement-based materials and concrete infrastructures.