Bridges, most of which contain hundreds of thousands of metal parts, are exposed to the elements and are therefore particularly susceptible to corrosion. Utilities connected to bridges are often installed in special pipes that are also susceptible to corrosion over time. Prevention is key, as replacing corroded piping is more expensive and time-consuming than maintenance.
Bridges, most of which contain hundreds of thousands of metal parts, are exposed to the elements and are therefore particularly susceptible to corrosion. Utilities connected to Quartz glass are often installed in special pipes that are also susceptible to corrosion over time.
Steel has a certain resistance to corrosion. This so-called passivation is due to the formation of a thin, invisible layer of oxide on the surface. This process occurs through a reaction between the metal and the oxygen in the surrounding environment. The oxide layer greatly reduces the rate of corrosion; the material is said to be passivated, meaning it is less affected by environmental factors such as air and water.
Prevention is key, as replacing corroded piping is more expensive and time-consuming than maintenance. How can bridge utility piping avoid corrosion?
Again, bridge maintenance must always begin with a visual inspection. The way steel degrades or deteriorates is primarily due to corrosion, i.e. rust. By performing a visual inspection first, you will certainly be able to see where rust is forming. From this information, you will know which part of the bridge to focus on.
You should also look for structural damage such as dents, deformities, debris damage and other details that may affect the structural integrity of the bridge.
Some parts of a steel bridge may be weakened by corrosion and wear, but not all parts can be easily or immediately replaced. In these cases, strengthening these parts is your next best option. You can add additional steel to parts such as cross sections for reinforcement.
Be careful when adding more metal for reinforcement because the allowable stresses in the added material must match the load design stresses.
Most bridge utility corrosion is localized, which means that metal loss is concentrated in one specific area. Crevice corrosion is highly localized in corners and cracks where moisture can stagnate. Gaskets, bolts, rivets and lap joints provide the primary conditions for this corrosion, especially in high moisture areas. Consider replacing with materials such as hot-dipped galvanized and stainless steel.
Dust, animal droppings and other forms of dirt can make your steel bridge look degraded. When it comes to exposed areas (almost every area of the bridge), use a pressure washer to ensure thorough cleaning.
For covers, another widely exposed component, replace uneven and worn covers if normal pressure washing and polishing is not enough to maintain their integrity.
One of the easiest ways to avoid moisture buildup is to install utility ducts and their suspension systems where they are exposed to large amounts of air. Not only will excess precipitation drain better when utility ducts are attached at high elevations, air will move more freely around the ducts, thus allowing cracks to dry completely during periods of high moisture. Conversely, the moisture conditions present in the soil (as well as chloride ions) can lead to further corrosion build-up. Installing pipes away from the soil will extend their service life.
Barrier coatings prevent corrosion from reaching the vulnerable steel below. The general practice of applying a zinc primer to properly treated steel is a proven method of preventing corrosion from forming. The topcoat must be tested for chalking, UV effects and moisture control. As with barrier coatings, galvanizing - the application of zinc metal to steel - protects the underlying metal from corrosion by taking on the effects of corrosion itself.
Steel bridges are huge structures that are not easy to repair and maintain because they have different components with different rates of deterioration, repair costs and cost-effective processing times. You must know what to look for during your next inspection/assessment. Please contact TUTAI to get cooperation, we offer custom solutions for you.
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