Unveiling Corrosivity Factors for Coastal Bridge Design: Creative Solutions by Environmental Efficiency

Steel is a cheap yet strong material and is the first choice for building bridges with long spans. However, steel rusts if not adequately protected and in the presence of salt the rate of corrosion can be very fast.

When designing steel bridges for coastal locations it is important to understand how corrosive the local environment is. This will be influenced by nearness to the sea, wind direction, precipitation and other factors. This is difficult to model as there is little relevant data.

Engineering consultants Roughan & O’Donovan had been commissioned to design a bridge for a second crossing of the River Slaney near Enniscorthy, Ireland. It was necessary to determine the level of atmospheric corrosivity and whether weathering steel could be used. Timescales were very tight and they asked to Environmental Efficiency to determine the level of corrosivity.

BS EN ISO 9223:2012 is the relevant standard for the determination of corrosivity. This standard describes the construction of the wet candle apparatus to be used. As no supplier for the apparatus could be found, Environmental Efficiency built the apparatus in their own workshop. This was placed in position within 5 days of a purchase order being place.

Environmental Efficiency was able to report the airborne salinity level, the corrosion category and the first-year corrosion rate according to BS EN ISO 9223:2012.

The proposed solution is typical of the creative approach of Environmental Efficiency that differentiates us from other consultants.


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