Corrosion for policy makers

Corrosion – A Persistent Battle

Corrosion – the deterioration of a material or its properties due to a reaction of that material with its chemical environment – has been with us forever. People have recognized, accepted, coped with and, occasionally, battled corrosion for millennia. In the 19th century, we began taking steps to understand, prevent, and treat corrosion, and we have gradually expanded these efforts ever since. But recently, corrosion has become a major concern, partly because our demands for more complex and sophisticated systems and products have been satisfied by materials that are more susceptible to corrosion. The insidious and pervasive effects of corrosion have now reached the point where it is a major cost for our economy and quality of life – in fact recent studies estimate the direct cost of corrosion in the United States to be nearly $300 billion dollars per year.

Life Cycle Costing Comparison: Miscellaneous Metals

How To Select A Long Lasting Metal Corrosion Protection System

There are many options available to the architect or engineer when selecting a protective coating system for steel. Several factors must be considered during the selection process. Remember, the “cheapest” system based on initial cost may wind up being the most expensive over the life of the project. That is why many professional associations and Public Sector Agencies mandate the use of Life Cycle Costing in specifying coating systems.

We are pleased to provide you with data which will assist you in selecting a long lasting corrosion protection system that is aesthetically pleasing and will provide the owner with many years of maintenance-free operation.

List Of Assumptions
In reviewing the most common coating systems, there were certain assumptions made:

  • The steel in question is considered miscellaneous or ornamental iron. This would include tubular, ornamental, flat bar or pipe.
  • Costs listed are for one (1) ton of steel.
  • The service atmosphere in the subject location is considered seacoast/heavy industrial (within one mile of the seacoast and/or salt water). This includes virtually every major metropolitan area on the Eastern seaboard.
  • A product is installed and all painting is done at ground level and not “in the air”.
  • Maintenance is considered at “practical life” not “optimum life”. Practical life is the time until 5-10% breakdown occurs, active rusting of the substrate occurs, and maintenance should be initiated.
  • The goal is to achieve a 50-year life for the product.
  • Costs are in base year dollars. Future values were not calculated but should be expected to increase through normal inflation.

Sources Used
In preparing the study, several sources were used. Included were:

  • H. Brevoort, A.H. Roebuck, “Simplified Cost Calculations and Comparisons of Paint and Protective Coating Systems, Expected Life and Economic Justification” CORROSION/79, Paper No. 37, National Association of Corrosion Engineers
  • H. Brevoort, A.H. Roebuck, “Costing Considerations for Maintenance and New Construction Coating Work” CORROSION/92, Paper No. 335, National Association of Corrosion Engineers
  • “Abrasive Blasting Guide for Aged or Coated Steel Surfaces” T&R Bulletin 4-21. The Society of Naval and Marine Engineers
  • “Standard Method of Evaluating Degrees of Rusting on Painted Steel” Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
  • “Good Painting Practices” Steel Structures Painting Council
  • “Cost-Effectiveness of Hot Dip Galvanizing for Exposed Steel” Transportation Research Board, National Research Council

Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Various Coating Systems For Miscellaneous Metal

Coating System Initial Cost
Per Ton
Time Until
First Maint.
Initial Cost
Per Year
Maintenance Cost
Per Ton
Maintenance Life
Maintenance Cost/Year
Cost Over a 50 Year Cycle Per Ton
$880.00 50 Years $17.60 $0.00 50 $0.00 $880.00
(Hot Dip Duragalv? Galvanizing
$728.00 35 Years $20.81 $322.00 25 $12.88 $1050.00
Duragalv? with field coats
(Hot Dip Duragalv? Galvanizing with field applied metal primer and two coats of field applied high gloss Alkyd Enamel topcoat)
$940.00 25 Years $37.60 $752.50 20 $37.63 $2633.00
Duragalv?– No Coating
(Hot Dip Duragalv? Galvanizing)
$500.00 50 Years $10.00 $0.00 50 $0.00 $500.00
Shop applied Universal Metal Primer with two coats of High Gloss Enamel
$502.50 10.5 Years $47.86. $752.50 8 $94.06 $4217.89
Shop applied Inorganic zinc rich primer, tie coat of high build polyamide epoxy and topcoat of aliphatic urethane
$878.50 21 Years $41.83. $1090.50 16 $68.16 $2855.08
Duragalv? is Duncan’s name for an enhanced hot dip galvanizing process which combines long-term corrosion protection with an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Notes to Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Various Coating Systems: Miscellaneous Metals

The following definitions will apply to the analysis of the various coating systems reviewed:

Coating System: The metal coating systems reviewed are those most commonly used on construction projects of this type. They represent the broad spectrum of steel corrosion protection systems available which encompass cost, maintenance, corrosion protection and durability.
Initial Cost: This is the price per ton of miscellaneous metals which would be used on this project. The price is based on the per pound cost of the material, surface preparation process and application and is multiplied by 2,000.
Time Until First Maintenance: This is the length of time that the product will last before the owner will be required to provide any maintenance. The number of years were determined through the use of standard reference charts which are noted on the first page of this analysis. It is a major criteria in selecting a quality system.
Initial Cost Per Year: This is the comparative cost of each system on an initial cost basis determined by dividing the initial cost by the time until first maintenance is required. It is the most effective method to determine the value of a system based upon initial cost analysis.
Maintenance Cost: This is the cost to maintain the product during its economic life. The figures were taken from the reference charts noted on the first page of this analysis. It is an extremely useful tool to assist the owner in determining the budget and anticipated costs to be assigned to the ongoing maintenance effort.
Maintenance Life This is the anticipated length of time that the product will last before any additional maintenance is required, or the intervals which will be needed to maintain the product. Again, the figures were derived from the published reference charts.
Maintenance Cost Per Year: This is the figure that the owner should use when determining an annual operating cost for each system. It was calculated by dividing the maintenance cost by the maintenance life.Essentially, it is that amount which will need to be allocated to the product to maintain it in the appropriate manner.
Cost Over A 50 Year Life: This is the truest test of all. It determines which system, with everything taken into consideration,will perform the best and be the most cost effective system for the construction project. It is determined by adding the initial cost, maintenance cost and the total of the number of years until 50 year life multiplied by the maintenance cost/year. For example:


Example System #1 System #6
Initial cost:
Maintenance cost:
Total of costs:
Years until 50 year life:
Maint. cost/year:
Additional maintenance cost:
Cost Over 50 Year Cycle:
$ -0-
50 years
$ -0-
$ -0-
13 years (50 – [21 + 16] )
$886.08 (13 x $68.16)

Hypothetical Comparison of the Various Coating Systems

To create a practical example, assume that there are 50 tons of miscellaneous steel used per category

Category System 1 System 2 System 3 System 4 System 5 System 6
Initial Cost $44,000 $36,400 $47,000 $25,000 $25,125 $43,925
Years Until Maintenance Is Needed 50 35 25 50 10.5 21
Initial Cost Per Year $880 $1,040.50 $1,880 $500 $2,393 $2,091.50
Cost To Maintain The Product During Its Economic Lifetime $0 $16,100 $37,625 $0 $37,625 $54,525
Maintenance Intervals 50 Years 25 Years 20 Years 50 Years 8 Years 16 Years
Maintenance Cost Per Year $0 $644 $1,881.50 $0 $4,703 $3,408
Total Cost Of The System $44,000 $52,500 $131,650 $25,000 $210,895 $142,754
There are some basic conclusions to be drawn from this analysis. When evaluating coating systems, the initial outlay should not necessarily be the single component on making a decision. While systems might appear to be less costly at first glance, a careful analysis will point out all the pitfalls and costs associated.



ASTM A1068

Significance and Use

LCC analysis is an economic method for evaluating alternatives that are characterized by differing cash flows over the designated project design life. The method entails calculating the LCC of each alternate capable of satisfying the functional requirement of the project and comparing them to determine which has (have) the lowest estimated LCC over the project design life.

The LCC method is particularly suitable for determining whether the higher initial cost of an alternative is economically justified by reductions in future costs (for example, rehabilitation, or replacement) when compared to an alternative with lower initial costs but higher future costs. If a design alternative has both a lower initial cost and lower future costs than other alternatives, an LCC analysis is not necessary to show that the former is the economically preferable choice.

1. Scope

1.1 This practice covers a procedure for using life-cycle cost (LCC) analysis techniques to evaluate alternative corrosion protection system designs that satisfy the same functional requirements.

1.2 The LCC technique measures the present value of all relevant costs of producing and rehabilitating alternative corrosion protection systems, such as surface preparation, application, construction, rehabilitation, or replacement, over a specified period of time.

1.3 Using the results of the LCC analysis, the decision maker can then identify the alternative(s) with the lowest estimated total cost based on the present value of all costs.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2. Referenced Documents

ASTM Standards

E917 Practice for Measuring Life-Cycle Costs of Buildings and Building Systems

Rebar Couplers

During placing the steel in RC structure if the required length of a bar is not sufficiently available to make a design length then lapping is done. Lapping means overlapping of two bars side by side to achieve required design length. This is less than an optimum solution as it wastes extra steel and creates comparatively a weak joint. A mechanical coupler is a better solution for joining rebars in concrete.  Rebar couplers are designed to produce full strength of mechanical joints between reinforcing bars. It can connect rebars of same or different diameters laterally, vertically, slantingly. It is broadly applied in the Tunnel, Tower, Bridge, Subway, Airport, Nuclear Power station, High Rise Building, Reservoirs, Marine Structures etc

Raw Material

chemical compositionCSiMnCrNiCu
%0.42 -0.500.17-0.370.50-0.800.250.300.25
Mechanical propertyYield StrengthTensile Strength

As  its made of carbon steel naturally plain couplers are prone to corrosion under concrete application, to resolve this issue now-a-days epoxy coated couplers are used in place of plain couplers to protect against corrosion


Rebar coupler advantages:

1. Good performance of anticorrosion extends service lifetime effectively

2. Raw material saving, High energy saving, high work efficiency

3. High dimension precision, reliable quality and stable performance

4. Improved fatigue strength of the connection

5. Solves bar conjunction problem

As per Decision Database, The worldwide market for Rebar Coupler is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 5.3% over the next five years, will reach 1230 million US$ in 2023, from 900 million US$ in 2017.

Epoxy coated rebar couplers

Epoxy coated rebar couplers are more durable because of added corrosion protection and have enhanced fatigue life due to shot peening effect it gets during shot blasting of it while epoxy coating process.

Quality of Reinforcement Steel Bars used for Construction of RCC Structure.

When a lot of steel received at site, First check the Manufacturer test certificate for its actual properties.
With each lot of steel, manufacturer should send a test certificate of same lot for test done at their laboratory.
Check for grade of steel mention in certificate and is as per the order or not.

Steel bars may have rusting on it, do check closely to know either it is acceptable or not.
Steel received should be free from any contamination like, mud, dust, oil and any other foreign material etc.
Bars should not have splits and any other deformation on it.

Causes of Rusting:
Primary steel which is made from pure iron ore are likely to get rusted quicker compare to secondary steel.
Bars may get rusted due to contact with water or air and atmospheric condition.

A brownish bars showing little rusting due to weathering are good for use.
Small amount of rust is good for bonding of steel and concrete.
If excessive scaling observed on the surface of bar, it should not be accepted.

Do Check for brand of steel, diameter and grade of steel embossed on steel bars.

Cut the samples of 1 meter in length, min 4 nos of bars from different bundles.
Measure the length of cut bars by measuring it on at-least 4 sides and average out the length of bar.
Weight the bar on weight scale and record it in register.
Calculate the actual average weight per meter of bar for at-least 3 samples.
Compare the result of it with theoretical weight given in IS 1786

Check the variation in weight is within limit or not as per IS specification.

After finding the results for nominal mass as satisfactory proceed further to do bend test.

Bend test should be carried out as specified in IS 1599 and using mandrels of size specified in IS 1786

Rebar sample should be bent at 180 degree as per procedure stated in IS 1599.

after this further process it to bend till 180 degree.

At site we can bend it on bar bending machine using appropriate size mandrel.
sample tested bar.

After bending the bar check the surface of bar opposite to bend side (which got tension, elongated due to bending) for cracks and rupture visible to a person with normal or corrected vision.

If there is no sign of rupture and cracks, rebar meets the requirement of bend test.

Further to this a rebend test also can be done at site, if required. (IS specifies for doing but if it passes bend test, in general it will pass the rebend test too. You cand do it at side provided you have required arrangement at site for this test)

For Rebend Test
First bend the bar to including angle of 135 degree.
Keep it in boiling water at 100 degree for 30 minutes.
Then cool it down for some time.
After cooling bent it back to including angle of 157.5 degree

The rebar should not show any rupture or cracks to a person with normal or corrected vision.

Mandrel to use for Rebend test as specified in IS 1786

Below is pic showing bend rebend test (Closely look at the direction of bending and re-bending, in order to do correct test)

After getting satisfactory results, you can approve the steel for further usage in actual construction.

Keep practice of getting steel tested from third party laboratory at 200 metric tone or at each lot received which ever is acceptable for your management.

I personally did a bend and rebend test for 25mm and 32 mm bar by witnessing it in third party laboratories.
When steel failed at my site and got passed in multiple third party test.

When i did witness test, i shocked to see many laboratories don’t have the equipment’s to test it, as their current set up don’t allow higher diameter bars to get bend and rebend test.
Either machine reach its maximum capacity or their is chance of accident if we do it as per specification (That same laboratories gave me report stating rebar failure, this is real condition at least in my area of NABL accredited labs)

So my suggestion to all, when you get doubt on quality of steel, you personally witness the test process to understand either steel passes the test or not.

To do value addition to company and your self, you can implement following practice during unload of steel at site;
Count the number of bars received.
Record the average length of bar by doing random measurements.
Calculate the actual weight of steel received as per theoretical weight and compare it with actual total weight.
Make comparative statement showing the variation in steel weight as per brand of steel.
Show it to your management which brands are supplying overweight steel.

Overweight steel though it is as per tolerance provided in IS 1786 will cause a loss of money to your company, by understanding the which steel brand manufacture to optimum level and produce less overweight steel you can reduce the indirect loss to your company.

If i receive 25mm steel with 3% over weight, technically there is nothing wrong. Steel meets the requirement of IS 1786.
Site will suffer for 3% wastage without actually wasting steel and waste count will always add this unaccounted 3% loss as wasted by site engineer unless it is recorded.
Saving those 3% may cause gain of crores of rupees which are going directly to pocket of supplier and causing indirect costs to project due to which site engineers suffers a lot to get promotion. It may help you to get up in your career.
This is just a one example of steel, if you do correct work you can save a lot to company and get return benefit for doing such jobs.

This is something comes from experience and not told in any books (Now a days i wont read book, if any author had catched it then i am not aware about it, to write something like this author should have practical experience of project )

Hope this will help you in doing better testing of steel bars and satisfaction of doing it right

courtesy :

History of Rebar

Year Event
1848Jean-Louis Lambot
Used iron bars and wire mesh to reinforce several concrete rowboats…
1854William B. Wilkinson
Used iron bars and wire rope to reinforce the concrete floors of a two-story cottage.
1850-1880 François Coignet
A pioneer of reinforced concrete, Coignet was the first to use iron reinforced concrete in construction on a widespread scale. France
1889Gyozo Mihailich
Mihailich is credited with designing the first arch bridge to use reinforced concrete. Hungary
1911ASTM A15 published with grades 33 and 50
till 1967Plain MS bar of grade FE-250 in India
1968ASTM A615 published (replaced ASTM A15, ASTM A408, ASTM A431, ASTM A432, and portions of ASTM A305) with grades 40, 60, and 75
1973Epoxy-coated rebar first used in a U.S. bridge
1979ASTM A767 published for zinc-coated (galvanized) rebars
1981ASTM A775 for epoxy-coated rebars and ASTM D3963 for handling of epoxy coated bars published
1983Stainless steel rebar first used in U.S. bridges.
upto 1990CTD bars of grade Fe-405-415 used in India
1980-85TMT bars introduced in India
1985IS-1786 first published in India
1993IS-13620 for epoxy coated bars published in India
1996ASTM A955/A955M published for stainless steel rebars
2008ASTM A1055 published for zinc and epoxy dual coated rebars
2017IS-16651 for stainless rebar published in India

Rebar fabrication process

The fabrication of reinforcing steels into shapes suitable for fixing into concrete formwork is normally performed in advanced countries by specialist reinforcement fabrication centres. In these advanced countries very little reinforcement is cut and bent on-site. In India, the reinforcement bar fabrication is predominantly done at site by employing huge labour force and semi-automatic machines. Although the cutting and bending of steel reinforcement appears relatively straightforward, the steel reinforcement fabrication service centres are well equipped to do so in a consistently accurate manner. The service centres works under defined set of quality management criteria to ensure the accuracy of cutting and bending operations in order to achieve proper fit at site, and to maintain the required technical parameters defined by the clients.

Rebar Processing
The basic fabrication processes consist of cutting and bending the reinforcement steel. The actual process employed depends on the material being processed, whether bar or coil. At the Rebar processing centre coated or bare reinforcement are fabricated by cutting on shear lines, and thereafter bending on power bending machines. The processing ranges of these machines are from 16 mm diameter to 50 mm diameter. The reinforcement bar, in coil form, is obtained from the mills in Coil form in the size range of 6mm to 12mm and is bent to stirrups and most complicated shapes through the Automatic Link Bending machine to promise the delivery of dimensionally accurate stirrups and complex shapes just in time (JIT delivery).

Benefits to Construction Industry:

Image courtesy : unionrebar

• Accurate planning of the site programme
• An answer to severe skill and labour shortage
• Weather-independent construction
• Reduced construction time, thereby avoiding time and cost overrun
• Efficient use of limited space at congested sites
• Improved safety
• High accuracy on specified tolerances thereby avoiding rework at site
• Minimum wastage
• Dependency avoidance on power availability and power saving at site
• No investment in machinery for fabricating the reinforcement
• On time delivery every time

Benefits to Coated bars:

Image courtesy : ISPC

* No touch up at the site
* No damage to coatings
* Reduced transportation cost for the contractor
* Full range of rebar processing service-improved image
* Value-added service + saving generated due to a reduction of patch up compound

Myths about TMT bar

1. TMT has higher bond
Process of making TMT as such has no role in bond strength between rebar and concrete. Factors responsible for higher or lower bond are Rib geometry and concrete properties.
Rib geometry
-transverse rib height
-transverse rib length
-transverse rib angle of inclination
-transverse rib spacing
Concrete properties
-use of chemical ingredient
Bond strength of any type of rebar in concrete can be tested with pull out test

2. TMT is corrosion resistant
in fact reverse is the truth. TMT bars are highly prone to corrosion due to its dual microstructure ie. Martensite and Perlite, Which provides galvanic coupling for corrosion. TMT bars at site shows corroded layer on outer surface.

3. TMT bar once in concrete never corrode
This is equally false belief that TMT bars gets corroded in outer atmosphere only and not inside concrete. As concrete is permeable to corrodents like moisture, oxygen, chloride etc Rate of corrosion can be different based on severity of atmosphere

4. TMT never fails in bend/strength
Every material has a defined range of properties which is prescribed in various nation/international standards beyond which it fails.

5. Any water-cooled bar are TMT
Water cooling hot bars are critical part of TMT bar processing but the process is called Quenching and is carried out under certain range of temperature to get desired microstructure which is responsible for higher strength of TMT bar. Water quenching if not done properly creates two process issues
Improper or peripheral quenching- this creates bar with variable mechanical properties in the bar, which is an safety hazard.
Tempering-this process imparts ductility and stress relieving effects to bar which harmonizes properties of rebar

6. TMT bars are earth quake resistant
In case of earthquake combined effects of concrete and TMT bar plays important role, TMT bar alone can’t resist forces of earthquake. Hence judicious selection of properties and integration of both is required

7. Scrap heated and rolled into bars are also TMT
Any scrap without known material history does not provide physical and mechanical properties defined in rebar standard, it may provide such wide variation that structural design requirement becomes first casualty and hence a safety concern.

8. TMT is the only rebar used in RCC

Now a days lot of innovations are happening in rebar field. Variety of Bars depending on site and environmental concerns are deployed. Some of the widely used type are Stainless steel, FRP, basalt, galvanized bars, epoxy coated bars

How to reduce surface preparation cost by Ervin Test ?

Testing in industrial life is routine and mundane thing but some tests you remember esp when its impact results in out proportion saving to bottom-line. Surface preparation with abrasive blasting is carried out in many activities like coating. Use of right abrasive results in right quality & best economy. I would like to share one such pleasant experience about Ervin test.

It is very small equipments consists of a wheel with two blades, a target and a re-circulating device-just like a miniature version of shot blasting machine.

Ervin test machine enables us evaluation of quality of metal abrasives esp durability [life] and transmitted energy [impact energy] of abrasives under controlled conditions, which are two key measures of the value and quality of metal abrasive. Durability of abrasives are determined by number of passes against the target that are required to reduce the abrasive to unusable size ie 100% replacement by test quantity.

We had calibrated the system using S-550 calibration standard shots and then tested abrasives available at our end, results were as follows:

[No.s of passes to replace 100%]
calibration standard- SS 5502946 [2900+-50 as per standard]
A-grit GP 252893
A-shots SS 3303043
B-grit GP 251091
B-shots SS3301483

Supplier A & B were both good name in industry B-shots gives half life compared to that of A-shots and B-grit gives one third life compared to that of A- grits. Results at that time were shocking, but resulted in very hefty saving in surface preparation cost.

This facility may be utilized for evaluation of shot and grits and for new vendor development.

It can also be used with a frequency inverter to establish optimum shot velocity of abrasive mix.

Thus Ervin test with simulation of real shot blasting process, helps to demonstrate media properties such as hardness, size, density and durability and how their interaction, determines the efficiency of energy transfer and the economy of abrasive cleaning process.

Use of corrosion inhibitors in concrete

Corrosion inhibitors are chemicals that can slow down or prevent corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete. Corrosion inhibitors were first investigated in the 1960’s.

Some early inhibitors included sodium nitrite and the sodium and potassium salts of chromate and benzoate. Studies found that the sodium and potassium salts reduced the strength of the concrete and gave mixed results on corrosion inhibition. However, other inhibitors have shown promise as methods for protecting reinforced concrete from corrosion damage (Virmani and Clemena 1998).

A common inhibitor used today, calcium nitrite, was developed to be used in concrete as a noncorrosive set accelerator (Berke and Rosenberg 1989)

Corrosion inhibitors are typically divided into three categories: anodic inhibitors, cathodic inhibitors, and organic inhibitors. Anodic inhibitors, made up of chromates, nitrites, molybdates, alkali phosphates, silicates, and carbonates, act by minimizing the anodic part of the corrosion reaction.

These inhibitors form an insoluble protective film on anodic surfaces to passivate the steel. Some anodic inhibitors, such as nitrites, can cause accelerated corrosion and pitting if they are not used in large enough quantities. Cathodic inhibitors, consisting of zinc, salts of antimony, magnesium, manganese, and nickel, form an insoluble film on the cathodic surfaces of the steel. They are usually less effective than anodic inhibitors, but are also safer. Organic inhibitors, including amines, esters, and sulfonates, block both the anodic and cathodic reaction on the entire surface of the metal (Virmani and Clemena 1998).

the inhibitors not only participate in reducing the rate of corrosion but it also takes part in the properties like compressive strength of the structure.

The effectiveness of inhibitors depends mainly on the concentration of inhibitor, more the concentration more is the inhibitor effect on corrosion efficiency decreases with increase in time.. The application requires transport of inhibitor to the reinforcement where it has to reach sufficiently on the surface of reinforcement to protect the steel against corrosion or to reduce the rate of ongoing corrosion.

Following considerations should be taken care while evaluating use of inhibitors in concrete for corrosion protection of rebar:

* Long term stability & performance of inhibitors
* Inhibitors effect on corrosion propagation after corrosion initiation
* Inhibitors effect on concrete physical properties over the service life
* Inhibitors should remain chemically intact & physically present (not leaching or evaporating)
* Insufficient dosage of inhibitors may impact on corrosion progression
* Amount of cracking concrete resistivity decrease

What is basalt rebar?

Rebars are backbone of construction industry. Rebars are made of steel and are in use ever since its innovated. Need is the mother of innovation. Problems like rebar corrosion led to various new type of rebar like epoxy coated bars, galvanized bars, stainless steel and frp rebars. Places where constructions are exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiations alongwith corrosion FRP and new entrant –rebar made of basalt are highly suitable.

Basalt rebars are made of volcanic rock called basalt- which is present abundantly in earh’s layer below crust

Basalt filaments are made by melting crushed volcanic basalt rock of specific mineral mixture at 1700 C, hot material is drawn through platinum  bushings and cooled to form filaments. This filaments are stronger then steel or FRP. Basalt rebar are made by pultrusion process using 80% basalt filaments and 20% epoxy as binder.

No chemicals are added to basalt during its manufacturing unlike FRP – so its environment friendly

Physical properties of basalt filaments like tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, temperature tolerance and resistance to acid & alkali damage are better than steel & glass fibers..

Basalt rebars have following advantages:

  1.    It does not corrode
  2.    Its stronger than steel and FRP rebars (tensile strength)
  3.    Higher chemical stability
  4.    Thermal expansion coefficient is similar to concrete.
  5.     Lighter than steel
  6.     Non conductor to heat & electricity.

                                                                                                                        Image courtesy: technobasalt


Basalt rebar clearly is ready to be used as a substitute for both steel and fiberglass rebar.  It is clear that steel in a concrete construction is a rust-spalling failure waiting to happen. Eventually moisture will get to steel wherever it is and no matter how well it is protected. It will then rust, swell, and cause the concrete to fail. With basalt rebar this issue is avoided forever.

The lack of spalling leads to one more advantage for basalt rebar. Construction codes call for concrete cover- spacing steel reinforcement at least 3 inches from the surface of the concrete. This is not necessary when using basalt rebar. A slab or panel can be made as thick or thin as is needed for structural integrity. If one inch of concrete is sufficient, a panel can be one inch thick with no risk of failure from spalling.

Comparison of physical properties- Steel, FRP and Basalt rebars.

ItemSteelGFRPBasalt rebar
Tensile strength(MPa)350-650500-900700-1300
Yield strength(MPa)280-420--
Compressive strength(MPa)350-650400-550450-550
Tensile elastic modulus(GPa)20035-4555-75
Coefficient of Thermal
expansion(*10-6 /C)-transverse

courtesey: pulwell composites co.Ltd


How to tell the difference between paint and fusion bonded epoxy coating

Hundreds of paint formulations are being sold in market each claiming the best benefits. Each paint has its own chemistry and set of properties so it is essential to match it with requirement of application to get the maximum advantage esp when value addition difference is too wide and the opportunity cost difference is too high eg. In functional coatings like rebars.

When pigments are fine tuned, it is difficult to differentiate between regularly painted rebar and fusion bonded epoxy coated rebar as visually both look alike. However with careful observations and some tests to validate the same it can be easily identified & differentiated between normally painted rebar and fusion bonded epoxy coated rebars.

ParameterPaint Fbec
Raw materialContains VOC+solvents-pollution
Lot of wastage due to overspray
Environment friendly
100% used
ProcessSand blasting
-health hazard
-poor Ra-poor adhesion
Primer coat+top coat
Brush applied, air cured, poor adhesion
Site application-unreliable quality
Abrasive blasting
Single uniform coat
Fusion bonded-strong adhesion
Plant applied-controlled quality
Properties VisualDull matt-like finish
Air pockets
Sagging, dripping
Solid smooth finish
Almost uniform thickness
DamageEasily damaged
Corrosion spreads underneath film
Chips & scratches easily
Hard & tough film
Prevents spread of corrosion around damaged area
Scratch resistant
Sharp edgesDifficult to cover, less thicknessMore thick cover
Contour ribsFilled & coveredLess thickness
DurabilityFew years80-100 years
Cathodic Disbondment>4 mm<3mm
Applied Voltage ResistenceH2 Evolution & Rusting within a weeklasts more than 30 days
Dielectric resistancepoorstrong
Film ThicknessLow and non-uniformUniform
Hardness< 16 Knoop>16Knoop
Salt spray-scratched panelvery less>1000Hrs
Boil Adhesion TestFailPass

Above table summarizes the salient differences between paint and FBEC which will be helpful to site engineers in achieving desired design life of RCC structures by protecting their rebars from undue corrosion.