Propagation of steel corrosion in concrete: Experimental and numerical investigations

Alexander Michel, M. Otieno, Henrik Stang, Mette Rica Geiker

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This paper focuses on experimental and numerical investigations of the propagation phase of reinforcement corrosion to determine anodic and cathodic Tafel constants and exchange current densities, from corrosion current density and corrosion potential measurements. The experimental program included studies on RC specimens with various binder compositions, concrete cover thicknesses, and concrete cover crack widths. Modelling and fitting of experimental data using an electrochemical model allowed for the determination of parameters, which are key parameters for electrochemical modelling tools. The numerical model was, furthermore, used to identify electrochemical parameters, which are independent of concrete cover thickness and crack width and at the same time allow for determination of the corrosion current density and corrosion potential of concrete structures within an acceptable error.Very good comparisons between the experimentally measured and numerically simulated corrosion current densities and corrosion potentials were found for the various RC specimens. Anodic and cathodic Tafel constant between 0.01 and 0.369 V/dec and 0.01 and 0.233 V/dec, respectively, were found in the present study through numerical simulations of the experimental data. Anodic and cathodic exchange current densities ranged from 1.0E-12 to 1.0E-09 A/mm2 and 1.0E-12 to 1.1E-09 A/mm2, respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCement and Concrete Composites
    Pages (from-to)171-182
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Corrosion current density
    • Cracked concrete
    • Reinforcement
    • Modelling
    • Tafel value
    • Exchange current density


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