A review of environmental factors determining the use of weathering steel in structural applications
The use of weathering steel for bridges and structural applications is highly desirable due to the potential cost savings associated with the very low atmospheric corrosion rates. The material’s corrosion behaviour allows it to be used without requiring protective coatings which may be costly to maintain. Weathering steel bridges are commonly found in the US, UK and other countries but are generally not found in Australia. This paper discusses the environmental factors including airborne chlorides, atmospheric SO2 and time-of-wetness which influence material selection and durability. Technical standards generated internationally by other road authorities are reviewed here and several criteria for selection are defined. Methods of short-term site testing during the concept design stage to determine the suitability of a potential bridge location are also discussed. In evaluating the different test methods available, consideration has been given to practicality, precision and recommended test periods. Authors: R. Low, P. Sandeford, Paper 132 in ‘Corrosion & Prevention 2013’, reproduced by kind permission of the Australasian Corrosion Association.