Bond of naturally corroded, plain reinforcing bars in concrete
Journal article, 2021

In the past, reinforced concrete structures were built utilising plain reinforcement bars. Currently, this construction method is seldom considered by codes and research; however, many heritage structures are still standing and in need of proper assessment. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge on the effect of corrosion on the bond between concrete and plain reinforcement bars. To address this gap, pullout tests were performed on reinforced concrete specimens sourced from a decommissioned bridge originally constructed in 1935. The specimens were naturally corroded, as the use of accelerated corrosion techniques in structural tests is still debated. A total of 156 pullout tests were conducted on specimens with varying thicknesses. The pullout force, active and passive slip, and corrosion levels were measured. The effect of corrosion on the bond strength, and the amount of visible damage owing to the presence of corrosion products, were influenced by the casting position of the reinforcing bars. The presence of stirrups influenced the post-peak behaviour, increased the residual bond strength, and helped maintain the bond strength in the presence of cracks and spalling damage. Additionally, current code provisions were found to provide conservative values for the peak bond stress of plain reinforcing bars.

bond strength

Reinforced concrete

existing structures

plain reinforcing bars

natural corrosion

pullout tests


Samanta Robuschi

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Jakob Sumearll

University of Washington

Ignasi Fernandez

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Karin Lundgren

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Structure and Infrastructure Engineering

1573-2479 (ISSN) 1744-8980 (eISSN)

Vol. 17 6 792-808

Assessment of the load-carrying capacity of existing structures with corroded smooth reinforcement bars

Formas (2016-00568), 2017-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Swedish Transport Administration (TRV 2017/39084 6454), 2017-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Subject Categories

Building Technologies

Corrosion Engineering



More information

Latest update