The literature on stainless steel corrosivity identifies one ion as capable of causing pitting, stress corrosion cracking and intergranular corrosion in the 300 series of stainless steels and this happens to be the chloride ion. This susceptibility to chloride raises questions with regard to the performance of SSC reinforcement over the estimated 75-year life of a bridge. In addition, the cut bar ends have exposed mild steel and will be much more likely to corrode than the rest of the bar without some type of end treatment which will protect them. This corrosion could be exacerbated by the galvanic corrosion of dissimilar metals. At the same time, doubts have been raised concerning the performance of epoxy-coated reinforcement due to failures in high chloride environments within three years. Although the first epoxy-coated reinforcement bridge decks constructed in South Dakota exhibit no evidence of deterioration after more than twenty years, an attempt to evaluate their corrosion-resistance in situ was hampered by the lack of chloride ions at steel depth .
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the potential corrosion resistance, mechanical properties and uniformity of SSC using laboratory tests and, based on the results of these tests, design, construct and evaluate a bridge deck reinforced with stainless steel clad bars. All test results will be compared with epoxy-coated reinforcement. The research will provide information on the constructability and effectiveness of SSC bridge decks as well as performance, service life and cost-effectiveness data on both SSC and ECR systems.