Subsurface Imaging of Corrosion in Painted Steel Bridges

According to a comprehensive study carried out by CC Technologies in 1998, cost of corrosion to the US economy was 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998 amounting to $276 billions (FHWA-RD-­01-­156). From that amount, $121 billion was spent on corrosion control, from which $107 billion was spent on protective coatings. It was reported that better corrosion protection could save up 40% of that cost. Improved practices were sited as better coating quality control and effective inspection at time of coating application, routine/periodic coating inspection during the service life of the structure, and appropriate repair action when coating degradation, delaminate or substrate corrosion is detected. In 2007, New York University Polytechnic Institute was awarded a grant by the gas industry to evaluate infrared thermography as a method for detection of early onset of corrosion in gas pipelines beneath the protective coating. Results indicated that it is possible to detect corrosion at stages earlier than it is possible to detect with current ultrasonic thickness gauges and it is possible to detect poor quality coating, such as the presence of air blisters, even in the absence of corrosion. Furthermore thermal imaging is a two dimensional technique and lends itself for inspection and documentation of surfaces. A preliminary analysis of the application of infrared thermography as a tool for subsurface condition assessment of painted steel bridges is proposed. The objective is to detect early onset of corrosion and to detect paint delamination, both of which are not possible by visual inspection. Currently, federal guidelines hold the contractor responsible for the coating quality, however there is no practical methodology for evaluating the coating and subsurface condition.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $11996.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Project Managers:

    Eickemeyer, Penny

  • Performing Organizations:

    Polytechnic Institute of NYU

    6 MetroTech Center
    Brooklyn, NY  United States  11201
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sidelev, Dr. Alexey

  • Start Date: 20121001
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20131130
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33103

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01470268
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49997-42-24
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 23 2013 1:00AM