Effectiveness of Epoxy Chip Seals for SD Bridge Decks

Since the early 1990’s, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has been using epoxy chip seals on bridge decks to reduce the water and chloride infiltration that leads to rapid deck deterioration. To check the effectiveness of the epoxy chip seals, SDDOT conducted tests on core samples from two bridge decks, a bridge deck with an epoxy chip sealing overlay and a deck without an overlay. It was found that the core samples with the overlay had more chloride contamination than those without the overlay. This obviously casts doubt on effectiveness of the current epoxy chip seals in preventing water or chloride infiltration. Research on the effectiveness and performance of different types of epoxy chip seals for bridge decks is required to reduce maintenance costs, and improve structure life. The objectives of this research are to: (1) Determine the effectiveness of various deck sealers for chloride infiltration available on the market today and (2) Determine if single or double coats of epoxy deck sealers are more effective at reducing chloride infiltration.