Laser Spectroscopy for Rapid Profiling of Steel Bridge Coatings, Corrosion, and Heavy Metals

This project will develop and demonstrate the application of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy to rapidly identify and profile the presence and severity of corrosion under layers of coatings on steel structures and the presence of heavy metals imbedded in the coatings. The project consists of two stages. Work in the first stage focuses on calibrating an initial set of samples (steel coupons) with commercially available coatings for detecting the presence of heavy metals and corrosion using laser induced ablation technology to generate spectra for analysis. Sample coupons will be collected and/or prepared and characterized by conventional means. Multivariate (chemometric) calibration models will be developed by comparing laser fingerprints to the known properties of the collected samples. An assessment will be made of the effectiveness of the approach. Work will also be initiated on the development of a Corrosion Index for assessing the severity of the corrosion detected. In the second stage of the project, the final calibration studies will be completed. This will entail continued analysis of additional coatings and corrosion samples, if needed, for the development of the models, to expand the data base, and to further develop the Corrosion Index concept. Blank testing, using unknown samples to validate the effectiveness of the models will be undertaken. Engineering and economic analyses of the proposed methodology will also be undertaken to develop system requirements for commercialization. Work during the first quarter focused on identifying and collecting samples and performing preliminary testing using available corroded sample coupons to help develop modeling approaches that could be used to categorize corrosion. Preliminary results indicated that laser analysis could readily distinguish between rusted, blistered, and corrosion-free areas of steel.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $137238.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Chesner Engineering, PC

  • Principal Investigators:

    Chesner, Warren

  • Start Date: 20141210
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38331

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547525
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 11 2014 1:00AM