25 years of field exposure of pre-cracked concrete beams; combined impact of spacers and cracks on reinforcement corrosion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The state of corrosion of three pre-cracked concrete beams was investigated after 25 years of marine exposure (atmospheric, tidal and submerged). The influence of inadequate plastic spacers was found to overrule the possible impact of bending cracks on reinforcement corrosion. Increased chloride ingress was detected in cracked areas, but very little corrosion was observed where cracks reached the reinforcement. Also, high chloride content was measured in uncracked parts of the beams, but no or very limited corrosion was observed outside spacers and a few cracks. It is hypothesised that corrosion, initiated early at weak spots (here at plastic spacers) can protect the remaining reinforcement from corrosion.


  • Mette Geiker
  • Tobias Danner
  • Alexander Michel
  • Andres Belda Revert
  • Oskar Linderoth
  • Karla Hornbostel
External organisations
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF)
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Norwegian Public Roads Administration
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Reliability and Maintenance
  • Construction Management


  • Cracks, Long-term marine exposure, Reinforced concrete, Reinforcement corrosion, Spacers
Original languageEnglish
Article number122801
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch