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Electrochemistry, Civil engineering, Construction engineering
This paper presents an overview of the cement-based batteries developed in DIT for use in the cathodic protection of embedded steel in reinforced concrete undergoing chloride-induced corrosion. Cathodic protection delivers an external current (approximately 20mA per m2 of embedded steel) which effectively polarises the internal current generated during corrosion. The batteries developed in DIT comprise of a cement-based electrolyte containing different additives including sand, aggregate, salts, carbon black and plasticiser with protruding anode and cathode metal plates. These batteries produced an initial electrical output of 1.5V and 23mA through a 10 resistor as measured using data acquisition units and a custom-built LabVIEW program. By enhancing the ionic conductivity and maintaining the internal moisture content in the cement pores, the batteries power and life span can be improved. Following a concrete ponding regime to initiate corrosion of embedded steel in a concrete block sample, the power required to protect the reinforcement and arrest corrosion current was determined using a DC desktop supply. With the intention of replacing the desktop supply with a battery module ongoing work is focussing on increasing the life span of individual battery modules, improving their recharging capabilities and optimising for different shapes.
Holmes, N., Byrne, A., Norton, B. (2016) An overview of the development of cement-based batteries for the cathodic protection of embedded steel in concrete, Civil Engineering Research in Ireland 2016, 1(1), 593-597.
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