As of 2013, the damage caused by corrosion on highway bridges has been estimated to cost approximately 14 billion dollars annually, and this cost has been increasing over the years. Corrosion is one of the natural phenomena that has been slowly deteriorating infrastructure systems across the United States. One of the most problematic types of corrosion is crevice corrosion, which is defined as the formation of rust between overlapping surfaces, such as the case of a splice connection where flanges are attached by splice plates. A significant number of steel bridges in Indiana have developed crevice corrosion in splice connections. Therefore, this research focuses on the crevice corrosion, or “pack rust,” occurring in these structural elements. The application of coatings alone has not been enough to stop pack rust at these connections. In an attempt to look for approaches that can effectively mitigate this problem and maintain the designed service life of bridges, different strategies have been studied and tested. It was found that the proper use of penetrating sealers can be effective in delaying the development of further corrosion, while the use of caulk alone may be problematic as a repair method.

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pack rust, crevice corrosion, bridges, splice connections, repair methods, coatings, caulking, penetrating sealers

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version