United States
Construction Solutions

Bridge Decking

Bridge deck deterioration is a major problem wherever de-icing salts are used. De-icing salts are a major contributor to corrosion of the rebar within the bridge deck. The breakdown begins when salts attack th edeck surface. Water carries oxygen adn chloride ions through the pores in the concrete to the surface of the steel. An oxidation process creates pressure, causing the concrete to crack. The cycle of cold winter freezes followed by mild temperatures opens the concrete even further. Eventually the bridge deck crumbles. 

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Conventional concrete system challenges

  • Moisture, weather cycles, and heavy traffic loads encourage voids and cracks to form
  • De-icing salts penetrate the voids and cracks and corrode the rebar
  • As rust forms around the rebar, pressure around the reinforcement increases

Role of latex in concrete

Addition of latex to conventional unmodified concrete reduces the amount of water required to achieve the appropriate viscosity for placement of the mix. This lower water requirement results in a cured concrete with higher compressive strength. The latex forms elastic membranes throughout the matrix of concrete, reducing the formation of voids and hairline cracks during the curing stage. The Latex Modified Concrete (LMC) resists penetration of oil, water, salts and aids in the adhesionof new concrete to old. The flexural strength is improved, and there is increased abrasion resistance.

Placement of Latex Modified Concrete

This manual compiles information from experienced contractors, Department of Transportation personnel, engineers and consultants. It is provided as a convenient reference material for the industry.

Styrofan® 1186

Styrofan 1186 is used mainly for modifying concrete mixtures. The most notable applications are concrete for bridge deck and parking garage overlays. The addition of Styrofan 1186 to conventional unmodified concrete mixtures reduces the amount of water required for the placement of the mix. The lower water typically results in a cured concrete with higher compressive strength. The polymer forms an elastic membrane throughout the matrix of the cured concrete, reducing the formation of voids and hairline cracks therein. Moreover, the resulting concrete mixture shows improved resistance to the penetration of oil, salts and aids in the adhesion of the new concrete to old. Flexural strength and abrasion resistance are also increased. Styrofan 1186 has been pre-qualified by the FWHA under FHWA RD-78-35.