Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Alberto Sagüés, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Noreen Poor, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rajan Sen, Ph.D.


Spiral Ribbed Pipes, Corrugated, Microfissures, Scale-Forming Waters, Electrochemical Behavior


Ribbed steel pipes made of Type 2 aluminized steel are commonly used for culvert pipes for highway drainage. Typically aluminized steel pipes have shown good durability and are expected to have long service life, e.g. 75 years; also, they are used in a wide variety of soil and water conditions. However, early corrosion of aluminized steel pipes has been recently observed in some inland locations. Initial observations showed severe corrosion in forms of pits, both along the ribs and at the nearby flat portions of the pipes. It is critical to determine the cause of early deterioration and establish methods of durability prediction. The possibility of unusual environmental conditions is being investigated elsewhere, but this research focuses on possible mechanical factors aggravating corrosion, since it is prevalent near pipe rib deformations. While forming the rib bends in the pipe, the outer bend surface is exposed to extreme tensile stresses which would cause small coating cracks (microfissures) exposing base metal. Those may lead to early corrosion as galvanic protection from the surrounding aluminum may not be sufficient under certain environments.

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to measure corrosion rate of both formed and flat aluminized steel samples in simulated natural waters. Initial findings show that specimens formed by spherical indentation were susceptible to early corrosion development in moderately aggressive simulated natural water, but not in a more benign, precipitating simulated natural water solution.