Corrosion is the threat that cannot be ignored as it can take down even the strongest of steel structures. Port structures are under the biggest threat of corrosion due to their environment.
Steel is a popular material but is vulnerable to corrosion from such factors as chlorides in sea water and the aggressive action of waves and currents. One possible defense is to bring reinforcements, particularly reinforced concrete:
But port operators must ensure that the level of concrete cover is adequate enough. “When concrete structures are repeatedly exposed to salt spray or submerged in saltwater, chloride ions (due to their minute size) penetrate the pores of the concrete, eventually reaching the steel, breaking down this layer and causing corrosion,” says Mr Lloyd. “Corrosion most rapidly occurs in the splash zone where the intermittently wet and dry conditions exacerbate the penetration of chlorides and there is enough oxygen to facilitate the corrosion process.