All concrete repair materials are not created equal. But when each product you look into uses a different test to justify its effectiveness, it’s difficult to compare. That’s what led the Strategic Development Council to sponsor the development of a corrosion mitigation protocol for repair materials—basically, an agreed-upon testing method. Although still somewhat in its early stages, the new standard protocol was performed by Paul Tourney, Tourney Consulting, Kalamazoo, Mich., on a variety of repair materials to see how well they would resist corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel.

The Vision 2020 team was in charge of developing this protocol. Vision 2020, A Vision for the Concrete Repair and Strengthening Industry, is what SDC calls an Industry Critical Technology. Goal 7 of Vision 2020 is to “develop a means for predicting repair system performance to help ensure the use of proper materials, design details, and installation methods…” This new protocol goes a long ways towards meeting that goal.

The next step is to get all repair material manufacturers to adopt this testing protocol so that repair materials can be compared apples-to-apples. Interestingly, Tourney found that some repair materials actually increased the rate of corrosion. Peter Emmons, Structural Group, noted at the recent SDC meeting that there is about $20 billion spent in the U.S. each year for concrete repair. While we all want to see the concrete industry grow, that’s a market that we should be working to shrink, instead.