Calibration of numerical model of the three-stage corrosion process of galvanized steel reinforcements in Mechanically Stabilized Earth

Bridge abutments are commonly built with a construction technology called Mechanically Stabilized Earth that provides structural soundness. The core element is a composite material that alternates layers of backfill soil with layers of galvanized steel reinforcements. Although the structural design has been well developed since its introduction in the construction practices, the degradation of the reinforcements due to corrosion has not been considered in detail and it is a major failure mechanism. A numerical model of the three-stage corrosion process of galvanized steel in Mechanically Stabilized Earth has been developed. The model considers variations in properties of the soil such as temperature, oxygen availability and salts content. However, field data from several bridges in British Columbia is about to be collected with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The information gathered will be used to calibrate the model to its most realistic prediction capability so it gives reliable estimations that can be used for risk assessment of the structures.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Akram Alfantazi


Claudia Aide Soriano Vazquez


Atlantic Industries Limited


Engineering - other


Construction and infrastructure


University of British Columbia



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