Preserves

The United States spends more than $8 billion annually to fix problems caused by steel corrosion in the nation’s bridges. Genda Chen, the Robert W. Abbett Distinguished Chair in Civil Engineering, is working on a solution that would prevent corrosion and increase the longevity of other steel-reinforced structures — and he’s using glass to do it.

Steel rebar bonded with an enamel coating could prevent costly corrosion that leads to billions of dollars in U.S. bridge repairs annually. The rough surface detailed at left helps the rebar form a stronger bond with the concrete it supports.

Steel rebar bonded with an enamel coating could prevent costly corrosion that leads to billions of dollars in U.S. bridge repairs annually. The rough surface detailed at left helps the rebar form a stronger bond with the concrete it supports.

“Current steel rebar supports are mainly coated with a green epoxy,” Chen says. “It works great, unless the surface gets scratched. Scratches allow moisture to seep in and become trapped between the epoxy and the steel, which actually speeds up the corrosion.”

In fact, a 2002 Virginia Tech study found that the epoxy coating only extended the corrosion service life in bridge decks five years beyond that of bare steel, Chen says.

In collaboration with Richard Brow, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering, Chen has developed a system to replace the green epoxy coating with a chemically bonded enamel substance — a type of glass. Chen dips the steel into the slurry of ground enamel and then bakes it at a high temperature.

“Because the coating is chemically bonded, even if it’s scratched, moisture can’t seep in” Chen says. Plus, enamel increases the rebar’s bond strength with the concrete.

Chen is testing the first generation of his work on off-shore drilling platforms in China. He hopes to begin testing in the U.S. in the next two years. In the meantime, he’s looking for new ways to bond the enamel coating to make it more uniform and easier to fabricate.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

[Read More...]

Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

[Read More...]

Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

[Read More...]

Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

[Read More...]

Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

[Read More...]