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Title: Corrosion in reinforced earth
Category: Papers by Dr R A King
Downloadable: Yes 
Catalog No.: 736
Date of Publication: 1978
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Dr R A King
Abstract: Corrosion is an electrochemical process and thus strictly refers to metallic materials only. The process occurs in two distinct steps. Actual dissolution of the material is the anodic step. The metal or metals go into solution as cations (metal ions deficient in electrons and hence carrying a positive charge). The electrons remain in the parent metal and must be `neutralized' to enable the anodic reactions to continue. The consumption of electrons is the cathodic reaction step. Several reactions are possible, but with regard to the reinforced earth environment, only two cathodic reactions need be considered: hydrogen evolution and oxygen reduction. Hydrogen evolution results from the discharge of protons (hydrogen ions) at the cathodic sites on the metal surface. The discharged protons combine to produce hydrogen gas. This reaction can proceed very rapidly at low pH, but is of minor significance at neutral and alkaline pH. Oxygen reduction is the most important cathodic reaction in the soil. Oxygen combines with electrons and water to produce hydroxide ions. The reaction rate is determined by the rate of diffusion of oxygen to the metal surface. In general, most metals corrode at a rate determined by the oxygen access.
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