A review on stray current-induced steel corrosion in infrastructure

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Metallic corrosion can cause substantial damage at various levels and in almost all types of infrastructure. For metallic corrosion to occur, a certain external environment and the presence of corrodents are the prerequisites. Stray current-induced corrosion, however, is a rather underestimated issue in the field of corrosion and civil engineering. Stray current arising from power sources and then circulating in metal structures may initiate corrosion or even accelerate existing corrosion processes. The most frequent sources of stray current are light rail transits and subways, which are also main traffic tools with continuously accelerating urbanization all over the world. Stray currents from these systems may easily flow into nearby metallic structures, making stray current-induced corrosion the most severe form of damage of buried structures, such as tunnels, pipelines, and various underground reinforced concrete structures. The objective of this paper is to critically review stray current-induced steel corrosion in infrastructure with regard to sources of stray current and the characteristics and mechanism of stray current corrosion in view of electrochemical aspects. The methods and techniques for the evaluation, monitoring, and control of stray current-induced corrosion for steel and reinforced concrete structures are also presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-423
Number of pages27
JournalCorrosion Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2017


  • electrochemical aspects
  • steel in infrastructure
  • stray current corrosion

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