Vector Corrosion Services

VCS News & Corrosion blog

Galvanic Jackets on Florida DOT Columns

Matt Miltenberger Publishes Article in National Association of Corrosion Engineers Material Performance Magazine

Submitted by: VCS Marketing

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Matt Miltenberger, VP of Vector Corrosion Services recently co-autored a paper in the NACE Material Performance journal titled "Galvanic Cathodic Protection of Corroded Reinforced Concrete Structures".  The article discusses using galvanic anodes for cathodic prevention and cathodic protection of reinforced concrete structures.  Cases studies include concrete repair of bridges, bridge abutment corrosion, brdge deck overlays, bridge column corrosion, and concrete pile corrosion in a marine saltwater environement.  The article concludes that "Galvanic CP systems utilizing alkali-activated anodes can be designed to remain active and produce sufficient current to meet NACE CP crieterial for 20 to 40 years..."   

The article is available on the NACE website:


Immediate Opening for Engineer I

Now Hiring: Engineer I

Submitted by: Brian Pailes

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Vector Corrosion Services (VCS) specializes in extending the service life of existing and new structures through nondestructive testing, corrosion engineering, material science, cathodic protection (CP) design and structural health monitoring services. Utilizing the most modern tools and techniques, our engineers and technicians perform on-site evaluations and develop a sound understanding of the cause and extent of deterioration. Once we define the durability challenges facing structures, our experience allows us to implement practical, cost-effective repair and rehabilitation solutions, even in the most severe environments.  VCS engineers have significant experience in corrosion of embedded metals in concrete and masonry, service life estimation, and corrosion mitigation techniques.  VCS technicians and engineers undergo industry safety training and hold various NACE Certifications, including the highest level available in the field of cathodic protection (CP): Cathodic Protection Specialist (CP4).

Our Tampa, Florida Office is currently looking to hire an Engineer with a background in civil infrastructure.  Specific responsibilities will vary corresponding with the individual’s experience, training, and certification.  A VCS Engineer is expected to complete tasks such as: on-site condition assessments/investigations, support in the design of cathodic protection systems including calculations and drawings, cathodic protection quality control testing, non-destructive testing, install and troubleshoot instrumentation, prepare test reports, conduct research activities, and generally support other Engineers and Project Managers as required.  Engineer I will work alongside Engineering Technicians to complete field work.

Click here for the full job description.

You can apply online here.

VCS Concrete Corrosion Seminars

Concrete Corrosion Seminars 2019

Submitted by: VCS

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Come Join Us on the 2019 "We Save Structures" Tour!

Evaluation, Repair, Protection, and Strengthening of Concrete Structures

Join your colleagues at Vector's Free Continuing Education Seminar to learn more about the latest techniques and technologies for preserving concrete structures. 4.0 Professional Development Contact Hours will be awarded as per NCSEA's Diamond Review Program.

Seminar Dates and Locations:

  • February 19 - Minneapolis, MN
  • February 20 - Chicago, IL
  • February 21 - Cedar Rapids, IA
  • February 22 - Kansas City, MO
  • February 25 - Boston, MA
  • February 26 - New York City, NY
  • February 27 - Washington, DC
  • March 12 - Saskatoon, SK
  • March 12 - Tampa, FL
  • March 13 - Edmonton, AB
  • March 14 - Vancouver, BC
  • March 14 - Miami, FL
  • March 15 - Calgary, AB
  • March 19 - Toronto, ON
  • March 20 - Thunder Bay, ON
  • March 21 - Winnipeg, MB

Click Here to Register

Brian Pailes, Ph.D., Principal Engineer

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of Concrete

Submitted by: Darren Marrese

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Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a very valuable tool that helps us look inside a structural member investigating the entire component (vs. one location) and accomplishes this without causing damage to the member.

Dr. Brian Pailes, a senior project manager with Vector Corrosion Services, will be presenting Thursday, November 15 at 2pm. Brian has extensive experience in the field of non-destructive evaluation performed on a wide variety of different structures.

You can join the WebEx presentation Thursday, November 15 at 2pm CST by clicking the link below.

Topic: Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of Concrete
Host: Transportation Learning Network UGPTI
Date and Time: Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:00 pm, Central Standard Time (Chicago, GMT-06:00)
Event number: 666 945 148

VCS at ICRI 2018

VCS at ICRI 2018

Submitted by: Darren Marrese

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Brian Pailes and Matt Miltenberger are attending the annual ICRI conference this week in Omaha, Nebraska. Brian gave an amazing presentation this morning on the benefits of Electrochemical Chloride Extraction and Re-Alkalization and how these treatments significantly extend the service life of reinforced concrete structures. Matt gave an equally fantastic presentation illustrating the benefits of concrete rehabilitation to a salt processing dome. Stop by the Vector booth at the Omaha Marriott Downtown today through Friday, November 9 to speak with Vector's concrete professionals.

Click here to enlarge the image above.

National Bridge Preservation Partnership

VCS Video Presentation: Evaluation Methods for Preservation of Bridge Decks

Submitted by: Chris Ball

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An important step in the preservation process is to gain an understanding of the current condition of a bridge structure.   Many times, this requires a detailed inspection to determine the cause, extent and magnitude of concrete deterioration. Concrete and corrosion assessments are useful to determine what is necessary to repair the structure and if additional means are necessary to meet its forecasted service life requirements.

This presentation includes case studies to demonstrate how various methods and tools can be used to collect data to evaluate the condition of bridges. In particular, the presentation focuses on how destructive testing, such as the removal of cores for physical and chemical testing, can be augmented with nondestructive testing methods, such as ground penetrating radar, corrosion potentials, concrete resistivity and sonic/ultrasonic pulse velocity and impact echo testing. These methods detect anomalies, quantify damage, and provide an overview of the current condition of concrete bridge decks including both conventionally reinforced and epoxy coated steel.

To watch the video presentation click here:

Dr. Brian Pailes, Ph.D, P.E., NACE CP3

Dr. Brian Pailes Presents "Electrochemical Treatments to Historical Structures" at ICRI MN Chapter Spring Technical Session

Submitted by: VCS Marketing

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Historical structures present many unique preservation challenges, especially with regards to reinforced concrete corrosion. Continual structural wear and tear eventually exposes the embedded steel to chlorides or carbonation and the passive layer in the surrounding alkaline concrete environment begins to break down. Thus the onset of corrosion and deterioration sets in.

When it comes to historical structures, simply tearing down a deteriorated element and replacing it with modern materials is not an acceptable option. However, there are effective solutions that can restore, strengthen and preserve the architectural integrity and aesthetic aspects for new generations to appreciate.

Electrochemical treatments such as chloride extraction and realkalization, lowers the corrosive chloride content and/or increases the pH level located in the surrounding concrete. The treatment repassivates the steel reinforcement and improves the durability of the reformed passive layer. This in turn resets the effects of time, stops corrosion and extends the service life of a historical structure. 


You can learn more about these electrochemical processes on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 by registering to attend the “Electrochemical Treatments to Historical Structures” seminar at the International Concrete Repair Institute. The keynote speaker at the ICR MN Chapter Spring Technical Session in St. Louis Park, Minnesota is Dr. Brian Pailes (Ph.D, P.E., NACE CP3) of Vector Corrosion Services. Dr. Pailes has extensive experience in the field of nondestructive evaluation performed on a wide variety of different structures. His 90-minute presentation will demonstrate the successes of various electrochemical treatments through recent project examples.

Register Now! Click Here. 

Dr. Pailes received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, M.S. at the University of Virginia, and B.S. at Northeastern University. He is a registered professional engineer and serves on a number of corrosion and non-destructive testing committees for TRB and ASNT. Currently Dr. Pailes is the Senior Project Manager for Vector Corrosion Services in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Pailes has worked on bridges throughout the United States and was a part of the Long-Term Bridge Performance Program funded by FHWA. His area of expertise includes cathodic protection, non-destructive testing, concrete deterioration, reinforced concrete corrosion, and concrete materials.

VCS at the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier

Non-destructive Testing & Material Sampling Services in Florida

Submitted by: J. Chris Ball

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Extensive concrete and corrosion evaluations are common on major infrastructure like bridges, piers, wharfs, natural draft and mechanical draft cooling towers, and parking structures.

But there are many instances when owners and engineers have simple questions which can be answered by employing testing on a limited scale and budget.  For example, coastal buildings like condominiums have balconies that can experience deterioration due to saltwater exposure. Some of these costal buildings may even have cathodic protection systems which need regular maintenance or troubleshooting.

New concrete construction projects such as bridge construction and building construction can have defects which need concrete troubleshooting such as misplaced reinforcing or low strength concrete which can be detected with non-destructive testing.

Owners can greatly benefit from the evaluation services provided by Vector Corrosion Services. VCS uses non-destructive testing (NDT), concrete sampling, and laboratory testing to determine the cause and magnitude of concrete and corrosion problems.

The following is a partial list of testing services available. For more information contact

 Concrete strength

- Removal of cores for compressive strength testing

- Ultrasonic pulse velocity for non-destructive strength determination

- Tensile strength of concrete estimated by pull off testing per ICRI Technical Guideline No. 210.3 and ASTM standards

Bond of coatings, concrete repairs, and concrete overlays

- Tensile pull off testing per ICRI Technical Guideline No. 210.3 and ASTM C1583

 Locate concrete rebar or post-tension tendons prior to drilling or coring

- Ground penetrating radar (GPR)

 Post-tensioning evaluation

- Visual inspection

- Impact echo testing to identify voids and grout defects

- Video borescope testing

- Post-tech moisture testing of unbonded tendons in building and parking structures

 Chloride penetration

- Core or concrete powder sampling and laboratory testing to determine chloride profile in concrete per ASTM C1152 or ASTM C1218

- Can be used for Service Life Modeling as per ACI Life 365 and other methods

 Locating reinforcing steel and post-tensioning in concrete structures

- Pachometers with pulse induction and microprocessor technology, Profoscope concrete cover meter and rebar locators and ground penetrating radar can be used to locate reinforcing steel and locate post-tension tendons prior to concrete coring and to determine how close reinforcing steel is to the surface of concrete

 Concrete thickness

- Impact echo testing

- This information in conjunction with pulse velocity estimation of compressive strength and reinforcing steel location using GPR can be used to determine load ratings on structures without drawings

 Concrete deterioration

- Visual inspection

- Hammer sounding, chain dragging and rotary percussion using Delam Tool are used to identify concrete delaminations per ASTM D4580

- Impact echo / pulse velocity testing to locate concrete delaminations, cracking and other deteriorated concrete for repair per ASTM C1740 and ASTM C1383

 Steel deterioration

- Ultrasonic thickness measurements of steel plates

- Anchor bolt testing for wear and corrosion

 Concrete Rebar Corrosion

- Half cell corrosion potential testing of concrete per ASTM C876

- Corrosion rate testing using GalvaPulse galvanostatic pulse measurements

- Carbonation depth on concrete core samples

 Pile lengths

- Determine the length of in situ timber piles, sheet piles, and concrete piles using sonic or magnetic methods

 Confirmation of Crack Depths

- Ultrasonic testing before and after epoxy injection crack repairs for quality assurance

 Location of voids / void detection

- Using impact echo or MIRA ultrasonic tomography to identify honeycombed or poorly consolidated concrete

- GPR to detect voids under concrete slabs and behind walls and tunnel liners

- Impact echo to identify voids in grouted post-tensioned tendons

The corrosion engineers and NDT Technicians at VCS can cost-effectively reach project sites in Sarasota, Saint Petersburg, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami from the Tampa office.

Click on the link below to find out where Vector Corroison Services is located in the Tampa Bay area:




Distributed Galvanic Anode on Bridge

Embedded Galvanic Anodes for Concrete

Submitted by: Chris Ball

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Currently, there are two general types of embedded galvanic anodes generally categorized as discrete anodes and distributed anodes.

Discrete embedded galvanic anodes are covered in ACIs Repair Application Procedure Bulletin 8 (RAP-8).  The RAP-8 bulletin classifies discrete embedded anodes as Type 1 Anodes - used to mitigate halo effect in standard concrete repairs, and Type 2 Anodes – typically used to provide targeted corrosion control to hot spots as identified by a corrosion potential survey.   RAP-8 further classified embedded anodes as Type A – alkali-activated and Type H – halide activated.

Distributed galvanic anodes are long units generally 3’- 8’ in length that are available in a weights ranging from ¼ to 2 lb. zinc per foot of anodes.  These systems can be designed to provide cathodic protection in many applications such as column jackets, abutment repair and deck overlays.

Having a thorough understanding of the benefits of uses of galvanic protection for concrete, VCS's NACE Certified Cathodic Protection Specialists are available to assist structural engineers and owners with all of their cathodic protection design, cathodic protection inspection, and system monitoring needs.

Caesar's Bay Cathodic Protection

VCS Receives ICRI Award

Submitted by: VCS Marketing

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Last night - November 10 - at the at the 2016 International Concrete Repair Institute Award program in Cleveland, Vector Corrosion Services (VCS) was the receipient of the Award of Merit for the Cathodic Protection of Caesar's Bay Shopping Center

Caesar’s Bay Plaza is a retail complex along Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn, NY.  The elevated building floor sections are subject to both airborne chloride as well as splashing when waves crash into the bulkhead.

Despite previous repairs, the structure continued to degrade over time.  With the retail complex on top of the structure, replacement is not a practical option.

VCS was tasked to design, provide on-site quality control, and energize an impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system to protect the decaying concrete beams.  The cathodic protection system selected consisted of discrete anodes and associated wiring and power supplies.

 ICCP Concrete Beam.jpg

Despite winter conditions, difficult access, and various trades working in the same location, the cathodic protection system was successfully installed over a 10 month year period.  The system was energized in the fall of 2015 and is performing according to the design and meets NACE cathodic protection criteria. 

For more information, Click Here for a PDF of the announcement in the December 2016 issue of ICRI's Concrete Repair Bulletin.

Key Words:  Marine Structure, Coastal Structure, Concrete Corrosion, Concrete Repair, Concrete Wharf, Concrete Durability, Cathodic Protection

Galvanic Jacketing of Bridge Columns

Cathodic Protection Jackets for Concrete and Steel Piles

Submitted by: Chris Ball

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Concrete piles in a marine environment are subject to chloride-induced corrosion from exposure to the seawater and airborne chlorides.  A commonly employed option to repair and extend the life of corroding concrete piles is the use of cathodic protection jackets.  

CP Jackets are available using impressed current cathodic protection from an external power supply, galvanic protection with bare zinc anodes, and galvanic protection using self-activated anodes. As detailed in this recent Aspire Magazine article, each jacket type has its advantages.  For example, impressed current jackets may be used when large groups of piles are protected and the owner is committed to long term system monitoring.  On the other hand, self-activated anodes do not require any direct saltwater exposure whatsoever as they function well in atmospheric (dry) zones and brackish or freshwater exposure conditions.  

VCS provides cathodic protection design, quality control oversight and commisioning services for cathodic protection pile jackets through its NACE certified Cathodic Protection Specialists (CP4) and NACE certified Cathodic Protection Technicians (CP2).  For more information contact VCS at  

GPR Signal for Void Under Concrete Slab

Detecting Under Slab Voids using Ground Penetrating Radar

Submitted by: Dr. Brian

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Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an electromagnetic nondestructive test (NDT) method used to evaluate various dielectric materials.  Most commonly, GPR is used to investigate concrete and soils.

GPR has many applications, such as determining the location and depth of concrete cover over reinforcing steel in concrete, however, one of its most effective applications for detecting voids underneath a concrete slab-on-grade.  Voids under concrete slabs can be caused by many factors including subsidence, improper subgrade compaction, and washout due to water drainage.

When concrete is in contact with soil the boundary between the concrete and soil is not easily identifiable.  When an air or water void is between the concrete and soil, the boundary of the slab can be identified using GPR.  Thus, GPR scans of a concrete slab-on-grade can be conducted to identify locations of voiding. 

A limitation of GPR is that it cannot identify the thickness of the observed void.  Therefore, drilling a small hole through the slab for video borescope inspection will provide more information regarding the void condition and thickness.  This information can be used to determine the proper repair technicque such as under slab cement grouting or slab jacking if the slab needs to be raised and to estimate the quantity of repairs.

For more information on non-destructive testing for concrete structures, please contact Vector Corrosion Services at

Service Life Modeling on Sheet Piles

Service Life Modeling

Submitted by: VCS Marketing

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What is Service Life Modeling? 

Service life modeling and life cycle cost analysis are the analytical basis for assessing preferred options for new construction and rehabilitation projects.  Service life modeling is using mathematical analyses to predict the durability and longevity of new and existing structures.  Service life modeling allows you to estimate the time to initiate corrosion, develop optimized repair strategies for reinforced concrete, and perform life cycle cost analysis.  Data collected during an on-site concrete and corrosion evaluation is coupled with service life modeling to analyze existing structures.  

What Factors affect the Service Life of Concrete Structures?

There are many factors that concrete service life models take into account such as concrete mix design, concrete properties, chloride and carbonation diffusion rates, depth of clear cover, structure location, reinforcing type and environmental exposure conditions.

When is Service Life Modeling typically utilized?

Service life modeling is used to make cost effective decisions regarding the durability of new structures and to develop maintenance and repair programs to extend the life of existing structures.  Service life modeling can be used to answer questions such as “How do I achieve a 100 year service life of bridges subject to deicing chemicals?” or “What are the most cost effective methods for concrete repair and protection of a marine structure?” 

As cathodic protection is typically considered a cost-effective option for to extend the life of concrete and steel structures, there is a benefit in engaging an engineer with significant experience in both service life modeling and cathodic protection.   For more information on service life modeling and life cycle cost analysis, contact Matt Miltenberger at Vector Corrosion Services.

GCP of Sheet Pile with Aluminum Anode

Steel Sheet Piling Corrosion Solutions

Submitted by: Matt Miltenberger

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Steel sheet piles are at risk of corrosion when installed in corrosive soils or an aggressive marine environment.  The service life of new and existing sheet pile can be modeled based on steel thickness measurements and estimated corrosion rates.  Potential strategies to extend the life of sheet piling are increased sacrificial steel thickness, organic barrier coatings, impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) and galvanic cathodic protection (GCP).  Vector Corrosion Services provides corrosion consulting services to aid engineers in the selection and design of cost effective corrosion control approach for steel sheet piles and other structures subject to corrosion damage.  For more information, contact VCS at

NDT Data Presentation Methods

Dr. Pailes' Research on Nondestructive Testing Published by TRB

Submitted by: Admin

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Dr. Brian Pailes research paper Multimodal Nondestructive Testing Damage Quantification, Presentation and Condition Rating of Bridge Decks was recentlypublished in the Transportation Research Board's Transportation Research Record.

In his research, various NDT methods such as half cell corrosion potentials, electrical resistivity, ground pentrating radar, and impact echo were employed on 5 bridges in the US.  The multimodal NDT evaluation allows for an evaluation of the interior condition of the deck and provides a more in-depth snap shot of the bridge deck condition as compared with a visual inspection.

The field results showed that there was more damaged detected with NDT than with standard inspections.  Based on the research, it is proposed that including NDT data in bridge deck ratings will provide more useable information than a standard NBIS rating.

Multimodal NDT is an effective tool for bridge engineers to develop damage quantities, develop repair and corrosion mitigation strategies, and to improve budgeting.  For more information on nondestructive evaluation of structures, contact VCS at

Reference:  Transportation Research Record:  Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2481, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2015, pp. 26-31.  DOI:  10.3141/2481-04.

US Transportation

60 Minutes Documents the State of US Infrastructure

Submitted by: Chris Ball

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This video illustrates a growing problem that VCS is committed to solving. Steve Kroft reports on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail infrastructure are deteriorating and need to be fixed. 

Falling Apart: America's Neglected Infrastructure

Click this link to view the video!

Dr. Brian Pailes

Dr. Brian Pailes Presents at ASNT

Submitted by: Chris Ball

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Dr Brian Pailes presented a paper titled "Evaluation of NDE Survey Effectiveness Based on Sampling Frequency."  The paper, based on his research at Rutgers University, reviewed how sampling frequency affected non-destructive survey results from 12 concrete bridge decks.