Full-Scale Bridge Cable Corrosion Chamber

View of Chamber with Post-tensioned Cable Specimen
View of Chamber with Post-tensioned Cable Specimen
Detail of Cross-Section Showing Cable Grouping
Detail of Cross-Section Showing Cable Grouping

The full-scale bridge cable corrosion chamber was custom-designed and manufactured for Columbia University since no product of this scale is yet available commercially. Even though the system was constructed for the purpose of studying corrosion in bridge cables sections, its design was aimed at flexibility, for both augmentation and expansion of current research as well as applications in future projects. The system’s open-ended computerized control system allows for it to expose samples to a wide spectrum of corrosive environments, including salt water rainfall as well as weak acid rainfall, heat, cold, and dry conditions. The radiant heating, ventilation, and cooling systems allow the system to cycle quickly between environmental conditions. This is the first bridge cable corrosion chamber housing a full-scale panel of a suspension bridge wire rope under axial tension in the world.


  • Overall dimensions: 34 ft long x 8 ft – 2¼  in high (10.3 m x 2.5 m)
  • Chamber dimensions: 20 ft long x 5 ft wide x 5 ft high (6 m x 1.5 m x 1.5 m)
  • Environmental actuation:
    • Recirculating liquid reservoir with rain jets
    • Radiant heat lamps
    • Ventilation/air conditioner
  • Force actuation:
    • Cable Prestress: 1.2 Million Pounds, approx. 175 kip per strand
    • Self-Equilibriating test frame
  • Data acquisition and control
    • Automated relay control system of all environmental actuators
    • Automated data acquisition of all 76 channels of parametric inputs

For further information contact Raimondo Betti at +1.212.854.6388.

500 W. 120th St., MC4709, 161 Engineering Terrace, New York, NY 10027    212-854-3158              
©2016 Columbia University