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Railway stray current induced corrosion in reinforced concrete linings

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Railway electrification represents an important carbon strategy in the UK. It is estimated that an electric train consumes at least 20% less power (per passenger per mile) compared to a diesel-powered train. In the UK, only 39% of the national rail network is electrified and it comprises 600V/750V direct current (DC) and 25kV (50 Hz) alternating current (AC) traction power systems. The UK government is committed to promote railway electrification and thus provide more sustainable and comfortable services for the public.

For a modern electric train traction system, the transmission of power is normally provided by an overhead wire or a conductor rail. The return circuit is usually through the running tracks which are connected to nearby substations. Stray current refers to the current which disperses directly to the ground through the return path. The leakage of stray current to surrounding reinforced concrete structures can lead to steel reinforcement corrosion and the subsequent disintegration of concrete.

The primary objective of this project is to develop a Corrosion Information Modelling (CIM) system which can be used for the prediction of the corrosion state in reinforced concrete segmental linings. The basis of the research is supported by the principle supervisor who has extensive experience in studying the electrochemical performance of steel reinforced concrete subjected to simulated stray direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) interferences using experimental and analytical approaches [1-4].

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: View Website. Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.)


[1] K. Tang, Stray current induced corrosion to steel fibre reinforced concrete, Cement and Concrete Research, 100 (2017) 445-456.

[2] K. Tang, Stray alternating current (AC) induced corrosion of steel fibre reinforced concrete, Corrosion Science, 152 (2019) 153-171.

[3] K. Tang, Corrosion of steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) subjected to simulated stray direct (DC) interference, Materials Today Communications, (2019) 1-14.

[4] K. Tang, S. Wilkinson, Corrosion resistance of electrified railway tunnels made of steel fibre reinforced concrete, Construction and Building Materials, 230 (2020) 1-14.

How good is research at Brunel University London in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 63.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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