Sensitivity Study of Dynamics Variability for Mild-carbon Steel Structures Affected by Corrosion

Gianmaria Di Lorenzo1, *, Raffaele Landolfo1
1 Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Claudio 21, Naples, Italy

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© 2019 Di Lorenzo and Landolfo.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Claudio 21, Naples, Italy; Fax: +390812538052; Tel: +390812538059;



Corrosion propagation mainly occurs due to environmental conditions and to the absence of adequate maintenance. The corrosion propagation affects the structural performances of slender and thin structures, in particular in the case of structure very sensitive to the wind action and its dynamical phenomena, because commonly they are designed with a precise optimization of the stiffness/mass ratio. The static and dynamic wind action represent an immediate safety hazard in the case of structural stiffness and mass reduction due to the corrosion depth.


This paper discusses the dynamics behavior variability due to the corrosion depth propagation for two significant examples of slender and thin structure (i.e. tower and truss roof).


The structures assumed as case of study are made of mild carbon. The corrosion depth variability was estimated based on literature references. The structural natural frequencies and modal shapes are assumed as significant magnitudes to discuss the effect of the corrosion on the structural elements.


Results have shown that the corrosion depth gives a significant reduction of frequencies and modification of modal shapes.


Results have shown that the corrosion depth affect the structural behavior long before a structural collapse. It suggests that a monitoring must be done to estimate the structure reliability for the Serviceability limit state under Characteristic design loads.

Keywords: Wrought iron, Corrosion propagation, Metal truss structures, Wind-structure interaction, Natural frequencies, Serviceability.