The galvanostatic method has been widely used for accelerating the corrosion of reinforcing bars in concrete to complete test studies within a reasonable timeframe. However, which level of current density induces characteristics of steel corrosion spatial variability and the associated structural performance of corroded reinforced concrete (RC) beams that are similar to those observed under natural conditions remains unknown. In this paper, comprehensive experimental research is conducted to compare the characteristics of spatial growth in steel weight loss and crack width and the structural behavior of corroded RC beams by two corrosion-accelerated methods (i.e. galvanostatic method at six current densities and artificial chloride environment method). The effects of these corrosion acceleration methods on Gumbel’s location and scale distribution parameters and the associated yield load capacity of corroded RC beams are investigated using Monte Carlo-based two-dimensional finite element analysis. Finally, a suitable current density is recommended to better simulate the steel corrosion distribution and the associated yield load capacity of RC beams in comparison to those observed under an artificial chloride environment.
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