Why are coatings sometimes provided at the back faces of abutments?

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There are different views on the necessity of the application of protective coatings (may be in the form of two coats of paint) to the back faces of bridge abutment. The main purpose of this coating serves to provide waterproofing effect to the back faces of abutments. By reducing the seepage of water through the concrete, the amount of dirty materials accumulating on the surface of concrete would be significantly decreased.

Engineers tend to consider this as an inexpensive method to provide extra protection to concrete. However, others may consider that such provision is a waste of money and is not worthwhile to spend additional money on this.

Coatings at back faces of an abutment

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.


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