Durability is generally described as the ability of a material to maintain its physical and mechanical properties over time. In reinforced concrete (RC) structures, concrete is the ideal material to protect the steel reinforcement given its high alkalinity. In environments subjected to highly aggressive conditions, mostly due to the presence of chlorides, concrete may lose its protective characteristics and allow for accelerated ageing. Concrete degradation and steel reinforcement corrosion are phenomena closely connected. The aim of this research work is the characterization of the relationship between steel reinforcement corrosion and concrete degradation under accelerated ageing in a 3% sodium chloride solution. The method of linear polarization is used for identification of the corrosion rate of the steel bar. Additionally, the values of concrete residual strength are obtained, and correlated to both the corrosion rate and width of concrete cracks. Finally, the prediction of the concrete cover useful life is estimated.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.