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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Time-variant assessment of corroding segmental, post-tensioned concrete bridges

Date: Thursday, Apr 19th
Presenter: Prof. David Trejo, OSU Civil Engineering


The United States has over one-half million bridges in its inventory. Most of these bridges are conventionally reinforced, redundant systems. About 30 years ago, the U.S. began designing and constructing bridges using high-strength, post-tensioned (PT) strands for bridges. PT bridge systems have proven to be very economical for bridges where large spans are needed. However, these bridges are less redundant than conventionally reinforced bridges. In addition, recent investigations have found that tendons containing the strands often contain voids. These voids can fill with water and aggressive ions and can accelerate the corrosion of these strands. Limited research has been performed to assess of corrosion affects the safety and performance of these systems. The presentation will provide an overview of PT bridges, will identify potential challenges with these systems, will provide research results on rate of loss of capacity of PT systems, and will identify potential solutions to mitigate loss of capacity.