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Home > News > ICRI Award > Testing of Post-Tensioning Tendons



Testing of Post-Tensioning Tendons


Figure 1:

Deflected shape of the deck under the load from the wheel of the loaded forklift


The investigation plan included the physical examination of a representative number of post-tensioning anchors, the load testing of the tendons where anchors had been exposed, and structural analysis of the safe service loads which could be expected on the deck.


The exposure of the tendon anchors showed the anchors to be in remarkably good condition. Corrosion is most likely to occur at the tendon anchors in post-tensioned structures because the configuration of the anchors, the mechanics of the button-head assembly, and the manner in which the anchors are encased after being stressed. In this investigation, there was no significant corrosion present at the exposed anchor locations, and no broken wires were observed at the anchors.
Load testing of the anchors revealed that the majority of tendons were maintaining a load equal to or above what could be reasonably expected for a system of this type. Thirteen percent of the wires were estimated to be broken. Two of the tendons tested were completely broken, and could support no load. One of the tendons had four of the seven wires broken. In the judgment of the engineer, the total number of tendons that could not support a reasonable load would be three tendons; or 11% of the tendons tested. During the repair process, however, additional delaminated areas of concrete were removed, indicating that the delaminations were caused by corrosion and/or breakage of the tendons that had originally tested good. Accordingly, confidence in the results of the load test was reduced, and exposure of other "adequate" tendon locations was undertaken to prove or disprove the acceptability of the tendons. The repair plan was altered based upon these findings.


Figure 2: Relationship between curvature and bending showing the maximum curvature the strengthened slab can withstand and the maximum measured curvature.
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