Survey of Costs, Economic Analysis, and Design Guidelines for Corrosion Protection Methods for Post-Tensioned Concrete Bridges

Grau, Kimberly


At the design stage, engineers and owners have the most influence on the future durability of post-tensioned concrete bridges. Yet design guidelines are not clear on what corrosion protection methods are appropriate for a given exposure environment. Current specifications do not ignore corrosion protection. However, many simply instruct the designer to protect the anchorage and prestressing steel from corrosion, leaving the selection of the appropriate method to the engineer’s experience. As well, many decision-makers do not have a good understanding of how post-tensioning works, how it can be protected from corrosion, or how much it will cost to increase the durability of the posttensioning system.

This thesis includes a description of post-tensioning systems and corrosion protection methods as a reference for those not intimately familiar with the mechanisms and protection approaches. It gives the results of an industry cost survey that shows the expected cost increases, as a percentage of total initial construction cost, from including corrosion protection in the design. As well, life cycle analyses for several methods show their potential to save the owner money over the bridge’s expected life.

Additionally, this thesis examines several current or proposed design specifications for their corrosion protection guidance. A new combination of these guidelines is proposed to give a more logical and designer-friendly option.

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