State of the Art Report about Durability of Post-Tensioned Bridge Substructures

J. S. West, C. J. Larosche, B. D. Koester, J. E. Breen, and M. E. Kreger


Durability design requires an understanding of the factors influencing durability and the measures necessary to improve durability of concrete structures. The objectives of this report are to: 1. Survey the condition of bridge substructures in Texas; 2. Provide background material on bridge substructure durability; and 3. Review durability research and field experience for post-tensioned bridges.

A condition survey of existing bridges in Texas was used to identify trends in exposure conditions and common durability problems. The forms of attack on durability for bridge substructures in Texas are reviewed. Basic theory for corrosion of steel in concrete is presented, including the effect of cracking. Corrosion protection measures for post-tensioned concrete are presented. Literature on sulfate attack, freeze-thaw damage, and alkali-aggregate reaction is summarized. Literature on the field performance of prestressed concrete bridges and relevant experimental studies of corrosion in prestressed concrete is included. Crack prediction methods for prestressed concrete members are presented.

This report is part of Project 0-1405, “Durability Design of Post-Tensioned Bridge Substructure Elements.” The information in this report was used to develop the experimental programs described in Research Reports 1405-2 and 1405-3 and in the preparation of durability design guidelines in Report 1405-5.

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