Bonded Tendon Debate

by Morris Schupack, (M.ASCE), Pres.; Schupack Suarez Engineers, Inc., 225 Wilson Avenue, Norfolk, CT 06854-5026,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 8, Pg. 64-66

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Bonded tendons—currently banned in bridge construction in the United Kingdom because of corrosion concerns—are getting a bum rap, says the author. Corrosion protection details of most tendons are encapsulated in concrete—out of sight, out of mind—which may have led to a tendency to ignore the realities of construction and the importance of continuity of corrosion protection and details. In practically all of the many prestressing steel cases he has investigated, corrosion occurred because of ill-conceived details, poor execution or damaged corrosion protection. Properly detailed and constructed tendons show excellent durability behavior. This is shown by an examination of tendons from the recently demolished Bissell Bridge in Connecticut. While some tendons were corroded, others were in excellent condition after 35 years. Corrosion was most severe where the grout contained chlorides, and occurred occasionally to a lesser extent where grouting was improperly performed.

Subject Headings: Bonding | Bridges | Construction | Corrosion | Tendons |

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