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Structural Concrete, Vol. 7, no. 1, March 2006

Failure analysis of a thin-webbed girder of post-tensioned concrete

L. Bing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, People's Republic of China
L. Guanglu, Tongji University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Z. Long, Tianjin Steel Wire and Steel Cable Group Co., Ltd, People's Republic of China

The failure of a thin-webbed girder of post-tensioned concrete was investigated. In a foggy environment containing hydrochloric acid, the girder ruptured in the midspan as a result of steel strand corrosion. The causes and mechanisms of the strand fracture were identified by careful observations of the fracture surface of the strands and corrosion on the surface of the strands. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of the fracture morphology of the strands, after mechanical fracture, showed that hydrogen in the environment had an effect on the strands. The investigation revealed that failure of the girder occurred because, while being attacked by the corrosive media, stress accelerated surface corrosion of the strands such that the cross-sections of the wires in the strands were severely weakened, consequently leading to the fracture of the strands. 

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