The Constructor

Maintenance of Prestressed Concrete Structures from Damages and Deteriorations

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Prestressed concrete structures undergo damages and deterioration. Causes of existing prestressed concrete structure damages and their maintenance is discussed.

Maintenance of Prestressed Concrete Structures from Damages and Deteriorations

Suitably designed and constructed prestressed concrete structure have demonstrated great durability performance in different environmental situations. But there are situations in which prestressed tendons of prestressed concrete structures have extremely suffered damages and deterioration. as shown in Figure-1 in which prestressed strand of prestressed concrete bridge has deteriorated heavily.

Fig.1: Prestressed Strand at Bottom Flange Seriously Corroded and Damaged

The main cause of prestressed tendon erosion and damages may be chloride ingression. After chloride ions go through concrete, it will decrease the concrete passivity and eventually with corrosion process will start with the presence of water and oxygen. Another factor that can deteriorate prestressed concrete structure is the carbonation. It occurs though chemical reaction between water and CO2 in air. The effect of carbonation might be smaller compared to chloride influence, because not only it can be prevented but also its progress is slower and its ingression depth is lower. At the design and construction stage of the structure, necessary measures can be considered to protect prestressed concrete structure from both chloride and carbonation aggression. Such protection techniques include increasing concrete impermeability by increasing concrete cover thickness to protect prestressed tendons and declining structural cracking.

Most frequent prestressed concrete structural elements which are noted to have experienced deterioration are:

Fig.2: Prestressed Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration

Fig.3: Structural Deterioration in Marine Environment

Prestressed Concrete Structures Maintenance Program

Suitable and appropriate maintenance method can be used with extreme care to maintain the strength and extend the life span of the existing prestressed concrete structures that have not been damaged or deteriorated substantially. The maintenance program for prestressed concrete structures is provided in the following sections: Read More: Types of Cracks in Prestressed Concrete Beams with Openings and its Control Prestressed Concrete Bridge Shapes for Aesthetic Construction
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