FLEXURAL CAPACITY OF CORRODED POST-TENSIONED CONCRETE BEAMS: LARGE SCALE TESTS AND NUMERICAL SIMULATION
An experimental campaign on corroded post-tensioned concrete beams is being carried out at the University of Messina (Italy). The main goal of the research project is to study the influence of the tendon corrosion on the response behaviour of post-tensioned concrete beams subjected to a transversal load. In 2006, six beams were cast with a tendon placed at the centroid of the cross-section. Corrosion of the tendons was artificially induced in each specimen by injecting a chemical solution or an acid in some parts of the duct. The experimental results have showed how external causes, reproduced by artificial defects, can induce several critical issues, and undermine both the durability and the load bearing capacity of the beams. The load bearing capacity of the beam with defects was reduced until half of the one recorded for the specimen with not corroded tendon.
In addition, a non-linear and time dependent analysis model, developed at UPC in Barcelona, was used to simulate the response of the tested beams, with the purpose of experimentally verifying the capacity of the model to capture the effects of corrosion along the time. A parametric study was performed with the numerical model to capture the influence of the degree of corrosion, (defined as the % loss of steel mass) on the serviceability response and on the ultimate capacity. By comparing the theoretical and the experimental results, the degree of corrosion was estimated and compared with that observed subsequently on the tested beams. Good correlation was obtained, thus allowing the numerical model to be used as a “virtual lab” to study the influence of several parameters on the structural response of corroded post-tensioned beams.