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MATERIALS ENGINEERING AND TESTING SERVICES

OFFICE OF TESTING AND TECHNOLOGY SERVICES


CORROSION TECHNOLOGY BRANCH

5900 Folsom Boulevard


Sacramento, California 95819

Corrosion Evaluation and Tensile Results of


Selected Post-Tensioning Strands at the
SFOBB Skyway Seismic Replacement Project
Phase I11 Report

Robert A. Reis, P.E. - Corrosion Specialist


Senior Materials and Research Engineer
Corrosion Technology Branch

September 5,2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 5
BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................... 6
General ............................................................................................................................. 6
Scope of Work .................................................................................................................. 6
CORROSION INVESTIGATION ...................................................................................... 7
Borescope Evaluations .................................................................................................... 7
Water Samples Collected from Tendon Ducts .............................................................. 9
Strand Samples Removed for In-Depth Inspection and Testing ................................ 9
Laboratory Evaluation of Strands ................................................................................. 9
Additional Testing to Determine Corrosion Mechanisms ......................................... 11
(1) Energy Dispersive x-Ray Microprobe spectra (EDX) .................................... 11
(2) Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC) ..................................................... 11
(3) Hydrogen Absorption Testing ........................................................................... 12
(4) Electrical Potential Measurements ................................................................... 12
Exposure Comparison Analyses ................................................................................... 13
Pit Depth Measurements ............................................................................................... 13
FHWA Field Review and Supplementary Laboratory Evaluation .......................... 13
Independent Evaluation of Test Protocol and Investigation Techniques ................ 13
RESULTS AND INVESTIGATION ................................................................................. 13
Borescope Evaluations .................................................................................................. 13
Laboratory Evaluation of Strands ............................................................................... 32
Tensile Test Results ....................................................................................................... 35
Corrosion Analyses Results of Water Extracted from Ducts .................................... 73
Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) Microprobe Spectra .............................................. 74
Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC) ................................................................ 79

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Hydrogen Absorption ......................................................................................................... 83
Electrical Potential Measurements .................................................................................... 84
Exposure Comparison Analysis ................................................................................... 84
Pit Depth Measurements ............................................................................................... 89
CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................. 91
RECOMMENDATIONS .................................................................................................... 93
REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 95
APPENDIX A (FHWA Trip Report) ................................................................................ 97
APPENDIX B (Sagues Materials Consulting, Inc. Trip Report) ................................. 117

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LIST OF TABLES
Page
1: Cantilever E14W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tubes ................................. 22
2: Cantilever E13W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tubes.................................. 23
3: Cantilever E12W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tube locations ................... 24
4: Cantilever E11W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tube locations ................... 25
5: Cantilever E10W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tube locations ................... 26
6: Cantilever E9W (partial) moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tube locations ....... 27
7: Cantilever E9W (partial) showing remaining tendons and vent tube locations .......................... 28
8: Cantilever E8W moderate corrosion appearance and blocked vent tube locations ..................... 29
9: Cantilever E6W no tendons had corrosion and blocked vent tube locations .............................. 30
10: Cantilever E5W no tendons had corrosion and blocked vent tube locations ............................... 30
11: Cantilever E3W no tendons had corrosion and blocked vent tube locations ............................... 31
12: Cantilever E3W no tendons had corrosion and blocked vent tube locations ............................... 31
13: PCI visual standard showing various degrees or rust before and after cleaning .......................... 31
14: Corrosion categories assigned to extracted strands using Sason - PCI Journal picture sets ........ 32
15: Corrosion test results of extracted water samples ........................................................................ 73
16: Absorbed Hydrogen Test Results ................................................................................................ 84
17: Rain accumulation data (Encinal & Fernside Weather Station, Alameda, CA) .......................... 89
18: Pit depth measurements ............................................................................................................... 90

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LIST OF FIGURES
Page
1: View of eastbound structure under construction ........................................................................ 5
2: Cross-section of structure showing tendon locations ................................................................. 5
3: View of deck surface showing grout tubes ............................................................................... 14
4: Cross-section drawing of tendon showing strands affected by corrosion ................................ 15
5: Drawing of tendon showing corrosion affected zone around breached grout vent tube .......... 16
6: Mitigation measures to recess grout vent tubes below the deck surface .................................. 16
7: Final step to complete recessing of grout vent tubes below the concrete deck ........................ 17
8: Observations by corrosion category for borescoped locations for Skyway structure .............. 18
9: Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing no corrosion .......................................... 19
10: Another borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing no corrosion ............................ 19
11: Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing minor corrosion appearance ................. 20
12: Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing a moderate/minor corrosion ................. 20
13: Borescope view of strands has moderate corrosion with heavy coatings ................................. 21
14: Picture set 1/1A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 33
15: Picture set 2/2A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 33
16: Picture set 3/3A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 33
17: Picture set 4/4A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 34
18: Picture set 5/5A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 34
19: Picture set 6/6A PCI Journal ..................................................................................................... 34
20: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W ............................... 36
21: Elongation test results for Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W, Location 2 ................................ 36
22: Borescope view of Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W ............................................................... 37
23: View of strand from Tendon C13N prior to cleaning ............................................................... 38
24: View of strand from figure 23 after testing and cleaning ......................................................... 38
25: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D6S, Cantilever E14W .................................. 39
26: Elongation test results for Tendon D6S, Cantilever E14W ...................................................... 39
27: Borescope view of strands in Tendon D6S, Cantilever E14W ................................................. 40
28: View of Tendon (D6S) when removed and placed on deck, moderate- minor corrosion ........ 40
29: Strand samples C and D of Tendon D6S after cleaning and testing ......................................... 41

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LIST OF FIGURES
Page
30: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D9S, Cantilever E14W .................................. 42
31: Elongation test results for Tendon D9S, Cantilever E14W ...................................................... 42
32: Borescope view of strands in Tendon D9S, Cantilever E14W ................................................. 43
33: Tendon (D9S), condition from moderate corrosion to minor corrosion appearance ................ 43
34: Strand samples A and C, Tendon D9S, Cantilever E14W after cleaning ................................. 44
35: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W ............................... 45
36: Elongation test results for Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W ................................................... 45
37: Borescope view of strands in Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W .............................................. 46
38: View of Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W (day lighted in deck) ............................................. 46
39: Strand 3, sample B, Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W ............................................................. 47
40: Strand 3, sample B, Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W, after cleaning and testing ................... 47
41: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C26N, Cantilever E13W ............................... 48
42: Elongation test results for Tendon C26N, Cantilever E13W ................................................... 48
43: Borescope view of strands in Tendon C26N, Cantilever E13W .............................................. 49
44: View of strands from Tendon C26N when removed from the duct ......................................... 49
45: Close-up of strand from Tendon C26N, Cantilever E13W ...................................................... 50
46: View of strand (Figure 36) after cleaning and testing .............................................................. 50
47: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D3N, Cantilever E13W ................................. 51
48: Elongation test results for Tendon D3N, Cantilever E12W ..................................................... 51
49: Borescope view of strands in Tendon D3N, Cantilever E12W ................................................ 52
50: View of same Tendon (D3N) when removed and placed on the deck ..................................... 52
51: View of same Tendon (D3N) and location (Vent 4E) .............................................................. 53
52: Cleaned strand (Sample B and C) Tendon D3N ....................................................................... 53
53: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D13N, Cantilever E12W ............................... 54
54: Elongation test results for Tendon D13N, Cantilever E12W ................................................... 54
55: Borescope view of strands in Tendon D13N, Cantilever E12W .............................................. 55
56: View of same Tendon (D13N) when removed and placed on the deck ................................... 55
57: View of same strand removed from Tendon (D13N) prior to cleaning ................................... 56
58: Cleaned strand (Sample B and D) Tendon D13N .................................................................... 56

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LIST OF FIGURES
Page
59: Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C12S (Side Strand), Cantilever E11W .......... 57
60: Elongation test results for Tendon C12S (Side Strand), Cantilever E11W .............................. 57
61: Borescope view of strands in Tendon C12S, Cantilever E11W ............................................... 58
62: View of Tendon C12S, Cantilever E11W (day lighted in deck) .............................................. 58
63: Close-up of strand from Tendon C12S, Cantilever E11W ....................................................... 59
64: Strand sample shown in Figure 63 after testing and cleaning .................................................. 59
65: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 1), Cantilever E14W . 60
66: Elongation test results for Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 1), Cantilever E14W ................ 60
67: Borescope view of strands in Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W .............................................. 61
68: View of Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W (day lighted in deck) ............................................. 61
69: Close-up of strand from Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W ...................................................... 62
70: Strand sample shown in Figure 69 after testing and cleaning .................................................. 62
71: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 2), Cantilever E14W . 63
72: Elongation test results for Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 2), Cantilever E14W ................ 63
73: Close-up of strand samples A and C from Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W .......................... 64
74: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 4), Cantilever E14W . 65
75: Elongation test results for Tendon C13N (Location 1 Strand 4), Cantilever E14W ................ 65
76: Close-up of strand from Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W ...................................................... 66
77: Strand sample shown in Figure 76 after testing and cleaning .................................................. 66
78: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C25N (Strand 1), Cantilever E13W ................... 67
79: Elongation test results for Tendon C25N (Strand 1), Cantilever E13W .................................. 67
80: Close-up of strand samples A and C from Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W .......................... 68
81: Cleaned strand (Sample A, Strand 1) of Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W ............................. 68
82: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C25N (Strand 2), Cantilever E13W ................... 69
83: Elongation test results for Tendon C25N (Strand 2), Cantilever E13W .................................. 69
84: Close-up of strand samples B and D from Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W .......................... 70
85: Cleaned strand (Sample D, Strand 2) of Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W ............................. 70
86: Breaking strength and EUL results, Tendon C12S (Top Strand), Cantilever E11W ............... 71
87: Elongation test results for Tendon C12S (Top Strand), Cantilever E11W ............................... 71

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LIST OF FIGURES
Page
88: Close-up of strand from Tendon C12S (Top Strand), Cantilever E11W ................................. 72
89: Strand sample shown in Figure 88 after testing and cleaning .................................................. 72
90: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................ 74
91: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................ 75
92: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 75
93: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 76
94: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 76
95: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 77
96: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 77
97: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 78
98: EDX Trace ................................................................................................................................. 78
99: Strand Sample 1, Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W – Magnetic Particle Inspection ............... 80
100: Strand 1, Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W – Magnetic Particle Inspection ............................ 80
101: Close-up of wire shown in Figure 99 ....................................................................................... 81
102: Micrograph of sample shown in Figure 99 showing no crack in base metal ........................... 81
103: Strand 4, Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W showing corrosion pit .......................................... 82
104: Close-up of wire shown in Figure 103 ..................................................................................... 82
105: Micrograph of sample shown in Figure 103 showing a microcrack in the base metal ............ 83
106: Tendon C4S, Cantilever E6E (Eastbound structure) ................................................................ 86
107: Cleaned strand, Tendon C4S, Cantilever E6E .......................................................................... 87

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AKNOWLEDGMENTS

The technical work presented here was conducted in a team effort with members of Design,
Construction, Maintenance, and METS. In addition, third party technical review specialists
provided invaluable input to this investigation. Contributing members included: Bill Casey,
David Wu, Keith Hoffman, Allan Chow, Hasan El-Natur, Lisa Chang, Todd Smith, Maile
Dunn, Serge Bisson, Bruce Bergh, Stan Trew, Frank Chavez, Glen Weldon, Rosme Aguilar,
Venkatesh Iyer, Doug Parks, Rick Sullivan, Rudy Lopez, and Charlie Sparkman. Of course,
without the guidance and sense of balance provided by Brian Maroney, none of this work
would have been possible.

Much appreciation is also given to technical experts and advisors from the Federal Highway
Administration (including Dr. Paul Virmani, Dr. S.K. Lee, and Nancy Bobb), Larry McKnight
of McKnight Laboratories, and Dr. Alberto Sagues - Distinguished Professor, University of
South Florida for there assistance in reviewing this work. In addition, appreciation is extended
to the seismic safety review committee panel members for their wisdom in reviewing the
findings of this investigation as they unfolded.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report documents the Phase III corrosion investigation, conducted between June 2006 and
February 2007, of post-tensioning strands installed on the eastbound and westbound structures
of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) skyway structures.

A preliminary report regarding initial corrosion observations and testing of strands in the
eastbound structure (Phase I report) was issued in September 2006. Information presented in
the September 2006 report included results of borescope observations of strands at eighteen
tendon locations, corrosion assessments and tensile test results for a limited number of strand
samples and individual wire samples from four tendons.

A Phase II report, dated August 17, 2007 documents the laboratory evaluation of a rejected
tendon that inadvertently failed during stressing at a hard-point (kink) in the duct of the
eastbound structure.

Subsequent to the initial September 2006 report, a comprehensive evaluation, documented in


this report, was conducted on the corrosion condition of the strands on the westbound structure
that were left un-grouted and exposed to moisture. This evaluation included borescope
inspections of strands at 4,328 grout vent tubes, day lighting (chipping through the concrete
deck and cutting through tendon ducts) to expose the corrosion condition of existing stands,
and the removal of strand samples from an additional nine tendon locations. Strand samples
were obtained by either cutting individual strands from selected tendons or by removing entire
strand groups (i.e., the entire tendon) of selected tendons.

The objectives of the investigation on the westbound structure were to (1) assess the corrosion
condition of post-tensioning strand in ducts that were not yet grouted, (2) determine whether
the strands were in compliance with ASTM Designation: A416, Standard Specification for
Steel Strand, Uncoated Seven-Wire for Prestressed Concrete, the material specification
referenced in the contract special provisions of the project, and (3) determine the probable
causes of the corrosion that had taken place within the tendon ducts.

Findings

The results of this investigation indicated that, with the exception of a limited number of
tendons, the majority of strands sampled met or exceeded the material standards specified in
the project special provisions (ASTM Designation: A416, Standard Specification for Steel
Strand, Uncoated Seven-Wire for Prestressed Concrete).

The corrosion condition of the strands ranged from being classified as having “no corrosion”
(where the strands were essentially grey in appearance with virtually no signs of oxidation) to
“moderate corrosion” (where the corrosion was more uniformly distributed on the strands as

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evident by a higher degree of discoloration over the strand surface with the presence of some
isolated areas of darker corrosion products consistent with pit initiation sites).

For the westbound structure, visual observations performed using a borescope indicated that
strand at only 33 out of 4,328 grout vent tube locations, exhibited a moderate level of corrosion
(corrosion significant enough to result in pits detectable by unaided eye observation).

In terms of actual tendons examined, only 25 out of 1,635 tendons examined had strands that
were characterized as having moderate corrosion. Moderate corrosion was found in less than
2% of the tendons examined during this investigation.

The level of observed corrosion on the strands was influenced by the availability of aerated
water that entered the ducts before the tendons were grouted.

In addition, with the exception of a limited number of tendons, the majority of tendons
inspected on the SFOBB skyway structures had little or no corrosion. Corrosion was typically
found in isolated areas (within 3 to 9 feet from a grout vent tube or within 10 to 12 feet at the
low elevation point at the anchorage end of the tendon).

Corrosion typically only affected the top three to four strands closest to the inlet of the grout
vent tube in the strand bundle of multiple strand tendons (tendons containing17, 35, or 37
strands).

In some cases, tendons were identified as having moderate corrosion based on the borescope
evaluation, but were reclassified to minor corrosion after being cleaned and re-examined in the
laboratory. Reclassifying the corrosion condition of some strands was a planned aspect of the
investigative process, and was based on the fact that the laboratory evaluation allowed a more
detailed examination of the strands compared to the initial evaluation using the borescope.
This was the case for all the “D” tendons removed from the structure during this evaluation.

In many cases, strands in tendons did not experience corrosion at or near the vent tubes even
though they were exposed to moisture over long periods of time due to entry of water at broken
or open grout vent tubes. These strands, which were in contact with the galvanized duct in the
presence of moisture at these locations, received corrosion protection in the form of cathodic
protection (protective electrical current).

Tensile test results that indicated passing strength and ductility per ASTM A416 were obtained
for all tested strand samples from tendons that did not exhibit corrosion beyond visual category
3A (no signs of pitting corrosion as evident in the Group I results) based on Sason’s visual
assessment criteria. For tendons where some pitting visible to the unaided eye was found
(category 4A and 5A), some (but not all) of the samples failed to meet either or both the tensile
test strength and ductility requirements of ASTM A416. However, the failing tensile test result

2
values for these samples were no less than 94% of the minimum acceptable breaking strength
criteria.

Tensile test results for strands that met the material strength requirements of ASTM A416
exceeded the minimum breaking strength of 58,600 lbs for the 270 ksi strand by at least 2%.

Tensile test results in which some of the strand samples failed to meet specifications were
consistent with the observation of greater extent of corrosion where the strands were extracted.
Those locations were from 3 to 9 feet on either side of the breached grout tube vents where
moisture entered the ducts. Tensile test results for samples outside of this range met the test
criteria outlined in ASTM A416. In addition, tensile test results also agreed with the
observation that significant corrosion was limited to the top three or four strands in a strand
bundle.

Based on the corrosivity test results (the presence of chloride and sulfate ions), the water
sampled from the ducts during this investigation was not considered to be corrosive per the
usual Caltrans classifications. The test results indicate that little or no chlorides entered the
ducts despite the marine environment at the site. In addition, the pH was neutral to alkaline,
which would also be considered indicative of non-corrosive conditions.

Since chlorides were not present in significant amounts within the ducts, it is unlikely that
corrosion of the strands will continue after the tendons are properly grouted. Chloride contents
of sampled water from the ducts were indicative of non-marine (fresh water), and it is expected
that the normal high pH of the grout will establish the typical corrosion protection barrier
(passive oxide layer) on the post-tensioning strands after grouting. Any trace amounts of
chloride that may exist in the ducts or on the strands after the grout is introduced into the ducts
under pressure will be well below the threshold (0.2% by weight of cement for Class 4
Concrete, or about 0.14% by weight of cement for grout with a water to cement ratio of 0.44)
commonly reported for sustained corrosion.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) test results, performed to obtain the elemental composition of
selected surfaces of wires removed from strand samples, were consistent with the results of the
chemical analyses of the water samples removed from selected ducts. There was no evidence
of either chlorides or significant amounts of sulfur present on any surfaces of the samples
examined.

Based on the environmentally assisted cracking (EAC) analyses, one small microcrack with a
penetration depth of 0.0049 inch into the base metal was found at the base of a pit on only one
wire from a strand classified as having moderate corrosion. This microcrack branched out at
the base of the crack. This conclusion is consistent with EAC where the crack propagates
under a combination of applied stress and corrosion at the base of the corrosion pit.
Microcracks were not found on any other samples that complied with the tensile strength
requirements of ASTM A416 which is the acceptance criteria specified in the contract special

3
provisions for seven strand prestressing strand, and EAC is not believed to be an issue for
concern on the project, based on the results of this evaluation.

The westbound structure was evaluated more extensively than the eastbound skyway structure
due to the available access of ungrouted ducts in the westbound structure. However, given the
similarities between exposure conditions during the construction of these structures, it is
reasonable to assume that both structures experienced similar levels of corrosion (in terms of
the probable number of affected tendons).

Recommendations

As a consideration, for the westbound structure, a fit for purpose analyses could be performed
taking into consideration the level of observed corrosion presented in this report. Of particular
importance are the tendons with demonstrated moderate corrosion appearance.

For the eastbound structure, similar analyses that take into consideration the effect of corrosion
could also be conducted. These analyses could be applied to cantilevers of similar age as those
of the westbound structure (assuming similar numbers of affected tendons), since exposure
conditions on the eastbound and westbound structure were similar.

Except for “D” tendons, strands in cantilevers/spans with blocked grout vent tubes where the
tendons have been un-grouted for periods of nine months or longer could be classified as
having “moderate corrosion”. This recommendation is consistent with the corrosion condition
of tendons with similar exposure periods examined during this investigation.

For the analyses listed above, the average actual breaking strength values obtained for strands
in bundles where either no corrosion or minor corrosion was observed could be considered for
use.

4
INTRODUCTION

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge skyway structures consist of two 1.3-mile long parallel
concrete segmental structures with 14 piers per structure. Each structure consists of four
frames each, constructed by balanced cantilever construction. Figure 1 shows the structures
under construction.

Figure 1 View looking toward Berkeley Hills from the eastbound structure still under
construction. A portion of the westbound structure showing a hinge joint is visible
in the photo.

Figure 2 Typical cross-section showing location of tendons on the skyway structures.

5
BACKGROUND

General

As a follow-up to an initial corrosion assessment of post-tensioning strands (reported in


September 2006) on the SFOBB skyway structures, an extensive corrosion evaluation was
performed on the westbound structure to provide additional information regarding the
corrosion condition of post-tensioning strands.

The inspection approach selected for this investigation was not based on sampling in a random
fashion. Instead, a comprehensive, non-probabilistic approach was used in which thousands of
inspection sites were viewed with the intention of assessing the corrosion condition of post-
tensioning strands at all available locations on the bridge.

Scope of Work

This investigation included the following field and laboratory evaluations, a field review and a
supplementary laboratory evaluation by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and an
independent review by a corrosion expert from the University of South Florida:

1. Borescope video and still image documentation of the corrosion condition of strands
viewed through grout vent tubes.

2. Preliminary corrosion characterization of strands based on video and still image


documentation obtained from the borescope investigation.

3. Chloride, sulfate and pH analyses of water samples from the tendon ducts.

4. Field examination of strands with moderate corrosion based on the borescope condition
survey. Removal of selected strands and/or tendons suspected of having pitting
corrosion for additional in-depth laboratory evaluation and testing.

5. Laboratory cleaning and inspection of selected strands to confirm corrosion


classification.

6. Mechanical testing of selected strands to verify compliance with project material


specifications.

7. Additional analyses (including Energy Dispersive X-Ray Microprobe Spectra (EDX),


Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC), testing for absorbed hydrogen content and
field electrical potential measurements) to explore the potential corrosion mechanisms
that may have contributed to the corrosion of the strands.

6
8. Review of precipitation data from a nearby weather station to compare the exposure
conditions between the eastbound and westbound structures.

9. Field review and supplementary laboratory evaluation by FHWA corrosion experts, Dr.
Paul Virmani and Dr. S.K. Lee.

10. Independent review of testing protocol and investigative techniques by Dr. Alberto
Saques, corrosion expert, from the University of South Florida.

CORROSION INVESTIGATION

This corrosion investigation was conducted in conjunction with members from Office of
Structure Construction, METS Office of Structural Materials, DES Structure Design, and Toll
Bridge Maintenance. A team approach existed in which members from these groups
cooperated to coordinate and direct the investigation in a comprehensive manner. Review was
received from the Seismic Safety Peer Review Panel.

This corrosion investigation was conducted after the majority of the eastbound skyway
structure was completed, and while grouting of the westbound structure was in progress. A
decision was made early in the evaluation process not to delay the construction schedule during
this investigation and to continue grouting tendons to provide corrosion protection to the
strands as soon as possible. Tendon inspections were staged just ahead of the daily grouting
operations. This required prioritizing the tendon inspections.

Various types of tendons (D, C, CO, T, B & P) exist in the skyway structures. The priorities
for inspection and grouting were driven by the length of time that the tendons had been left in
the un-grouted state and by the likelihood of exposure to moisture. For example, D (deck)
tendons and C (cantilever) tendons in-place for longer time periods were inspected and grouted
before as opposed to B (bottom) and P (additional tendons) which were exposed for lesser time
periods and which were placed deeper in the structure.

The following investigative techniques were used to evaluate and document the condition of
post-tensioning strands in the westbound structure:

Borescope Evaluations

A borescope was used to visually inspect the corrosion condition of the strands through
accessible grout vent tubes. Equipment was operated by trained operators. The Department’s
corrosion specialist initially reviewed all live video initially in the field. However, as
operations progressed, additional construction staff and METS inspection staff were trained by
the Department’s corrosion specialist to perform initial corrosion condition assessments of
strands using the live borescope video. This was particularly important as the pace of the field
operations increased when two borescope units were being used on the structure at the same

7
time. All corrosion condition assessments performed by construction staff and/or METS
inspection staff were, however, reviewed by the Department’s corrosion specialist using video
film, still images and staff field notes. Borescope evaluations were performed over a period of
5 months.

The initial corrosion assessments, viewed through the borescope at accessible grout vent tubes, were
categorized as follows:

Appearance Condition
No Corrosion: Observed condition of individual strands and wires of strands
within a tendon duct where the strands and wires are
essentially grey in appearance. This represents essentially no
corrosion, with only some surface oxidation compared to a
shiny metal appearance.

Minor Corrosion: Observed condition of individual strands and wires of strands


within a tendon duct where the strands and wires are
essentially grey in appearance but have some visible
discoloration represented by a few red/brown corrosion spots
(surface oxidation) that appear on isolated areas of the strand.

Moderate/Minor Corrosion: In between moderate and minor. Strands have some corrosion
products on their surfaces, but shiny metal can be seen
between the products.

Moderate Corrosion: Observed condition of individual strands and wires of strands


within a tendon duct where the strands and wires (within the
region being examined) have experienced a more uniform
distribution of corrosion as evident by a higher degree of
discoloration over the majority of the strand surface with
some isolated areas showing darker corrosion products that
are consistent with pit initiation sites on isolated areas of
strand wires. Corrosion products on the strand may be brown,
green, orange, red, or black in appearance.

Severe Corrosion: Observed condition of individual strands and wires within a


tendon duct where the strands and wires (within the region
being examined) have experienced corrosion that has resulted
in either visible section loss or resulted in breakage of wires
and/or strands. Corrosion products are present on most of the
strand surfaces.

8
These subjective terms were chosen based in part on similar descriptions used in other
reference reports, and are meant to give the reader a sense of the appearance of the strands as
observed through the borescope and in the laboratory evaluation.

Water Samples Collected from Tendon Ducts

Where possible, water samples were collected from tendon ducts and analyzed for pH, chloride
ion content, and sulfate ion content to determine the level of corrosivity of the water. Chloride
ion and sulfate ion testing were performed in accordance with California Test Method (CTM)
422 and 417 respectively. Water pH level was obtained using CTM 643. Samples were
collected directly from the tendon ducts using portable hand operated suction pumps and
flexible tubing. The tubing was inserted into the ducts through grout vent tubes or through
opened (day lighted) sections in the concrete deck that were opened to gain direct access to the
strands inside the tendon ducts.

Strand Samples Removed for In-depth Inspection and Testing

As the borescope inspections were taking place, the Department’s corrosion specialist
reviewed the borescope video and corrosion damage photographs for the strands at each grout
vent tube to verify the accuracy of the corrosion assessment for each location.

Strands initially identified as having a moderate corrosion appearance, based on the visual
assessment criteria listed above, with a significant coating of corrosion products and/or
obstructing debris were selected for further analyses. These locations were day lighted and the
ducts were opened up to expose the strands for a more in-depth field inspection. This
examination involved cleaning the exposed strands with a nylon pad to remove corrosion
products and/or debris from the affected strands to get a better view to assess the corrosion
condition of the underlying metal.

Tendons with strands that showed signs of pit initiation were then earmarked for removal from
the structure for additional evaluation. In some cases, two or three strands were selected for
removal from the tendon of interest. In other cases, the entire tendon was selected for removal
to observe the condition of all the strands in the tendon. These samples were taken to the
Transportation Laboratory to document and verify the corrosion condition of the strands and to
determine whether the samples complied with the material specifications for the project.

Laboratory Evaluation of Strands

Laboratory analyses included photographic documentation of the strands (before and after
cleaning) visual corrosion comparison evaluations, tensile testing, pit depth measurements and
independent metallurgical analyses of the fracture surfaces of the strands.

9
The contract special provisions required that the prestressing strand comply with ASTM
Designation A416, Standard Specification for Steel Strand, Uncoated Seven-Wire for
Prestressed Concrete. Section 8 of ASTM A416, Workmanship, Finish and Appearance,
allows slight rusting provided that it is not sufficient to cause (corrosion) pits that are visible to
the unaided eye. An article written by Gus Sason (published in a Precast/Prestressed Concrete
institute (PCI) Journal, June 1992), which is referenced in ASTM A416, provides guidance to
assess the degree of rusting (assessment of pitting corrosion) on prestressing strand.

The cleaning and visual comparison methods outlined in the PCI article, referenced in ASTM
A416, were used to evaluate the corrosion condition of the strand samples. Sason’s article
provides a visual standard showing various degrees of “rust” before and after hand cleaning for
visual assessment of strands. Photographs in the document are labeled as picture sets 1/1A
through 6/6A with the suffix “A” denoting “after cleaning”. The article notes that picture sets
1/1A through 3/3A depict acceptable conditions, picture set 4/4A is borderline, and picture sets
5/5A and 6/6A depict pitting that is considered to be unacceptable.

Tensile testing was performed on 4-foot strand sections in accordance with ASTM A416 using
an Instron 120 kip Universal Material Testing Machine fitted with an extensometer to
determine the stress-strain characteristics, yield, and ultimate strength of the samples.

Strands from a total of nine tendons were removed from the westbound structure during this
evaluation phase. After the strands were removed, they were photographed, and samples were
selected for mechanical testing. These samples were selected from areas at or near grout vent
tubes since that was the region (within 3 to 9 feet of the grout vent tube) typically affected by
corrosion. In most cases, three or four samples were tested from each tendon. In some cases,
multiple samples were obtained from more than one strand of a tendon bundle.

Pit depths on the strand samples were measured after the mechanical testing was completed.
Strands were cleaned with a nylon scrub pad to remove loose oxides and examined for signs of
pitting corrosion in accordance with procedures provided in ASTM Designation: G-1,
Standard Practice for Preparing, Cleaning, and Evaluating Corrosion Test Specimens,
Designation C.3.5 in Annex A1 of the standard.

Corrosion pit depths were measured with a Gardco 8400K digital optical micrometer. Pit
depths measured for the strand samples were compared with the pit depth data included in
Sason’s report to confirm the picture set corrosion assessment category selected for each
sample.

Evaluating the strands for pitting corrosion was an important consideration since the relatively
small cross-sectional area of an individual wire strand and the applied stress can lead to rapid
failure with minimal loss of cross-sectional area in the presence of localized (pitting) corrosion.

10
Additional Testing to Determine Corrosion Mechanisms

In addition to the above fieldwork, additional investigative work was performed to try to
determine the corrosion mechanisms that may have contributed to the corrosion of the strands
in the ducts and to explain why corrosion was limited to specific regions within tendon
bundles. These analyses included Energy Dispersive X-Ray Microprobe Spectra (EDX),
Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC), testing for absorbed hydrogen content and field
electrical potential measurements.

1. Energy Dispersive X-Ray Microprobe Spectra (EDX)

EDX testing was performed to evaluate fracture surfaces of selected strand wires for the
presence of chloride and sulfate ions within corrosion pits as a check against chemical analyses
results of water samples collected from the tendon ducts. This work was performed by
PhotoMetrics, Inc., a materials characterization laboratory under subcontract through
McKnight Laboratory, Inc. Samples were selected from fracture surfaces obtained from a
rejected tendon (Span E3E-C04) removed from the eastbound structure. The strands had
inadvertently fractured at a hardpoint (kink) in a tendon duct, but had also been left exposed to
moisture in the tendon duct for a period up to 9 months. This provided the opportunity to
evaluate the fractures surfaces for the presence of deleterious ions using EDX analyses.

2. Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC)

EAC is a generic name given to cracks generated under tensile stresses in the presence of
environmental conditions that induce crack formation and growth. Metals and alloys that
exhibit phenomena such as stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion
fatigue fall under the category of EAC. Environments such as moist air, seawater, and
corrosive liquids and gases may contribute to these types of stress fractures.

Stress corrosion cracking is the development and propagation of cracks (either intergranular or
transgranular in the microstructure of steel) in the presence of tensile stresses when the steel is
exposed to corrosive conditions.

Corrosion fatigue is caused by crack development under the simultaneous action of corrosion
and fluctuating (cyclic) stress. Like stress corrosion cracking, corrosion fatigue depends on
interactions among the material, environmental, chemical, and electrochemical parameters as
well as the mechanical loading conditions.

Hydrogen embrittlement is the process by which various metals become brittle and crack
following exposure to hydrogen. The mechanism begins with hydrogen atoms diffusing into
the metal. When the hydrogen atoms re-combine in small voids in the metal matrix to form
hydrogen molecules, they create pressure and may cause hydrogen induced cracking.

11
Section 2.1.1.1, “Strand” of the FHWA Post-Tensioning Tendon Installation and Grouting
Manual, dated May 26, 2004, indicates that strand conforming to ASTM Designation A416 is
relatively resistant to stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement.

As a conservative measure, samples classified as having category 5 corrosion were checked for
signs of EAC.

A total of six strand samples were evaluated for signs of EAC. The inspection procedure
involved inspecting the strands using the fluorescent magnetic particle inspection technique.
This work was contracted out to McKnight Laboratory, Inc. and reviewed by the Department’s
corrosion specialist.

3. Hydrogen Absorption Testing

Testing for absorbed hydrogen was also performed to investigate whether or not hydrogen
embrittlement played a significant role in corrosion progression as a form of environmentally
assisted cracking (EAC). Absorption of atomic hydrogen is known to contribute to conditions
that can lead to loss of ductility in metals and can produce brittle type fractures/failures.

A total of six samples were evaluated for hydrogen absorption. Samples included three wire
samples obtained from corroded sections where suspected microcracks existed (Samples 24A,
25C, and 25D), and three control samples obtained from Sumiden Wire and Cable Inc.,
Stockton, California, the supplier of post-tensioning strand material for the SFOBB skyway
project, (Control samples A, B, and C). Samples 24A, 25C and 25D were identification
numbers assigned to individual wires removed from a strand obtained from a previously
rejected continuity tendon.

Testing services for hydrogen absorption were provided under contract by AADFW, Inc.
Euless, Texas using a Leco Hydrogen Determinator.

4. Electrical Potential Measurements

Electrical potential measurements on selected strands were obtained using a Fluke 87 voltmeter
and a copper/copper sulfate reference cell to measure the difference in electrical potential of
post-tensioning strands in contact with the galvanized ducts. These measurements were
obtained to determine whether or not some of the steel strands were receiving additional
corrosion protection (in the form of passive galvanic cathodic protection) from contact with the
galvanized duct.

To take potential measurements, one lead of the voltmeter was connected to the item of interest
(either the duct or the strand) and the other lead to the reference cell, which was then placed
against the item of interest.

12
Exposure Comparison Analysis

In addition to the analyses listed above, precipitation data was reviewed from a nearby weather
station to compare the exposure conditions for the eastbound and westbound structures.

Pit Depth Measurements

As previously mentioned, pit depths of cleaned strands were obtained (after chemical cleaning)
to compare the pit depths to values reported in Sason’s report. This provided numerical
conformation to the picture set corrosion assessment categories for selected samples.
Individual wire samples were selected randomly (from strands with visible pitting) for the pit
depth measurement analyses.

FHWA Field Review and Supplementary Laboratory Evaluation

Dr. S.K. Lee and Dr. Paul Virmani from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Turner
Fairbank Research Center visited the Transportation Laboratory and the SFOBB skyway
bridge site November 19 through November 22, 2006 to provide an independent review of this
corrosion investigation. They provided assistance with field electrical measurements, and in-
situ chloride sampling/testing of selected strands, ducts and anchorage components of the
bridge. A copy of their trip report is provided in the Appendix of this report.

Independent Evaluation of Test Protocol and Investigative Techniques

Dr. Alberto Sagues, PE, Metallurgist and Corrosion Expert from Florida was contracted by the
Department to provide an independent evaluation of the test protocol and investigative
techniques used in this investigation. Dr. Sagues was contacted on this issue specifically due
to his knowledge of corrosion related to transportation infrastructure, and specific knowledge
of corrosion related to post-tensioning application. Dr. Sagues’ trip report is included in the
Appendix of this report.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Borescope Evaluations

Observed corrosion, based on the visual assessment criteria, ranged from virtually no corrosion
(where individual strands were essentially grey in appearance) to more moderate cases of
corrosion where strands within some ducts exhibited a combination of black, brown and red
corrosion products.

It is important to keep in mind that it was only possible to determine the presence of localized
(pitting) corrosion after cleaning was performed to remove the oxide layers. Pitting corrosion
was considered to be of the greatest concern due to the possibility of the development of stress

13
concentration points on the high strength wire. It is also important to note that in no case was
the observed corrosion classified in the “severe corrosion” category. This description is
provided to give the reader a sense of scale when reviewing this report.

As would be expected, the level of observed corrosion was influenced (in part) by the
availability of water in the ducts. Corrosion was more significant near the point of entry of the
water at breached grout vent tubes where it is expected that there was a greater availability of
air available to promote corrosion. At the breached locations where water entered the ducts,
more significant corrosion was observed within 3 to 9 feet of an open grout vent tube.
Typically, only the strands closest to the inlet of the grout vent tube were affected in the strand
bundles (e.g., the top three to four strands in a multiple strand tendon such as a 17, 35, or 37
strand tendon).

Figure 3 shows a typical grout vent tube that was improperly sealed. Figures 4 and 5 are
drawings of showing tendons, and affected regions of strands. Figures 6 and 7 show
procedures that were used to recess and seal grout vent tubes below the concrete deck surface
as a corrective mitigation measure of breached grout vent tubes.

Figure 3 View of deck surface showing grout tubes. Two tubes can be seen that are open to
the deck and can allow moisture into the un-grouted duct.

14
Figure 4 Drawing depicting a cross-section of a tendon with strands in-place. Naturally
aerated water entering through the breached grout vent tube and made direct
contact with the top three to four strands in the duct. As the water made contact
with the galvanized duct, the zinc galvanizing provided corrosion protection to
strands in direct contact with the walls of the duct through the process of passive
cathodic protection. Protective cathodic protection was also provided to some
strands where moisture was present at some distance away from the duct.
However, the strands with greater exposure to water and air experienced a higher
degree of corrosion.

15
Figure 5 Drawing depicting a longitudinal section showing the region (3 to 9 feet) where
corrosion was found near breached grout vent tubes. Water collecting on the top
strands had greater exposure to air at or near the breached vent tubes.

(a)

(b)
Figure 6 Mitigation measures to recess grout vent tubes below the deck surface. Photo (a),
tubes are cutoff below the deck surface. Photo (b), concrete around the tubes are
backfilled with resilient foam.

16
(a)

(b)
Figure 7 Final steps to complete recessing of grout vent tubes below the surface of the
concrete deck. A temporary epoxy is placed over the tube ports, and they are
painted blue to mark their location. They will later be uncovered and cleared
during the grouting operations.

Borescope evaluations of strands were performed at 4,328 grout vent tube locations on the
westbound structure. This represented approximately 1,635 tendons viewed (or about 79%) of
2,076 tendons reported by construction as available (ungrouted) for inspection..

Figure 6 shows the percentage (by corrosion category) of all borescope observations made on
the westbound structure. As shown, the majority of tendons observed (greater than 95%) had
either no or only minor corrosion. Additionally, the material properties of the strands
characterized as having no corrosion and/or minor corrosion (regardless of their length of
exposure time prior to grouting) did not change based on the performance criteria measured
according to ASTM Designation: A416. The figure also lists the percentage of blocked
locations (i.e., grout vents with obstructions where the strands could not be viewed through the
vents).

17
Westbound Bridge

60.0
55.8
Locations Evaluated
50.0
% Total Borescope

40.0
39.6
30.0

20.0

10.0
0.6 0.9 3.0
0.0
No Minor Mod/Minor Mod Blocked

Confirmed Corrosion Category

Figure 8 Observations by corrosion category for all borescoped locations evaluated on the
westbound SFOBB Skyway structure.

Figures 9 through 13 represent typical images as seen through the borescope for the categories
“no corrosion”, “minor corrosion”, “moderate/minor corrosion”, and “moderate corrosion”.
Again, it is important to point out that the majority of the tendons (1610 out of 1635 tendons or
98%) were classified as having corrosion appearances (either no corrosion or only minor
corrosion) similar to those shown in Figures 9 through 11.

18
Figure 9 Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing no corrosion. Strands are
shiny in appearance.

Figure 10 Another borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing no corrosion. Strands
are shiny in appearance.

19
Figure 11 Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing minor corrosion appearance.
Here the strands are essentially shiny or grey in appearance but have some visible
discoloration represented by a few red/brown corrosion spots (surface oxidation)
that appear on isolated areas on the strand.

Figure 12 Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing a moderate/minor corrosion


appearance. Here the strands are covered with vapor phase Inhibitor powder (VPI)
corrosion inhibitor that has become somewhat discolored. This condition usually
could be wiped clean when the strands were exposed.

20
Figure 13 Borescope view of strands in a tendon duct showing a moderate corrosion
appearance with a heavy or significant coating of corrosion products on the top
strands. This tendon would be a good candidate for day lighting and further
evaluation.

For the westbound structure, visual observations performed using the borescope indicate that
only 33 out of 4,328 grout vent tube locations exhibited a moderate level of corrosion
(corrosion level significant enough to cause pitting corrosion). Moderate corrosion was found
in less than 1% of the locations examined.

In terms of actual tendons examined, only 25 out of a total of 1,635 tendons (1.5%) had strands
that exhibited moderate corrosion.

Tables 1 through 13 list the tendon identifications for the westbound structure where moderate
corrosion was observed using the borescope. These tables also list tendons where
moderate/minor corrosion was observed and tendons that were blocked during the borescope
investigations. Tendons with moderate/minor corrosion are listed for information only, since
as will be shown later in the report, only the moderate corrosion condition was significant
enough to cause a reduction in tensile capacity. Blocked tendons are provided since the
condition of these tendons was unknown at some locations during this investigation.

In some cases, tendons identified as having moderate corrosion as viewed by the borescope,
were reclassified as having minor corrosion when examined in the laboratory after they were
cleaned. Reclassifying the corrosion condition of some strands was a planned aspect of the
investigative process, and was based on the fact that the laboratory evaluation allowed a more
detailed examination of the strands compared to the initial evaluation using the borescope.

21
This scenario occurred for all the “D” tendons/strands removed from the westbound structure.
Notes at the bottom of each respective table reflect this information where applicable.

Tendon Dates/Ages

Cantilever Corrosion Age at


Frame Tendon Age at
/Span Appearance Grouting/or
Install Borescope Grout/Removal Borescoping
Removal
(months)
(months)

C12N1 11/10/2005 10/11/2006 10/18/2006 11.4 11.2

Moderate C13N2 11/15/2005 10/11/2006 11/28/2006 12.6 11.0


3
D9S 6/2/2006 10/11/2006 10/13/2006 4.4 4.4

Cantilever D6S3 6/2/2006 10/11/2006 10/13/2006 4.4 4.4


W3
E14W
D5N 6/1/2006 10/11/2006 10/12/2006 4.4 4.4
D21N 5/31/2006 10/11/2006 10/12/2006 4.5 4.4
Blocked
D22N 5/31/2006 10/11/2006 10/12/2006 4.5 4.4
D23N 5/31/2006 10/11/2006 10/12/2006 4.5 4.4

Table 1 Cantilever E14W tendons that exhibited a moderate corrosion appearance at one or
more vent tube locations. Tendons with blocked vent tubes are also noted. Notes:
(1) C12N tendon was day lighted at three locations but cleared for grouting based
on visual observations. (2) C13N tendon was removed on 11/28/06 for in-depth
inspection and was replaced with a new tendon. (3) Tendons D6S and D9S,
originally identified as having a moderate corrosion appearance as viewed in the
borescope, were downgraded to minor corrosion based on laboratory evaluation
and were subsequently removed from further examination. All samples from
tendons D6S and D9S passed the material strength and elongation requirements
specified in ASTM Designation A416.

22
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion Age at
Frame Tendon Age at
Span Appearance Grouting /or
Install Borescope Grout/Removal Borescoping
Removal
(months)
(months)

C25N1 11/7/2005 10/16/2006 11/16/2006 12.5 11.4


2
C26N 11/7/2005 10/16/2006 12/13/2006 13.4 11.4

D13N 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0


D25N 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/26/2006 9.3 9.0
D1SE 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/30/2006 9.4 9.0
Moderate
D6S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/28/2006 9.4 9.0
D7S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/28/2006 9.4 9.0
D12S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0
D23S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/24/2006 9.2 9.0
D24S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/24/2006 9.2 9.0
D4N 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/30/2006 9.4 9.0
D23N 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/26/2006 9.3 9.0
Cantilever
W3 D3S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/30/2006 9.4 9.0
E13W
Moderate/Minor
D5S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/28/2006 9.4 9.0
D11S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0
D18S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/24/2006 9.2 9.0
C11N 10/20/2005 10/16/2006 12/13/2006 14.0 12.0

D2NE 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/30/2006 9.4 9.0


D10N 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 1/16/2007 12.0 9.0
D13S 1/20/2006 10/18/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0
Blocked D21S 1/20/2006 10/18/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0
D22S 1/20/2006 10/16/2006 10/25/2006 9.3 9.0
D25S 1/20/2006 10/18/2006 10/24/2006 9.2 9.0
D1NW 1/20/2006 10/18/2006 10/30/2006 9.4 9.0
D17SW 1/20/2006 10/18/2006 10/26/2006 9.3 9.0

Table 2 Cantilever E13W tendons that exhibited moderate strand corrosion at one or more
grout vent tube locations. In addition to blocked locations noted, this cantilever
also had some tendons that exhibited moderate/minor corrosion. Notes: (1) C25N
tendon was removed on 11-16-06 for in-depth inspection and was replaced with a
new tendon. (2) C26N – Two strands were removed for further evaluation. These
strands were not replaced. Test results are presented and discussed later in this
report.

23
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion Age at
Frame Tendon Age at
Span Appearance Grouting/or
Install Borescope Grout/Removal Borescoping
Removal
(months)
(months)

C12N 12/3/2005 11/1/2006 11/7/2006 11.3 11.1


C26N 12/20/2005 10/31/2006 12/19/2006 12.1 10.5

D3N1 1/5/2006 10/31/2006 11/8/2006 10.2 10.0


Moderate
D8N 1/15/2006 11/14/2006 12/19/2006 11.3 10.1
D11N 1/15/2006 11/1/2006 11/8/2006 9.9 9.7
D13N1 1/5/2006 11/1/2006 1/9/2007 12.3 10.0
C6N 11/18/2005 11/1/2006 11/7/2006 11.8 11.6
C30N 1/5/2006 11/1/2006 11/3/2006 10.1 10.0
C17S 12/9/2005 10/31/2006 11/7/2006 11.1 10.9
C23S 12/16/2005 10/31/2006 11/7/2006 10.9 10.6
Cantilever
E12W D1NE 1/15/2006 11/7/2006 11/8/2006 9.9 9.9
W3
Moderate/Minor D2NE 1/15/2006 10/31/2006 11/8/2006 9.9 9.6
D6N 1/15/2006 10/31/2006 12/19/2006 11.3 9.6
D10N 1/15/2006 10/31/2006 12/19/2006 11.3 9.6
D16NW 1/15/2006 11/1/2006 11/8/2006 9.9 9.7
D25N 1/15/2006 11/1/2006 11/3/2006 9.7 9.7
D26N 1/15/2006 11/1/2006 11/3/2006 9.7 9.7
C18S 12/9/2005 10/31/2006 11/2/2006 10.9 10.9

D5N 1/15/2006 11/1/2006 12/19/2006 11.3 9.7


Blocked
D14S 1/15/2006 10/31/2006 1/9/2007 12.0 9.6

P11S 1/5/2006 11/2/2006 12/21/2006 11.7 10.0


Span
Blocked T1N 4/1/2006 11/1/2006 1/4/2007 9.3 7.1
E12W
Table 3 Cantilever/Span E12W tendons that exhibited moderate corrosion, moderate/minor
corrosion, or were blocked at one or more grout vent tube locations. Note: (1)
D3N and D13N tendons were removed on 11-8-06 for in-depth inspection and
were later replaced with new tendons. These tendons were originally classified as
having moderate corrosion based on the borescope video, but were reclassified as
minor corrosion based on further laboratory evaluation.

24
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion Age at
Frame Tendon Age at
Span Appearance Grouting/or
Install Borescope Grout/Removal Borescoping
Removal
(months)
(months)

C6N 12/19/2005 11/9/2006 11/13/2006 11.0 10.8


C19N 1/17/2006 11/9/2006 1/4/2007 11.7 9.9
C30N 1/26/2006 11/9/2006 11/13/2006 9.7 9.6
1
C12S 1/6/2006 11/7/2006 11/28/2006 10.9 10.2
Moderate D9N 2/7/2006 11/9/2006 1/4/2007 11.0 9.2
D14N 2/7/2006 11/9/2006 11/14/2006 9.3 9.2
D24N 2/6/2006 11/9/2006 11/14/2006 9.4 9.2
D16NE 2/7/2006 11/9/2006 11/14/2006 9.3 9.2
D7S 2/8/2006 11/8/2006 11/17/2006 9.4 9.1
Cantilever
E11W C7S 1/4/2006 11/7/2006 11/17/2006 10.6 10.2
W3
C23S 1/20/2006 11/7/2006 11/17/2006 10.0 9.7
C26S 1/24/2006 11/7/2006 11/17/2006 9.9 9.6
Moderate/Minor
C29S 1/26/2006 11/7/2006 11/17/2006 9.8 9.5
C30S 1/26/2006 11/7/2006 11/10/2006 9.6 9.5

D17SE 2/7/2006 11/7/2006 11/20/2006 9.5 9.1

D20N 2/6/2006 11/9/2006 11/14/2006 9.4 9.2


Blocked D24N 2/6/2006 11/7/2006 11/14/2006 9.4 9.1

D24S 2/4/2006 11/7/2006 11/20/2006 9.6 9.2

Span B3S 3/13/2006 11/2/2006 1/6/2007 10.0 7.8


Blocked
E11W2
C25N 1/24/2006 11/8/2006 1/4/2007 11.5 9.6

Table 4 Cantilever/Span E11W tendons that exhibited moderate corrosion, moderate/minor


corrosion, or were blocked at one or more grout vent tube locations. Note: (1)
C12S tendon was day lighted on 11-11-06. Two strands were removed from the
tendon on 11-27-06.

25
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion
Frame Tendon Age at Grouting Age at Borescoping
Span Appearance Install Borescope Grout
(months) (months)

B5N 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7

B6N 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7


B7N 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7
B2S 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7
Span E10W Blocked B8S 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7
B9S 9/12/2006 11/3/2006 1/23/2007 4.4 1.7

T2N 9/12/2006 10/31/2006 11/17/2006 202 1.6


T2S 9/12/2006 10/31/2006 11/13/2006 201 1.6
T5S 9/12/2006 10/31/2006 11/21/2006 203 1.6
C6N 2/8/2006 11/1/2006 11/10/2006 9.2 8.9
C10N 2/17/2006 11/1/2006 11/8/2006 8.8 8.6
C11N 2/17/2006 11/1/2006 11/9/2006 8.8 8.6
C17N 2/24/2006 11/1/2006 11/9/2006 8.6 8.3
W2
D3N 8/29/2006 11/1/2006 11/8/2006 2.4 2.1
D10N 8/28/2006 11/1/2006 11/9/2006 2.4 2.2
D11N 8/28/2006 11/1/2006 11/10/2006 2.5 2.2
D12N 8/25/2006 11/1/2006 11/10/2006 2.6 2.3
Cantilever
Blocked D14N 8/28/2006 11/1/2006 11/10/2006 2.5 2.2
E10W
D15N 8/28/2006 11/1/2006 11/10/2006 2.5 2.2
D14S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D15S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D18S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D20S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D21S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D23S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2
D24S 8/25/2006 10/31/2006 11/6/2006 2.4 2.2

Table 5 Cantilever/Span E10W tendons that were blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations.

26
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion
Frame Tendon Age at Grouting Age at Borescoping
Span Appearance Install Borescope Grout
(months) (months)

C9N 1/25/2006 11/14/2006 11/21/2006 10.0 9.8

D3N 5/13/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1


D19N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D20N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1

Cantilever D21N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1


Moderate
E9W
D22N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D16NW 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D10S 5/13/2006 11/9/2006 11/15/2006 6.2 6.0
W2
D14S 5/13/2006 11/10/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.0
D22S 5/12/2006 11/10/2006 11/14/2006 6.2 6.1
B9N 10/3/2006 11/3/2006 1/26/2007 3.8 1.0

B10N 10/3/2006 11/3/2006 1/26/2007 3.8 1.0


Span E9W Blocked
B9S 10/3/2006 11/3/2006 2/6/2007 4.2 1.0

B10S 10/3/2006 11/3/2006 2/6/2007 4.2 1.0


Cantilever
Blocked C11N 1/27/2006 11/14/2006 11/20/2006 9.9 9.7
E9W

Table 6 Cantilever/Span E9W (partial table) showing tendons that exhibited moderate
corrosion or were blocked at one or more grout vent tube locations.

27
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion
Frame Tendon Age at Grouting Age at Borescoping
Span Appearance Install Borescope Grout
(months) (months)

D5N 5/13/2006 11/13/2006 11/20/2006 6.4 6.1


D6N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/20/2006 6.3 6.1
D7N 5/15/2006 11/13/2006 11/20/2006 6.3 6.1
D15N 5/15/2006 11/14/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D19N 5/15/2006 11/14/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D23N 5/15/2006 11/14/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.1
D1SE 5/15/2006 11/9/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 5.9
D4S 5/13/2006 11/9/2006 11/16/2006 6.2 6.0
D7S 5/13/2006 11/9/2006 11/15/2006 6.2 6.0
Cantilever
Blocked D8S 5/13/2006 11/9/2006 11/21/2006 6.4 6.0
E9W
D13S 5/13/2006 11/9/2006 11/15/2006 6.2 6.0
W2
D19S 5/12/2006 11/9/2006 11/16/2006 6.3 6.0
D23S 5/12/2006 11/10/2006 11/14/2006 6.2 6.1
D24S 5/12/2006 11/10/2006 11/14/2006 6.2 6.1
D26S 5/12/2006 11/10/2006 11/14/2006 6.2 6.1

P11N 2/13/2006 11/3/2006 1/31/2007 11.7 8.8


P12N 2/13/2006 11/3/2006 1/31/2007 11.7 8.8
P11S 2/13/2006 11/3/2006 1/31/2007 11.7 8.8
P12S 2/13/2006 11/3/2006 1/31/2007 11.7 8.8
T4S 10/4/2006 11/9/2006 12/2/2006 2.0 1.2
Span E9W Blocked T4N 10/4/2006 11/13/2006 12/7/2006 2.1 1.3
T5N 10/4/2006 11/13/2006 11/27/2006 1.8 1.3

Table 7 Cantilever/Span E9W (partial table) showing remaining tendons that were blocked
at one or more grout vent tube locations.

28
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion
Frame Tendon Age at
Span Appearance Age at Grouting
Install Borescope Grout Borescoping
(months)
(months)
Cantilever
Moderate/Minor C12N 3/30/2006 11/16/2006 12/5/2006 8.3 7.7
E8W
Span E8W Blocked B5N 7/27/2006 11/3/2006 2/8/2007 6.5 3.3

C20S 4/7/2006 11/14/2006 11/29/2006 7.9 7.4

D11N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/5/2006 6.7 6.1


D14N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/5/2006 6.7 6.1
D15N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/5/2006 6.7 6.1
W2
D19N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/5/2006 6.7 6.1
Cantilever Blocked
E8W D20N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/7/2006 6.8 6.1
D25N 5/18/2006 11/16/2006 12/6/2006 6.7 6.1
D3S 5/18/2006 11/20/2006 12/2/2006 6.6 6.2
D15S 5/17/2006 11/14/2006 12/2/2006 6.6 6.0
D19S 5/17/2006 11/14/2006 12/2/2006 6.6 6.0
D23S 5/17/2006 11/20/2006 12/2/2006 6.6 6.2

Table 8 Cantilever/Span E8W tendons that exhibited moderate/minor corrosion or were


blocked at one or more grout vent tube locations.

29
Tendon Dates/Ages
Cantilever/ Corrosion Age at
Frame Tendon Age at Grouting
Span Appearance Install Borescope Grout Borescoping
(months)
(months)
W2 Span E7W2 Blocked B6S 7/14/2006 11/29/2006 2/14/2007 7.2 4.6
D4N 7/10/2006 12/1/2006 12/18/2006 5.4 4.8

Cantilever D22N 7/6/2006 12/1/2006 12/19/2006 5.5 4.9


W2 Blocked
E7W D26S 7/7/2006 12/1/2006 12/18/2006 5.5 4.9
D16SW 7/7/2006 12/1/2006 12/16/2006 5.4 4.9

Table 9 Cantilever/Span E7W tendons that were blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations. No tendons observed in this cantilever exhibited significant corrosion.

Tendon Dates/Ages
Corrosion Age at
Frame Cantilever Tendon Age at Grouting
Appearance Install Borescope Grout Borescoping
(months)
(months)
D4N 12/19/2006 2/1/2007 2/6/2007 1.6 1.5
D6N 12/19/2006 2/1/2007 2/7/2007 1.7 1.5
D7N 12/19/2006 2/1/2007 2/7/2007 1.7 1.5
D4S 12/19/2006 2/1/2007 2/16/2007 2.0 1.5

Cantilever D5S 12/19/2006 2/1/2007 2/16/2007 2.0 1.5


W1 Blocked
E6W D7S 12/19/2006 2/2/2007 2/15/2007 1.9 1.5
D8S 12/19/2006 2/2/2007 2/15/2007 1.9 1.5
D11S 12/19/2006 2/2/2007 2/13/2007 1.9 1.5
D18S 12/19/2006 2/2/2007 2/8/2007 1.7 1.5
D16SE 12/19/2006 2/2/2007 2/8/2007 1.7 1.5

Table 10 Cantilever/Span E6W tendons that were blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations. No tendons observed in this cantilever exhibited significant corrosion.

30
Tendon Dates/Ages
Corrosion Age at
Frame Cantilever Tendon Age at Grouting
Appearance Install Borescope Grout Borescoping
(months)
(months)
C17N 8/1/2006 11/6/2006 3/12/2007 7.4 3.2
C20N 8/4/2006 11/6/2006 3/12/2007 7.3 3.1
Cantilever
W1 Blocked C17S 8/1/2006 11/6/2006 3/2/2007 7.1 3.2
E5W
C20S 8/4/2006 11/6/2006 3/2/2007 7.0 3.1
C23S 8/8/2006 11/6/2006 3/2/2007 6.9 3.0

Table 11 Cantilever/Span E5W tendons that were blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations. No tendons observed in this cantilever exhibited significant corrosion.

Tendon Dates/Ages
Corrosion Age at
Frame Cantilever Tendon Age at Grouting
Appearance Install Borescope Grout Borescoping
(months)
(months)

Cantilever
W1 Blocked C25S 7/7/2006 11/7/2006 3/9/2007 8.2 4.1
E4W

Table 12 Cantilever/Span E4W tendon that was blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations. No tendons observed in this cantilever exhibited significant corrosion.

Tendon Dates/Ages
Corrosion Age at
Frame Cantilever Tendon Age at Grouting
Appearance Install Borescope Grout/Removal Borescoping
(months)
(months)

C16N 5/10/2006 11/7/2006 * * 6.0

C19N 10/20/2006 12/14/2006 1/11/2007 2.8 1.8

Cantilever Blocked C23N 10/23/2006 11/7/2006 1/18/2007 2.9 0.5


W1
E3W
C14S 5/8/2006 11/7/2006 1/9/2007 8.2 6.1
C17S 5/10/2006 11/7/2006 1/15/2007 8.3 6.0

P4S 5/12/2006 1/25/2007 * * 8.6

Table 13 Cantilever/Span E3W tendons that were blocked at one or more grout vent tube
locations. No tendons in this cantilever exhibited significant corrosion. * Not yet
grouted.

31
Laboratory Evaluation of Strands

Table 14 lists the corrosion categories for the strands removed during this
investigation using Sason’s visual assessment criteria and measured pit depth
measurements. Note that the Tendon ID column in the table provides the Cantilever
and/or Span identification as well as the tendon number within the specific
Cantilever and/or span. Additional location information such as “side strand”,
“location 1”, “strand 1”, “sample A” was assigned to track the samples selected for
laboratory testing. Any significance is explained at times throughout the text if
needed. For example, differences in observations between a top strand in a strand
bundle and a side strand in a strand bundle.

Tendon ID Overall Assessed Category


(Picture Set)
E14W-D6S 3A
E14W-D9S 3A
E13W-C26N 3A
E13W-C25N, Strand 3 3A
E 12W – D13N 3A
E12W-D3N 3A
E11W-C12S (Side Strand) 3A

E14W-C13N Location 1, Strand 1, Sample A 5A


E14W-C13N Location 1, Strand 2, Sample A 5A
E13W-C13N Location 1, Strand 4, Sample A 5A
E13W-C25N, Strand 1, Samples A and C 5A
E13W-C25N, Strand 2, Sample A and B 5A
E11W-C12S (Top Strand), Sample A 6A
Table 14 Corrosion category using picture sets provided in article written by Gus
Sason (published in a Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI)
Journal, June 1992). The article provides a series of photographs to be
used as a visual standard showing various degrees of “rust” both before
and after cleaning. The photographs are labeled as picture sets 1/1A
through 6/6A with the suffix “A” denoting “after cleaning”. Picture sets
1A through 3A are acceptable. Picture Set 4A is borderline. Picture Set
5A and 6A represent unacceptable conditions due to pitting corrosion.

The picture sets referenced in Sason’s PCI article are shown in Figures 14 through
19. These picture sets were used as a guide to assess the appearance of strand
samples and individual wire samples obtained from the SFOBB skyway project.

32
Figure 14 Picture Set 1/1A. This strand shows little or no corrosion and is
acceptable. Source: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI)
Journal, June 1992.

Figure 15 Picture Set 2/2A. This strand shows some amount of surface corrosion,
but is acceptable. Source: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI)
Journal, June 1992.

Figure 16 Picture Set 3/3A. This strand shows some amount of surface corrosion
but is acceptable. Source: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI)
Journal, June 1992.

33
Figure 17 Picture Set 4/4A. This condition indicates a borderline condition.
Source: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) Journal, June 1992.

Figure 18 Picture Set 5/5A. This condition indicates excessive corrosion with
visible pitting and is cause for rejection. Source: Precast/Prestressed
Concrete Institute (PCI) Journal, June 1992.

Figure 19 Picture Set 6/6A. This condition indicates excessive corrosion with
visible pitting and is cause for rejection. Source: Precast/Prestressed
Concrete Institute (PCI) Journal, June 1992.

34
Tensile Test Results

Strands from a total of nine tendons were removed from the westbound structure.

Results of the mechanical testing are presented in two groups. Group I lists the
results where all samples of strands removed from tendons met the mechanical
requirements of ASTM Designation: A416. Group II lists the results where one or
more samples from a set of strands removed from a tendon did not meet the
requirements. Charts showing the results of the mechanical test results as well as
pictures of the tendons and strands are provided. Strands that were removed were
selected based on initial borescope observations that indicated moderate corrosion.

Figures 20 through 64 show the results of tendons from Group I (those with results
meeting the requirements of ASTM Designation A416). Figures 65 through 89
show the results of tendons from Group II (those with one or more sample that
failed to meet the requirements of ASTM Designation A416).

Breaking strength, as defined by ASTM A370, is the maximum load at which one or
more wires of the strand fractures. Load at EUL is the load at which 1% extension
was achieved. Per ASTM A416, 1% extension must be achieved at a minimum of
90% of the minimum required breaking strength for low relaxation strand.

Tensile test results that indicated passing strength and ductility per ASTM A416
were obtained for all tested strand samples from tendons that did not exhibit
corrosion beyond visual assessment category 3A (no signs of pitting corrosion as
evident in the Group I results) based on Sason’s visual assessment criteria. For
tendons where some pitting visible to the unaided eye was found (category 4A and
5A), some (but not all) samples failed to meet either or both tensile strength and
ductility requirements of ASTM A416. However, the failing tensile test result
values for these samples were near (within 94%) of the minimum acceptable
breaking strength criteria.

Tensile test results were consistent with visual observations that indicated the limits
of corrosion influence in the vicinity (3 to 9 feet) of the grout vent tubes where
moisture entered the ducts prior to grouting. Samples tested outside of that range
passed all test parameters of ASTM A416. In addition, tensile test results confirm
that significant corrosion was limited to the top three or four strands in multiple
strand tendons.

35
Group I (all passing results)

Figure 20 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C13N removed from
Cantilever E14W, Location 2. Breaking strength is the maximum load
at which one or more wires of the strand fractures. Load at EUL is the
load at which 1% extension was achieved. Per ASTM A416, 1%
extension must be achieved at a minimum of 90% of the minimum
required breaking strength for low relaxation strand.

Figure 21 Elongation test results for Tendon C13N removed from Cantilever
E14W, Location 2.

36
Figure 22 Borescope view of Tendon C13N removed from Cantilever E14W.

37
Figure 23 View of Strand from Tendon C13N prior to cleaning.

Figure 24 View of Strand from Figure 23 after testing and cleaning. This strand
did not show signs of pitting corrosion.

38
Figure 25 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D6S removed from
Cantilever E14W.

Figure 26 Elongation test results for Tendon D6S removed from Cantilever E14W.

39
Figure 27 Borescope view of strands in Tendon D6S, Cantilever E14W.

Figure 28 View of Tendon D6Safter being removed and placed on the deck.
Based on observations made in the laboratory, the condition of this
tendon was upgraded from moderate corrosion to minor corrosion.

40
(a)

(b)

Figure 29 (a) Cleaned wires from strand sample C of Tendon D6S after testing and
cleaning with a nylon pad. (b) Cleaned wires from strand sample D of
Tendon D6S after cleaning with a nylon pad. These wires were
classified as having minor corrosion. Samples A and B from the same
tendon had a similar appearance.

41
Figure 30 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D9S removed from
Cantilever E14W.

Figure 31 Elongation test results for Tendon D9S removed from Cantilever E14W.

42
Figure 32 Borescope view of strands in Tendon D9S, Cantilever E14W.

Figure 33 View of Tendon D9S after being removed and placed on the deck.
Based on observations made in the laboratory, the condition of this
tendon was upgraded from moderate corrosion to minor corrosion.

43
(a)

(b)

Figure 34 (a) Cleaned wires from strand sample A of Tendon D9S after testing
and cleaning with a nylon pad. (b) Cleaned wires from strand sample C
of Tendon D9S after cleaning with a nylon pad. These wires were
classified as having minor corrosion. White paint on the wires in the
sample shown in (b) indicates the location of the area day lighted
through the concrete deck.

44
Figure 35 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C25N, Strand 3 removed
from Cantilever E13W.

Figure 36 Elongation test results for Tendon C25N, Strand 3 removed from
Cantilever E13W.

45
Figure 37 Borescope view of strands in Tendon C25N, Cantilever E13W.

Figure 38 View of strands in opened duct of Tendon C25N at Cantilever E13W.


The duct was day lighted to view the condition of the strands. Although
a bit difficult to see in this photo, only the top four strands of this 31-
strand tendon were affected due to corrosion. This was verified when
the entire tendon was removed on 11-16-06.

46
Figure 39 View of a portion of Strand 3, Sample B (prior to cleaning and testing)
removed from Tendon C25N at Cantilever E13W.

Figure 40 Cleaned wires from Strand 3, Sample B, removed from Tendon C25N at
Cantilever E13W. The fractured wire seen in the photo is a result of
tensile testing the strand sample.

47
Figure 41 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C26N removed from
Cantilever E13W.

Figure 42 Elongation test results for Tendon C26N removed from Cantilever
E13W.

48
Figure 43 Borescope view of strands in Tendon C26N, Cantilever E13W.

Figure 44 View of strand from Tendon C26N after being removed from the duct.

49
Figure 45 View of same strand shown in Figure 44 prior to cleaning and tensile
testing. This strand did not exhibit signs of corrosion pitting.

Figure 46 View of strand after cleaning and testing. The fracture surface is a 45-
degree shear surface. The fractured wire seen in photo is a result of
tensile testing the strand sample.

50
Figure 47 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D3N removed from
Cantilever E12W.

Figure 48 Elongation test results for Tendon D3N removed from Cantilever
E12W.

51
Figure 49 Borescope view of strands in Tendon D3N, Cantilever E12W.

Figure 50 View of Tendon D3N after being removed and placed on the deck.

52
Figure 51 View of strand from Tendon D3N and location (Vent 4E) as shown in
Figure 43 prior to cleaning. This strand was not pitted.

(a)

(b)
Figure 52 (a) Cleaned wires from strand sample B of Tendon D3N after testing
and cleaning with a nylon pad. (b) Cleaned wires from strand sample C
of Tendon D3N after cleaning with a nylon pad. These strands were
classified as havening minor corrosion. Sample A from this tendon had
a similar appearance. Fractured wires seen in the photos are the result
of tensile testing of the strands.

53
Figure 53 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon D13N removed from
Cantilever E12W.

Figure 54 Elongation test results for Tendon D13N removed from Cantilever
E12W.

54
Figure 55 Borescope view of strands in Tendon D13N, Cantilever E12W.

Figure 56 View of Tendon D13N after being removed and placed on the deck.

55
Figure 57 View of strand removed from Tendon D13N prior to cleaning. This
strand was not pitted.

(a)

(b)
Figure 58 a) Cleaned wires from strand sample B of Tendon D13N after testing
and cleaning with a nylon pad. (b) Cleaned wires from strand sample D
of Tendon D13N after testing and cleaning with a nylon pad. These
strands were classified as having minor corrosion.

56
Figure 59 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C12S (Side Strand)
removed from Cantilever E11W.

Figure 60 Elongation test results for Tendon C12S (Side Strand) removed from
Cantilever E11W.

57
Figure 61 Borescope view of Tendon C12S at Cantilever E11W.

Figure 62 View of Tendon C12S at Cantilever E11W through a day lighted region
while the strands were still in the duct. FHWA corrosion expert Dr.
S.K. Lee is swabbing the strands for chlorides. This test was performed
as a secondary chloride test to laboratory tests of water samples. Four
top strands from this tendon were affected by corrosion significant
enough to cause pitting (category 4-5 compared to Sason PCI report).
Remaining strands in the 34-strand bundle were classified as having
minor corrosion. Although the results of Dr. Lee’s field testing is not
formally report in this document, his limited field testing was consistent
with other tests that showed minimal chloride ion content. The field test
result for this tendon using the SCT chloride ion test kit was 7 ppm.

58
Figure 63 View of side strand sample A removed from Tendon C12S prior to
cleaning. This strand was classified as having only minor corrosion and
was not pitted.

Figure 64 View of side strand Sample A after testing and cleaning from Tendon
C12S.

59
Group II (non-passing results in one or more samples)

Figure 65 Breaking strength and EUL results for a Tendon C13N (identified as
Location 1, Strand 1) removed from Cantilever E14W.

Figure 66 Elongation test results for Tendon C13N (Location 1, Strand 1)


removed from Cantilever E14W.

60
Figure 67 Borescope view of strands in Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W.

Figure 68 View of strands in tendon duct C13N, Cantilever E14W through a day
lighted section. Only the top four strands showed signs of pitting
corrosion.

61
Figure 69 View of strand 1 removed from Tendon C13N prior to cleaning.

Figure 70 View of cleaned wires from strand 1 of Tendon C13Nafter testing and
cleaning. The wires from strand 1, sample C of this tendon had
measured pit depths consistent with category 4 to 5 of Sason’s report.
The fractured wire shown in the photo is the result of tensile testing the
strand sample.

62
Figure 71 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C13N, Location1, Strand
2 removed from Cantilever E14W.

Figure 72 Elongation test results for Tendon C13N (Location 1, strand 2) removed
from Cantilever E14W.

63
(a)

(b)
Figure 73 (a) View of strand removed from Tendon C13N (Location 1, Strand 2,
Sample A) prior to cleaning. (b) Sample C from same strand. Figures
67 and 68 showed the borescope and day lighted tendon views
respectively. These strands were not cleaned after testing.

64
Figure 74 Breaking strength and EUL results for a Tendon C13N (identified as
Location 1, Strand 4) removed from Cantilever E14W.

Figure 75 Elongation test results for Tendon C13N, Strand 4 removed from
Location1 at Cantilever E14W.

65
Figure 76 View of Strand 4 removed from Tendon C13N, Cantilever E14W prior
to cleaning. Figures 67 and 68 showed the borescope and day lighted
tendon views respectively.

Figure 77 View of wires from strand shown in Figure 76 after testing and
cleaning. Corrosion pit measurements for this strand were consistent
with Sason’s category 4.

66
Figure 78 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C25N, Strand 1 removed
from Cantilever E13W.

Figure 79 Elongation test results for Tendon C25N, Strand 1 removed from
Cantilever E13W.

67
(a)

(b)

Figure 80 (a) View of strand removed from tendon C25N (Strand 1, Sample A)
prior to cleaning. (b) Sample C from same strand. Figures 37 and 38
showed the borescope and day lighted tendon views respectively.

Figure 81 View of wires from Tendon C25N (Strand1, Sample A) after testing and
cleaning. Some pitting corrosion is evident, consistent with Sason
category 4.

68
Figure 82 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C25N, Strand 2 removed
from Cantilever E13W.

Figure 83 Elongation test results for Tendon C25N, Strand 2 removed from
Cantilever E13W.

69
(a)

(b)

Figure 84 (a) View of strand removed from Tendon C25N (Strand 2, Sample B)
prior to cleaning. (b) Sample D from same strand. Figures 37 and 38
showed the borescope and day lighted tendon views respectively.

Figure 85 View of strand sample D removed from Tendon C25N after testing and
cleaning. Although pit depth measurements were not obtained on this
sample, it appears, based on visual inspection, that the pitting is
probably consistent with Sason’s category 4A to 5A. The fractured wire
shown in the sample is the result of tensile testing the strand sample.

70
Figure 86 Breaking strength and EUL results for Tendon C12S (Top Strand)
removed from Cantilever E11W.

Figure 87 Elongation test results for Tendon C12S (Top Strand) removed from
Cantilever E11W.

71
Figure 88 View of strand from Tendon C12S (Sample A) at Cantilever E11W
prior to cleaning. Note, this is a top strand from the tendon shown in
Figures 61 (borescope view) and 62 (day lighted tendon view), and
illustrates the difference in appearance between a strand positioned at
the top of the tendon bundle compared to one on the side of the bundle
(Figure 63). Corrosion was limited to the top strands – ranging from
two to four strands. Other strands with less exposure to air and better
electrolytic contact with the galvanized duct did not experience as
significant degree of corrosion.

Figure 89 View of cleaned wires from strand sample shown in Figure 88 after
testing and cleaning. Pit depth measurements were in the range of
Sason’s category 5A, but at least one pit was measured at a depth
exceeding the category 6A minimum.

72
Corrosion Analyses Results for Water Samples Extracted from Ducts

Results of corrosion tests for chloride ion, sulfate ion and pH for water samples
collected from various ducts are presented in Table 15. These samples were
obtained and tested to determine the level of corrosivity of the water. Caltrans
considers a chloride concentration of 500 ppm to be corrosive. In addition, a sulfate
concentration of 2000 ppm is considered to be corrosive. Levels of chlorides and/or
sulfates in the range indicating “corrosive” may have required additional flushing of
the ducts with lime water to remove residual chlorides.

The results for the corrosion tests indicated relatively low concentrations of
chlorides (ranging from 5 to 108 ppm) and sulfates (ranging from 6 to 211 ppm).
The results of pH measurements indicated neutral to alkaline pH. Based on these
results, the water samples would be considered to be “non-corrosive” per usual
Caltrans classifications.

These results were consistent with the suspected source of moisture (rainwater)
entering the ducts prior to grouting. Even though the SFOBB skyway is located in a
marine environment, the height of the deck above the water and location of the
grout vent tubes near the surface of the deck minimized the amount of chloride and
sulfate ion accumulation in the ducts.

Strand
Chloride
Sample Exposure Sulfate Content
pH Content
Location Time (ppm)
(ppm)
(Months)*
E9W-C8S 9.3 11.8 99 158
E9W-C7N 9.3 11.7 108 211
E9W-T4S 0.3 9.3 12 30
E9W-C28S 8.6 10.4 106 98
E10W-T1S 1.6 7.6 24 90
E11W-C22N 3.7 9.5 7 7
E13W-C4S 12.4 10.7 12 10
E13W-C19N 11.7 10.7 5 6
E13W-C20S 11.7 10.8 8 9
Table 15 Corrosion test results of water samples from ducts at SFOBB skyway
project site. All test results indicate low levels of chlorides and
sulfates. * Exposure time was counted as of the time of water sampling.

73
Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) Microprobe Spectra

The results of the Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) testing are presented in Figures
90 through 98. This testing was performed to obtain the elemental composition of
the corrosion products (oxide layer) on selected surfaces (portions of fracture
surfaces) of wires removed from the strand samples.

The EDX results showed no evidence of chloride or significant amounts of sulfur


present on any surfaces of the samples examined.

Figure 90 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron and oxygen.

74
Figure 91 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron and oxygen.

Figure 92 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron, calcium, and oxygen.

75
Figure 93 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron, silicon, oxygen, and some trace amount of
sulfur.

Figure 94 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron and oxygen.

76
Figure 95 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron and oxygen.

Figure 96 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron, silicon, oxygen, and some trace amount of
sulfur.

77
Figure 97 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron and oxygen.

Figure 98 EDX trace from surface of wire indicating elemental signature spectra
consistent with that of iron, aluminum, calcium, and oxygen.

78
Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC)

A total of six strand samples were evaluated for signs of EAC. The inspection
procedure involved inspecting the strands by fluorescent magnetic particle
inspection technique. Four small surface cracks were found in the surface oxide of
two strand samples (E13W-C25N, Strand 1D and E14W-C13N, Location 1, Strand
3), however, the cracks did not penetrate the base metal. These cracks likely opened
up in the oxide scale due to tension in the wire. From a structural perspective, since
the cracks did not propagate into the base metal, they would not reduce the tensile
capacity of the wire/strand.

One small transverse crack was found (E14W-C13N, Location 1, Strand 4D) that
propagated below the oxide scale into the base metal to a relatively shallow depth of
0.00492 inch. This crack had some branching and appears to be consistent with
EAC where the applied stress in combination with corrosion at a level of Category 5
produced a small crack in the base metal capable of reducing the ultimate capacity
of the strand below the required minimum of the ASTM A416 standard.

Figures 99 through 105 show the strand samples before and after magnetic particle
analyses.

Figure 104 illustrates the level of pitting corrosion that was experienced before the
crack propagated into the base metal. In contrast, as shown in Figures 101 and 102,
there were no cracks in the base metal where the pitting corrosion was less severe.

The branching characteristic of the crack shown in Figure 105 is indicative of stress
assisted cracking likely a result of localized corrosion occurring within the
formation of a pit in the presence of moisture and in combination with applied
stress.

Microcracks were not found on any other samples that complied with the tensile
strength requirements of ASTM A416 which is the acceptance criteria specified in
the contract special provisions for seven strand prestressing strand, and EAC is not
believed to be an issue for concern on the project, based on the results of this
evaluation.

The possibility of microbiologically induced corrosion from fungal action within the
pit prior to grouting is not likely since a key component such as sulfur, usually
associated with microbiological induced corrosion attack, was not found in the
sufficient quantities either in the water samples or on selected wire samples tested
with EDX spectra to allow this type of attack to occur.

79
Figure 99 Strand Sample D (Strand 1) removed from Cantilever E13W, Tendon
C25N. Photo was taken prior to cleaning to remove lose oxides before
microcrack testing was conducted using the magnetic particle inspection
procedure.

Figure 100 Same strand shown in Figure 99. A nylon pad was used to remove the
loose oxide scale. This strand was inspected for the presence of
microcracking using the magnetic particle inspection procedure. The
white marks identify regions where cracks in the remaining oxide layer
were visible.

80
Figure 101 Close-up view of a wire from the strand shown in Figure 99. The
arrows mark regions that appear to be transverse crack initiation points
near a corrosion pit.

Figure 102 Micrograph of cross section at potential crack region showing that the
cracks do not penetrate into the base metal. The sample was etched
with 2% Nitol for the prepared micrograph. The large dark area at the
top of the photo is the mounting compound. The lighter area at the
bottom is the metal. The transition zone between the two areas
(approximately 25micrometers represents the surface oxide). The
microcrack only propagated through the oxide layer.

81
Figure 103 Strand 4 sample removed from Cantilever E14W, Tendon C13N,
Location 1. Photo was taken prior to removing lose oxides before
microcrack testing was conducted using the magnetic particle inspection
procedure.

Figure 104 Close-up view of a wire from the strand shown in Figure 103. In
contrast to the sample shown in Figure 101, this pit is much more
extensive. The arrow points to a potential microcrack.

82
Figure 105 Micrograph of cross section at the suspected crack region shown in
Figure 104. The crack extends into the base metal a distance of 0.0049
inch and branches at about 45 degrees in the longitudinal direction
(direction of wire tension). This crack is characteristic of EAC in which
the combination of applied stress (and corrosion) resulted in the
initiation of the observed crack. The presence of this crack would likely
result in reduced tensile capacity of the wire and the overall strand

Hydrogen Absorption

The hydrogen absorption test results are presented in Table 16. The results indicate
no difference in the amount of hydrogen in the corroded samples compared to that
of the control samples. The relatively low amounts of hydrogen (less than 10 ppm)
and the similarities between the hydrogen levels of the corroded samples and the
control samples are consistent with results of the tensile tests which indicated
ductile fractures and ductility even in samples where pitting corrosion was found.

83
Sample ID Hydrogen (ppm)
24A 1.84
25C 2.72
25D 1.70
Control A 3.70
Control B 2.17
Control C 1.86
Table 16 Absorbed hydrogen test results. Samples 24A, 25C, and 25D represent
samples from corroded strand segments suspected of having
microcracks. Samples A, B, and C are control samples obtained from
the supplier of the post-tensioning strand material for the SFOBB
skyway project.

Electrical Potential Measurements

In all cases, the difference in electrical potential was on the order of 600 mV (e.g.,
potential of galvanized duct at –950 mV versus copper/copper sulfate reference,
potential of strand at –330 mV versus copper/copper sulfate reference = difference
in potential of 620 mV). These readings indicate that electrical current flow from
the zinc (galvanizing) on the duct is capable of flowing to the strands in the
presence of moisture. The current flow is produced by the natural difference in the
electrical potential between the zinc coating and the carbon steel strands and their
physical contact in the duct. The electrical circuit (ionic current flow) is completed
by the presence of moisture. This is known as galvanic cathodic protection (CP).

The potential measurements verify that the galvanized duct has the ability to provide
some corrosion protection to some of the strands in the tendon bundles by galvanic
cathodic protection (CP). This explains why some of the strands in the contact with
water that were closer to the walls of the galvanized ducts experienced a lesser
degree of corrosion. This also explains why many of the strands in the tendons
where grout vent tubes were damaged and were accessible to moisture did not
experience corrosion.

Exposure Comparison Analysis


Precipitation data is summarized in Table 17. This data was collected from the
Encinal & Fernside Weather Station (KCAALAME1) located in Alameda, CA - Lat
N 37° 45’ 16” (37.755°), Lon: W122° 13’ 52” (-122.231°) close to the SFOBB
project site.

As can be seen from the compiled data, a significant rainfall (9.68 inches) occurred
during the month of December 2005.

84
Table 17 lists the tendons removed from the eastbound and westbound structures
along with the accumulated precipitation during the time period these tendons were
un-grouted.

This data shows that relatively similar precipitation exposure conditions existed
during construction for both the eastbound and westbound skyway structures of the
SFOBB project. Although it is not possible to know the exact date that any given
grout vent tube was breached, allowing moisture into the duct, it is believed that this
problem existed during the early stages of construction and was similar for both
structures.

As a comparison, Tendons E6E-C4S and E6E-C11N were characterized as having


similar corrosion appearances (moderate corrosion with some pit initiation sites that
were considered to be un-measurable) on the eastbound structure. These tendons
had been left un-grouted for about the same time periods, 14 and 16 months,
respectively. Figures 106 and 107 show the condition of strand samples from
removed from Cantilevers E6E-C4S and E6E-C11N (previously removed from the
eastbound structure) respectively.

85
(a)

(b)
Figure 106 Strand segment from Cantilever E6E, Tendon C4S. This strand was
also exposed for 14 months, but experienced a higher degree of
corrosion due to the increased presence of moisture in the duct. (a)
Sample of strand before cleaning. The darker spots on the wires are the
initial stages of localized corrosion sites (pits). (b) Same sample after
cleaning.

86
(a)

(b)
Figure 107 Strand segment from Cantilever E6E, Tendon C11N (a) Sample before
cleaning. Note that this section of the strand was unraveled. Dark pit
initiation sites can be seen on the individual wires. However, these sites
did not have appreciable depths. (b) Same sample after cleaning.

87
On the westbound structure, Tendons E13W-C25N and E13W-C26N had similar
corrosion appearances (moderate corrosion) to that of Tendon E14W-C13N. When
comparing Tendon E6E-C11N to E14W-C13N, Tendon E14W-C13N experienced
slightly more aggressive corrosion even though the total potential exposure period
was the same. The dryer month periods of June, July, August, and September 2006
resulted in Tendon E14W-C13N having potential exposure to slightly higher rainfall
relative to Tendon E6E-C11N, and may have played a role in the increased
corrosion despite the decreased exposure time

The important aspect of this discussion is to illustrate that the corrosion condition of
the tendons found on both the eastbound and westbound structures were similar in
appearance since the exposure time to precipitation accumulation are comparable.

Even though the westbound skyway structure was evaluated more extensively,
given the similar precipitation exposure conditions and the length of time the
tendons were left un-grouted in both structures, it is reasonable to expect these
structures experienced similar levels of corrosion (in terms of the probable number
tendons affected by corrosion).

88
Date Precipitation
Eastbound Structure Westbound Structure
Removed (inches)
Tendon ID Tendon ID
Installation E6E- E6E-
Date----Æ C11N
April 05 1.36
C4S
May 05 1.31
Jun 05 0.57
Jul 05 0.00
Aug 05 0.00
Sept 05 0.01
Oct 05 0.28
E13W- E14W- Installation
Nov 05 2.13
16
C25N/C26N C13N Å----Date
15
months months Dec 05 9.68
Jan 06 2.70
Feb 06 1.51
Mar 06 5.96
Apr 06 4.78
13 13
May 06 0.42 months months
C4S 30.71
Jun 06 0.00
Removed inches
Jul 06 0.00
C11N 30.71
Aug 06 0.00
Removed inches
Sept 06 0.00
Oct 06 0.46
29.18 29.18 Removed
Nov 06 1.54 inches inches
11/28/06
Dec 06 3.04
Jan 07 0.17
Table 17 Precipitation data from the Encinal & Fernside Weather Station
(KCAALAME1) located in Alameda, CA

Pit Depth Measurements

The results of pits depth measurements for Group II are presented in Table 18. This
table also lists the picture set categories representing the corrosion appearance of the
strand samples based on the data presented in Sason’s PCI report. Group II was
designated as having one or more samples from the strands removed from the
tendons that did not met the minimum mechanical requirements specified in ASTM
A416.

89
The results confirmed the picture set corrosion assessment categories for the
selected samples.

Sample ID Measurement (inch)1 Visual Assessment Category


0.0030 5
0.0050 5
0.0060 5
0.0045 5
E14W-C13N
0.0005 4
Location1, Strand 1
0.0045 5
(Sample C)
0.0035 5
0.0010 4
0.0010 4
0.0008 4
0.0008 4
0.0008 4
0.0007 4
0.0006 4
E14W-C13N
0.0005 4
Location1, Strand 4
(Sample A) 0.0009 4
0.0010 4
0.0020 4
0.0010 4
0.0008 4
0.0010 4
0.0010 4
0.0008 4
0.0008 4
E13W-C25N
0.0008 4
Strand 1
(Sample A) 0.0008 4
0.0007 4
0.0004 4
0.0005 4
0.0003 4
0.0035 5
0.0095 6
0.0030 5
0.0045 5
E11W-C12S
0.0045 5
Top Strand
0.0045 5
(Sample A)
0.0055 5
0.0065 5
0.0065 5
0.0055 5
0.0035 5
Table 18 Measured pit depths of pits in strand samples and corresponding visual
assessment categories based on criteria in Sason’s, PCI article.

90
CONCLUSIONS

The following conclusions are based on extensive field and laboratory evaluations
and in-depth testing of post-tensioning strands used in the construction of the
SFOBB skyway project, and are consistent with observations made at 4,328 grout
vent tube locations on the westbound structure, representing 1,635 tendons (79%) of
a total of 2,076 tendons reported by construction as ungrouted and available for
inspection.

• For the westbound structure, visual observations performed using a borescope


indicated that strand at only 33 out of 4,328 grout vent tube locations, exhibited
a moderate level of corrosion (corrosion significant enough to result in pits
detectable by unaided eye observation).

• In terms of actual tendons examined, only 25 out of 1,635 tendons examined had
strands that were characterized as having moderate corrosion. Moderate
corrosion was found in less than 2% of the tendons examined during this
investigation.

The level of observed corrosion on the strands was influenced by the availability
of aerated water that entered the ducts before the tendons were grouted.

• Of the tendons that experienced corrosion, the corrosion was found in isolated
areas within either 3 to 9 feet of a breached grout vent tube or within 10 to 12
feet of the anchorage head at the lowest elevation point at the end of the tendon.

Corrosion was only found on the top three or four strands in typical multiple
strand tendons closest to the inlet of the breached grout vent tubes.

• In some cases, tendons were identified as having moderate corrosion based on


the borescope evaluation, but were reclassified to minor corrosion after being
cleaned and re-examined in the laboratory. Reclassifying the corrosion
condition of some strands was a planned aspect of the investigative process, and
was based on the fact that the laboratory evaluation allowed a more detailed
examination of the strands compared to the initial evaluation using the
borescope. This was the case for all the “D” tendons removed from the structure
during this evaluation.

• In many cases, strands in tendons did not experience corrosion at or near the
vent tubes even though they were exposed to moisture over long periods of time
due to entry of water at broken or open grout vent tubes. These strands, which
were in contact with the galvanized duct in the presence of moisture at these

91
locations, received corrosion protection in the form of cathodic protection
(protective electrical current).

The corrosion condition of the strands ranged from being classified as having
“no corrosion” (where the strands were essentially grey in appearance with
virtually no signs of oxidation) to “moderate corrosion” (where the corrosion
was more uniformly distributed on the strands as evident by a higher degree of
discoloration over the strand surface with the presence of some isolated areas of
darker corrosion products consistent with pit initiation sites).

• Tensile test results that indicated passing strength and ductility per ASTM A416
were obtained for all tested strand samples from tendons that did not exhibit
corrosion beyond visual category 3A (no signs of pitting corrosion as evident in
the Group I results) based on Sason’s visual assessment criteria. For tendons
where some pitting visible to the unaided eye was found (category 4A and 5A),
some (but not all) of the samples failed to meet either or both the tensile test
strength and ductility requirements of ASTM A416. However, the failing tensile
test result values for these samples were no less than 94% of the minimum
acceptable breaking strength criteria.

• Tensile test results for strands that met the material strength requirements of
ASTM A416 exceeded the minimum breaking strength requirement of 58,600
lbs for the 270 ksi strand by at least 2%.

• Tensile test results in which some of the strand samples failed to meet
specifications were consistent with the observation of greater extent of corrosion
where the strands were extracted. Those locations were from 3 to 9 feet on
either side of the breached grout tube vents where moisture entered the ducts.
Tensile test results for samples outside of this range met the test criteria outlined
in ASTM A416. In addition, tensile test results also agreed with the observation
that significant corrosion was limited to the top three or four strands in a strand
bundle.

• Based on the corrosivity test results (the presence of chloride and sulfate ions),
the water sampled from the ducts during this investigation was not considered to
be corrosive per the usual Caltrans classifications. The test results indicate that
little or no chlorides entered the ducts despite the marine environment at the site.
In addition, the pH was neutral to alkaline, which would also be considered
indicative of non-corrosive conditions.

• Since chlorides were not present in significant amounts within the ducts, it is
unlikely that corrosion of the strands will continue after the tendons are properly
grouted. Chloride contents of sampled water from the ducts were indicative of

92
non-marine (fresh water), and it is expected that the normal high pH of the grout
will establish the typical corrosion protection barrier (passive oxide layer) on the
post-tensioning strands after grouting. Any trace amounts of chloride that may
exist in the ducts or on the strands after the grout is introduced into the ducts
under pressure will be well below the threshold (0.2% by weight of cement for
Class 4 Concrete, or about 0.14% by weight of cement for grout with a water to
cement ratio of 0.44) commonly reported for sustained corrosion.

• Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) test results, performed to obtain the elemental
composition of selected surfaces of wires removed from strand samples, were
consistent with the results of the chemical analyses of the water samples
removed from selected ducts. There was no evidence of either chlorides or
significant amounts of sulfur present on any surfaces of the samples examined.

• Based on the environmentally assisted cracking (EAC) analyses, one small


microcrack with a penetration depth of 0.0049 inch into the base metal was
found at the base of a pit on only one wire from a strand classified as having
moderate corrosion. This microcrack branched out at the base of the crack. This
conclusion is consistent with EAC where the crack propagates under a
combination of applied stress and corrosion at the base of the corrosion pit.
Microcracks were not found on any other samples that complied with the tensile
strength requirements of ASTM A416 which is the acceptance criteria specified
in the contract special provisions for seven strand prestressing strand, and EAC
is not believed to be an issue for concern on the project, based on the results of
this evaluation.

• The westbound structure was evaluated more extensively than the eastbound
skyway structure due to the available access of ungrouted ducts in the westbound
structure. However, given the similarities between exposure conditions during
the construction of these structures, it is reasonable to assume that both
structures experienced similar levels of corrosion (in terms of the probable
number of affected tendons).

RECOMENDATIONS

Based on the findings of this evaluation, the following recommendations should be


considered:

• As a consideration, for the westbound structure, a fit for purpose analyses could
be performed taking into consideration the level of observed corrosion presented
in this report. Of particular importance are the tendons with demonstrated
moderate corrosion appearance.

93
• For the eastbound structure, similar analyses that take into consideration the
effect of corrosion could also be conducted. These analyses could be applied to
cantilevers of similar age as those of the westbound structure (assuming similar
numbers of affected tendons), since exposure conditions on the eastbound and
westbound structure were similar.

• Except for “D” tendons, strands in cantilevers/spans with blocked grout vent
tubes where the tendons have been un-grouted for periods of nine months or
longer could be classified as having “moderate corrosion”. This
recommendation is consistent with the corrosion condition of tendons with
similar exposure periods examined during this investigation.

• For the analyses listed above, the average actual breaking strength values
obtained for strands in bundles where either no corrosion or minor corrosion was
observed could be considered for use.

94
REFERENCES

1. Corven, John., and Alan Morenton (2004) “Post-Tensioning Tendon


Installation and Grouting Manual” FHWA May 2004.

2. Florida DOT (2002) “New Directions for Florida Post-Tensioned Bridges”.


Florida Department of transportation. Post-Tensioning in Florida Bridges. By
Corven Engineering, Inc., Tallahassee, Florida., February 2002.

3. Gangloff, Richard P. (2003) “Hydrogen Assisted Cracking of High Strength


Alloys”. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of
Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia., Charlottesville, VA.,
Elsevier Science, New York, NY, April 2003.

4. Hartt, William H., S. Charvin., and S.K. Lee (1999) “Influence of


Permeability Reducing and Corrosion Inhibiting Admixtures in Concrete Upon
initiation of Salt Induced Embedded Metal Corrosion”, Center for Marine
materials Department of Ocean Engineering Florida Atlantic University – Boca
Raton, Florida., June 1999.

5. Hartt, William H., and S. Venugopalan (2002) “Corrosion Evaluation of Post-


Tensioned Tendons on the Mid Bay Bridge in Destin, Florida”, Department of
Ocean Engineering Florida Atlantic University – Sea Tech Campus, Florida.,
April 2002.

6. Iyer, Shivprakash., Andrea J. Schokker., and Sunil Sinha (2002) “Ultrasonic


Imaging – A Novel Way to Investigate Corrosion Status in Post-Tensioned
Concrete Members” Civil & Environmental Engineering Department The
Pensylvania State University, University Campus, PA, December 2002.

7. McKnight, Larry E. (2007) “Metallurgical Evaluation of Selected Post Tension


Strands From a Rejected Tendon Removed from the SFOBB Skyway
Replacement Project”, (Report No. MAC061011), McKnight Laboratory, Inc.,
Santa Fe Springs, CA.

8. McKnight, Larry E. (2007) “Supplemental Report on Metallurgical Evaluation


of Selected Post Tension Strands from the SFOBB Skyway Replacement
Project”, (Report No. MAC061011B), McKnight Laboratory, Inc., Santa Fe
Springs, CA.

9. Nurnberger., Ulf (1998) “Corrosion Induced Failures in Prestressed Concrete


Structures and Preventative Measures”, Otto-Graf Journal Vol 9, 1998

95
10. Salas., R.M., A.J. Schokker., J.S.West., J.E.Breen, and M.E.Kreger. (2004)
“Conclusions, Recommendations and Design Guidelines for Corrosion
Protection of Post-Tensioned Bridges”, Research Report 0-1405-9, Center for
Transportation Research, The University of Texas at Austin., February 2004.

11. Salas., R.M., A.L. Kotys., J.S.West., J.E.Breen, and M.E.Kreger. (2002)
“Final Evaluation of Corrosion Protection for bonded Internal Tendons in
Precast Segmental Construction” Research Report 0-1405, Center for
Transportation Research, The University of Texas at Austin, October 2002.

12. Sason, Auguston S., (1992) “Evaluation of Degree of Rusting on Prestressed


Concrete Strand”, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute Vol 37 No 3 May-June
1992.

13. Staehle, R.W., and B.J. Little (2002) “Corrosion and Stress Corrosion
Cracking of Post Tension Cables Associated with Fungal Action”, NACE
Corrosion Journal 2002.

14. Stauder, Anne-Laure, and William H. Hartt. (1998) “Cathodic Protection of


Pre-Tensioned Concrete: Part I – Brittle Fracture Propensity of Corrosion
Damaged Prestressing Tendon Wire”, Paper No. 635 NACE International.

15. Stroe, Mioara Elvira, (2006) Hydrogen Embrittlement of Ferrous Materials”,


Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of
Matter and Materials, Materials Science and Electrochemistry Group, Belgium,
January 2006.

16. Treadaway, K.W. J., (1970) “Corrosion of Prestressing Steel Wire in


Concrete”, Building Research Station, Department of the Environment, Garston,
Herts., NACE Corrosion Journal Volume 6, March 1971.

17. Uhlig, Herbert H (edited by Winston Revie 2000). Uhlig’s Corrosion


Handbook, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York, 2000.

18. Wang. H., and A.A. Sagues (2005) “Corrosion of Post-Tensioning Strands”
Contract No. BC353 RPWO#33 Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, November 2005.

19. West, J.S., C.J. Larosche., BD. Koester., J.E. Breen., and M.E. Kreger.
(1999) “State-of-the-Art Report About Durability of Post-Tensioned Bridge
Substructures” Research Report 1405-1, Center for Transportation Research,
The University of Texas at Austin., October 1999.

96
APPENDIX A

FHWA November 19-November 22 2006 Trip Report

97
Laboratory Evaluation of Post-Tensioning Strand Samples Removed from
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Skyway Seismic Replacement Project

Prepared by

Seung-Kyoung Lee and Paul Virmani

Office of Infrastructure R&D


Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Federal Highway Administration

May 15, 2007


BACKGROUND

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) skyway structures consist of two 1.3-
mile long parallel concrete segmental bridges. Each bridge structure has four frames over
14 piers, which are held together by 270 ksi post-tensioning strands. During the duct
cleaning process of ungrouted tendons prior to grouting work, rust staining water was
discovered in the number of cantilever and continuity tendon ducts. Normally, Caltrans
complete the grouting in 10 days after tendon stressing but on this bridge some of the
stressed tendons were left ungrouted for up to 15 months. Due to above reason, corrosion
investigation of the selected post-tensioned strands was conducted between June 2006
and February 2007 by Corrosion Technology Branch of Office of Testing and
Technology Services, Caltrans. As a result, two interim reports were produced.

In addition to Caltrans, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) of Federal


Highway Administration (FHWA) also participated in the corrosion evaluation. Two
TFHRC corrosion personnel visited the construction site during November 19-22, 2006.
A brief trip report on the condition of the ungrouted stressed strands was submitted to
FHWA Office of Bridge Technology and California division office.

At our request, Mr. Robert Reis of Caltrans supplied several field strand samples and a
follow-up study was conducted to re-evaluate characteristics of pitting corrosion
observed on the strands in a controlled laboratory environment. This study was intended
to complement extensive field and laboratory investigations performed by Caltrans. The
following discusses the findings of this laboratory study.

EXPERIMENTAL

As-received Condition and Photographic Documentation

TFHRC received multiple strand samples from Caltrans:


(1) Five 4-foot long new 7-wire strands that was never in service;
(2) Five 4-foot long atmospherically exposed 7-wire strands that was not used
but had been on the job-site exposed to marine atmosphere for a period of
approximately one year;
(3) A 3-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct,
Sample B (E13W-C26N);
(4) A 1-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct,
Sample E (E13W-C25N). It was delivered to TFHRC after Caltrans cleaned
it using the ASTM G1 Standard, chemical cleaning solution/procedure listed
in Annex C.3.5;
(5) A 1.5-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct
(E11W-C12S);
(6) A 1-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct
(E14W-D6S);

2
(7) A 1-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct
(E12W-C13N); and
(8) A 1-foot long cut section of a stressed 7-wire strand from ungrouted duct
(E14W-D9S).

Based on appearance, Caltrans rated three samples (E13W-C25N, E13W-C26N and


E12W-C13N) for “moderate corrosion” and other two samples (E14W-D6S, and E14W-
D9S) for “minor corrosion” categories. Caltrans did not observe strand conditions worse
than the “moderate corrosion” in their investigations. The last sample (E11W-C12S) was
not rated by Caltrans but it was classified as “moderate corrosion” by TFHRC.
Atmospherically exposed strand samples were covered with reddish corrosion products
that were typical for marine atmosphere with limited time of wetness. Virgin strand
samples exhibited a clean condition without sign of corrosion.

A digital camera and a digital microscope were used to document sample conditions. The
entire samples are displayed in Figure 1 and close-up views of the sectioned 7-wire
strands are shown in Figure 2. Condition of brand new and atmospherically corroded
strand samples is shown in Figure 3.

Chemical Cleaning

Three moderately corroded samples (E13W-C25N, E13W-C26N, and E11W-C12S), a


sample with minor corrosion (E14W-D9S), and one atmospherically corroded sample
were cleaned according to ASTM G1 “Standard Practice for Preparing, Cleaning, and
Evaluating Corrosion Test Specimens,” Annex C.3.5. For easy cleaning, each specimen
to be cleaned was 1-foot long. Just prior to cleaning, all strand samples were dismantled
by untwisting the 7 wires of a strand.

A sturdy wire brush was used to remove the corrosion products after they were soaked
for 5-10 minutes in the chemical solution. For stubborn corrosion products, longer
immersion was required. After 10- to 30-minute cleaning work, most of the corrosion
products were removed, even from bottom of the pits. Following the chemical cleaning,
the wire samples were rinsed with the running tap water for 2-3 minutes and they were
dried immediately with a heat gun. As a final step, the specimens were rubbed with a
plastic scrubbing pad to eliminate any discoloration due to chemical cleaning process.
For identification purpose, individual wires from each strand were numbered 1 through 7,
center (king) wire being No. 7.

Pit Depth Measurements

Initially, all five chemically cleaned strands were planned for pit depth measurements but
it became obvious that E14W-D9S and an atmospherically exposed strand did not exhibit
measurable pits and therefore they were excluded. Approximately 15 measurements were
made on each of seven wires per strand. Figure 4 shows a digital pit gage employed in
this study. It has a capability of measuring pit depth in 5/10,000 in. (0.5 mils) increments.
Since untwisted wires had a three-dimensional shape, it was difficult to measure accurate
pit depths with good reproducibility along the curved wire length. To solve this problem,

3
a clear epoxy compound was used to make half-depth molds that were conformed to the
actual shape of a wire. One small piece was attached to the tip of the gage (red circles in
Figure 4) and the other on the measurement bed. This modification greatly improved
accuracy of the measurements. Figure 5 shows a pit depth measurement.

Electrochemical Test Setup

Figure 6 shows a MTS test machine that was utilized to determine electrochemical
characteristics of brand new strands. An unstressed wire was held by the lower grip of the
machine in the background. Figure 7 shows another wire being tested in tension. As
shown in Figures 6 and 7, two disposable plastic beakers were mounted on each wire
using hot glue. The beakers were filled with a salt solution to have a constant test area of
9.3 cm2. Based on chemical analysis of water samples collected from the SFOBB
ungrouted tendons, two pH solutions (7.0 and 10.9) with three sodium chloride
concentrations ([Cl-] = 6, 60, and 300 ppm) were employed in this study. Combination of
these variables produced the least to the worst exposure condition observed in the field.

Figure 8 shows a 3-electrode electrochemical test cell consisting of a wire (working


electrode), a graphite rod (counter electrode), and a silver-silver chloride glass electrode
(reference electrode). The wires used in the study were all center (king) ones removed
from virgin 270-ksi strand samples. They were 3-ft. long and 0.207 in. diameter. To
investigate effect of pre-stressing on electrochemical behaviors of the wires, they were
tested in both unstressed and stressed conditions. Due to limited capacity of the test
machine, 4,000 lbs of tensile load was applied to the wires during some of the
electrochemical tests and it was equivalent to 119 ksi or 44% of guaranteed ultimate
tensile strength (GUTS).

A computer controlled test instrument was employed to conduct two types of


electrochemical tests as follows. Detailed test parameters are omitted herein to provide
general information only.

Linear Polarization Resistance Measurements

Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR) of a single wire was measured by applying a series
of small DC voltage (within ±15 mV range with respect to corrosion potential of the
wire) to the working electrode and monitoring current changes in the cell. The ratio of
applied voltage to current output is the polarization resistance according to Ohm’s law.
Instantaneous corrosion rate can be calculated by Stern-Geary equation with the LPR
value, which is inversely proportional to corrosion rate. Corrosion rate information
provides kinetic aspects of the material in response to a given environment.

Cyclic Potentiodynamic Polarization Scanning

Cyclic Potentiodynamic Polarization Scanning was carried out to evaluate a wire’s


tendency to pit in a corrosive environment. A wire is anodically polarized from near its
corrosion potential (forward sweeping) until the measured current reaches a specified

4
level or otherwise at a pre-set potential, then polarization direction is reversed toward
back to its corrosion potential (reverse sweeping). Both forward and reverse sweep
results are shown in a plot of log current versus potential. Large hysteresis between the
forward and reverse sweeps indicates likelihood of localized corrosion such as pitting.

TEST RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Corrosion Morphology

Figure 9 shows a photograph of chemically cleaned wires removed from a strand. It is


clearly shown that the cleaning process was quite effective to get rid of corrosion
products from the corroded strand samples. Figures 10(a) and (b) show two pitted wires
with measured pit depths of 4.0–5.5 mils. Both wires were rated as moderate corrosion
and exhibited some of the worst corrosion morphologies observed in this study. Figure
10(c) shows condition of many wires that experienced crevice corrosion at interstitial
sites formed by adjoining wires. Even though their pit depths were not significant, “line-
like” corrosion may induce stress elevation at these lines upon stressing. Figure 10(d)
represents typical condition of atmospherically exposed wires after cleaning.

Cross-sectional shape of most pits was wide and shallow instead of narrow and deep
vertical shapes. Representative corrosion morphology is shown in Figure 11. For
atmospherically exposed wires, recognizable pits did not form but microscopic dimples
can be seen through a digital microscope as shown in Figure 12.

Pit Depths

Figures 13 through 15 show measurement results of E11W-C12S, E13W-C25N, and


E13W-C26N, respectively. Each plot contains minimum, mean, and maximum pit depths
of individual wires. For all three strands, minimum pit depth was 0.5 mils which was the
lowest resolution of the pit gage. However, mean and maximum pit depths show
variations even in the same strand, probably due to varying water level in the ducts. This
suggests that orientation of the strands in the tendon ducts induced different levels of
pitting corrosion. The deepest pit measured was 6.0 mils on #5 wire of E13W-C25N and
none of the center wires suffered from pitting corrosion.

Figure 16 shows mean and standard deviation values of the three samples. Mean pit
depths ranged from 1.6 to 2.7 mils with standard deviations larger than 1.0 mils. Since
data points varied significantly evidenced by large coefficient of variance (CV > 50%)
and small number of wire samples was measured, a statistically significant conclusion
cannot be drawn from these data sets. However, it is clear that the samples supplied with
“moderate corrosion” rating did not suffer significant pitting damage.

5
Corrosion Rate and Corrosion Potential

As shown in Figure 17, instantaneous corrosion rate of virgin wires ranged from 1.1 mpy
(mils per year) to 5.1 mpy depending on chloride concentration and pH of the test
solutions. These corrosion rates are based on an assumption that corrosion occurs in a
uniform manner (uniform corrosion) over the entire surface. Because pitting corrosion is
the dominant form observed on the wires, these test results cannot be used directly to
estimate corrosion penetration into the wires with time. Instead, they are useful to
evaluate corrosivity of the specific test conditions.
Corrosion rate increased as chloride concentration increased in a way that such trend was
more pronounced from the lowest concentration (6 ppm) to 60 ppm than from 60 ppm to
300 ppm of chloride ions. Similarly, higher pH (10.9) yielded lower corrosion rates
compared to neutral pH (7.0) in 60 and 300 ppm chloride concentrations.

It is interesting to note that the stressed wires at 44% GUTS exhibited comparable
corrosion rates to the unstressed counterparts in the lower chloride concentration
solutions (6 and 60 ppm) regardless of pH. However, stressed wires exposed to 300 ppm
of chloride in both pH solutions seemed to yield slightly higher corrosion rates than
unstressed wires. Because only one specimen was tested per test condition and stress
level was less than typical stress level applied in real structures, it is not definite to
conclude that stress has no effect on corrosion rate (kinetic aspect of corrosion).

Figure 18 shows that corrosion potential was influenced by chloride concentration and
pH but the stressed wires exhibited virtually the same potentials as the unstressed
counterparts. This means that stressing itself did not alter corrosion tendency
(thermodynamic aspect of corrosion) of wires.

Pitting Tendency

Figure 19 and 20 show scanning results of cyclic potentiodynamic polarization (CPP) on


some wires in unstressed and stressed at 44% GUTS conditions, respectively. Comparing
the CPP data shown in the two figures, it was observed that their behaviors were similar
and effect of stress on pitting tendency was inconclusive. Judging by size of the
hysteresis encompassed with forward and reverse curves, it can be concluded that all the
test environments employed in this study did not encourage significant electrochemical
tendency for localized corrosion, i.e., pitting corrosion. For subtle distinction, however,
the wires in pH 10.9 solutions tended to have larger hysteresis than those in pH 7.0
solutions suggesting that a passive film started to form in the high pH solution followed
by formation of pits in the presence of chloride ions. However, pH 10.9 solutions did not
produce typical active-passive potential transition during the anodic polarization probably
due to its insufficient alkalinity. As chloride concentration increased, higher anodic
(corrosion) current was observed. This finding is consistent with the corrosion rate data
(higher corrosion rate for higher chloride concentration) as discussed previously and falls
into normal behavior.

6
CONCLUSIONS

Based on laboratory evaluation of some 270 ksi 7-wire strand samples, the following
conclusions are made:

1. Pit depth measurement data indicated that strand samples did not exhibit
significant pitting corrosion damage, even for the wires rated as “moderate
corrosion.” Mean pit depths ranged from 1.6 to 2.7 mils with standard deviations
larger than 1.0 mils and coefficient of variance was more than 50%. The deepest
pit measured was 6.0 mils and none of the center wires suffered from pitting
corrosion.
2. Cross-sectional shape of most pits was wide and shallow instead of narrow and
deep vertical shapes. For atmospherically exposed wires, recognizable pits did not
form but microscopic dimples could be seen. Many wires experienced crevice
corrosion at interstitial sites formed by adjoining wires and resulted in “line-like”
corrosion.
3. Corrosion potential was influenced by chloride concentration and pH but the
stressed and unstressed wires exhibited virtually the same potentials in each
solution. This means that stressing itself did not alter corrosion tendency
(thermodynamic aspect of corrosion) of wires.
4. Instantaneous corrosion rate of virgin wires ranged from 1.1 mpy (mils per year)
to 5.1 mpy depending on chloride concentration and pH of the test solutions.
Corrosion rate increased as chloride concentration increased but decreased as pH
increased.
5. The wires tensioned at 44% GUTS exhibited similar corrosion rates to those of
unstressed counterparts in the lower chloride concentrations regardless of pH.
However, stressed wires exposed to 300 ppm of chlorides yielded slightly higher
corrosion rates in both pH solutions compared to unstressed wires.
6. Cyclic potentiodynamic polarization (CPP) data suggested that the test conditions
employed in this study did not have noticeable electrochemical tendency for
pitting corrosion. Comparing the CPP data generated with unstressed and stressed
at 44% GUTS conditions, effect of stress on pitting tendency was found to be
minimal.
7. In summary, present corrosion damage of the strand samples examined in this
study was not as severe as they appeared. This finding was concurrent with
acceptable tensile strength test results of the affected wires observed by Caltrans.
Such is attributed, in part, to exposure conditions that were encountered for the
post-tensioned wires left in the ungrouted ducts.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The strand samples collected from the SFOBB construction site did not exhibit serious
corrosion damage. However, corrosion damage can reoccur and grow from current
damage level if water, either with or without chloride ions, permeates through defective
tendon ducts and grout, and ultimately reach the strands. The corrosion rate in such

7
instances will depend on many factors including time of wetness, frequency of wet and
drying cycles, quality of grout, and more importantly chloride concentration. It is a good
practice to check that all the ducts are completely filled up after curing and no voids are
present in the grouted tendons. This is because bleeding water and incoming water are the
main sources of corrosion (re)initiation. Corrosion failures of post-tensioning strands
were observed in three major Florida segmental bridges (Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Niles
Channel Bridge, and Mid-Bay Bridge) and these unfortunate instances should be an
important lesson for future maintenance of SFOBB.

In addition, establishment of a thorough inspection guideline and a maintenance manual


is strongly recommended to preserve safe operational condition of the post-tensioned
strands during the intended service life of this vital bridge structures.

8
Figure 1. Overview of the strand samples received from Caltrans

Figure 2. In-service strand samples removed from the SFOBB tendons

9
Figure 3. Atmospherically exposed and virgin strand samples

10
Gage tip with a
circular mold
h d

Measurement bed

Figure 4. A digital pit gage and a measurement bed

Figure 5. A pit depth measurement in progress

11
Figure 6. Electrochemical test set-up in conjunction with a MTS loading system

Figure 7. A center wire in tension during electrochemical testing

12
Center wire
(Working Electrode)
Ag/AgCl
Reference
Electrode

Graphite rod
(Counter Electrode)
Center spacer

Salt solution in
a plastic beaker

Figure 8. A 3-electrode electrochemical test cell

Figure 9. Close-up view of some cleaned wires

13
(a) E11W-C12S wire

(b) E13W-C25N wire

(c) E11W-C12S wire

(d) Atmospherically exposed wire

Figure 10. Close-up views of some cleaned wires

14
Figure 11. Digital microphotograph of E13W-C25N wire #1 (x30)

Figure 12. Digital microphotograph of the atmospherically exposed wire (x100)

15
E11W-C12S

7.0

6.0

5.0
Pit depth (mils)

Max

4.0

3.0 Mean

2.0

1.0
Min

0.0
1 2 3 4 5 6 Center
Wire ID

Figure 13. Pit depth measurement results of E11W-C12S strand

E13W-C25N

7.0

6.0

5.0 Max
Pit depth (mils)

4.0

3.0 Mean

2.0

1.0
Min

0.0
1 2 3 4 5 6 Center
Wire ID

Figure 14. Pit depth measurement results of E13W-C25N strand

16
E13W-C26N

7.0

6.0

5.0
Pit depth (mils)

4.0
Max

3.0

2.0 Mean

1.0
Min

0.0
1 2 3 4 5 6 Center
Wire ID

Figure 15. Pit depth measurement results of E13W-C26N strand

3.0
Mean Standard Deviation
2.5

2.0
Pit depth (mils)

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0
E13W-C25N E11W-C12S E13W-C26N
Strand ID

Figure 16. Pit depth comparison among three strand samples

17
6.0

5.0
Corrosion rate (mpy)

4.0

3.0

2.0
pH 7 (unstresssed)
pH 10.9 (unstresssed)
1.0 pH 7 (stresssed @ 44% GUTS)
pH 10.9 (stresssed @ 44% GUTS)

0.0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Chloride concentration (ppm)

Figure 17. Corrosion rate data of pre-stressing wires exposed to different conditions

0.000

pH 7 (unstresssed)
pH 10.9 (unstresssed)
-0.100
Corrosion potential (V, Ag/AgCl)

pH 7 (stresssed @ 44% GUTS)


pH 10.9 (stresssed @ 44% GUTS)
-0.200

-0.300

-0.400

-0.500

-0.600
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Chloride concentration (ppm)

Figure 18. Corrosion potential data of pre-stressing wires exposed to different conditions

18
Figure 19. Unstressed strands in 6, 60, and 300 [Cl-] ppm and pH 7.0 and 10.9 solutions

Figure 20. Stressed strands in 6, 60, and 300 [Cl-] ppm and pH 7.0 and 10.9 solutions

19
APPENDIX B

Sagues Materials Consulting, Inc Trip Report

117
Alberto Sagüés, Ph.D. P.E

SAGUES MATERIALS CONSULTING, INC


18402 TURNING POINT DRIVE
LUTZ, FL 33549

September 9, 2007

Corrosion of post-tensioned strands at SFOBB Skyway replacement project.

SCOPE

This report is prepared based on documentation, discussion and materials


pertaining to corrosion of post tensioned components with delayed grouting at
the new San-Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Those items were examined in
connection with visit by the author to the Corrosion Technology Branch (CTB) of
Materials Engineering and Testing Services of Caltrans on December 18 and 19,
2006, and on further documentary evidence contained in Drafts of the reports on
"Corrosion Evaluation and Tensile Results of Selected Post-Tensioning Strands
at the SFOBB Skyway Seismic Replacement Project", Phases I, II and III by
Robert Reis. The following items address a request for opinions on
soundness/effectiveness of the evaluative approach used by Caltrans, on the
extent of observed corrosion and its causes, and on possible future corrosion
monitoring approaches.

SOUNDNESS/EFFECTIVENESS OF APPROACH

The approach taken by CTB to evaluate corrosion condition of tendons with


delayed grouting involved direct inspection in the field of nearly 80% of over
2,000 tendons that were not yet grouted. With a few exceptions documented in
the Phase I report, those tendons were located in the Westbound bridge since
most locations in the Eastbound bridge were already grouted. One tendon in the
Eastbound bridge (E3E-C04S) had suffered fracture of some strands
(documented in the Phase II report) but special circumstances applied that will be
discussed separately. The experience with the rest of the tendons is typified by
the observations documented for the Westbound bridge in the Phase II report. As
shown there the vast majority (98.5%) of the tendons examined showed no or
only minor corrosion while the rest merited only up to a "Moderate" corrosion
appearance rating. Strand samples from about 1/3 of the latter were subject to
detailed visual and mechanical examination in the laboratory. The mechanical
testing showed compliance with standard specifications in most cases, and only
small deficiency (better than 94% of specified strength) in the rest. As
construction modalities were similar in both the eastbound and westbound
structures, conducting most of the testing in the latter is not expected to have
greatly biased the findings. The large field sampling population and the thorough

1
borescope examination of reachable positions maximized the chances of
detecting serious corrosion distress cases if they had been present. Likewise the
mechanical testing offered a good chance of detecting possible severe
deficiencies as a large fraction of the tendons with more than minor corrosion
were subject to multiple tests. Thus, the absence of positive finding of severe
deficiencies by either method is a reasonable indication that the present
mechanical consequences of corrosion are generally minor, or otherwise affect
only a very small number of tendons.

Specialized follow-up testing involved a limited number of "Moderate" corrosion-


rated specimens. Tests included detailed fractographic analysis by McKnight
Laboratory, Inc. (MKL) including strands from tendon E3E-C04S, additional
compositional studies, and further exploratory electrochemical tests at FHWA
(Appendix 1 of Phase III Report). Those activities examined mechanistic issues
on the possibility of severe localized environmental effects (environmentally
assisted cracking (EAC), effect of pitting on strength) that may be of importance
over the long term. In particular, the possibility of EAC having developed
significantly in some of the other exposed tendons and yet remained undetected
merits serious consideration. The high strength of strand steel (aided by stress
concentration at pits) is a factor facilitating EAC, which is hard to detect by visual
examination as cracks can remain very narrow until just before sudden failure.
Only partial answers can be obtained on those issues in a limited amount of time.
Thus qualified, those examinations were conducted using generally sound
methodologies and were effective in revealing no immediate cause for alarm. A
more detailed continuation evaluation program should however be instituted to
increase confidence in the long term corrosion performance projections of the
tendons when in service.

EXTENT/CAUSES OF CORROSION

Macroscopic manifestations of corrosion

As noted above the overall incidence of adverse corrosion effects of delayed


grouting appears to be very limited. The small amount of strength loss reported
for the strands that showed some corrosion is consistent with the generally
shallow pitting observed and with findings in the literature on the effect of that
pitting on strength [1]. The single case of strand failures in the field is discussed
further below.

The reported composition of water in ducts is consistent with that of rainwater


only slightly contaminated with saltwater, and with moderately elevated pH due to
contact with recently placed concrete. It is noted however that the observed
chloride/pH regimes are borderline corrosive to unalloyed steel given the
oxidizing power of naturally aerated water and potential for carbonation of the
solution over enough contact time [3]. Electronic contact of the strands with the

2
galvanized duct was, as proposed, a plausible source of corrosion protection for
the lower part of the bundle where electrolytic contact would be present as well.
The upper part would have less efficient contact with electrolyte which would also
be more susceptible to carbonation so more pronounced corrosion there is not
surprising. The absence of observations of severe saltwater contamination is
reassuring in expecting that corrosion was limited. If exposure conditions were
similar in the tendons that could not be directly examined, equally minor or
moderate effects would be anticipated there as well. In the absence of standing
water, periodic condensation of aerated neutral water is still expected to have
resulted in slow corrosion development on strand left in ducts that were not
efficiently sealed, and to account for the widespread presence of minor
discoloration. The supporting experiments conducted by Lee and Virmani
(Appendix 1) at FHWA yielded results essentially in agreement with the above
observations.

The reported information is not sufficient to prove that the applied vapor phase
corrosion inhibitor played an effective role in preventing corrosion in the tendons
with no or minor distress, or mitigating corrosion in the others, as there is no
statistics on tendons without inhibitor application to serve as a control. Negative
effects of inhibitor presence (e.g. the possibility of promoting localized corrosion)
cannot be ascertained either. As the overall incidence of corrosion was low,
inhibitor use should be conservatively continued but it is recommended that its
usefulness be examined in future work.

Strand failures and environmentally assisted cracking

The only tendon found showing important damage was E3E-C04S (Phase II
Report). This tendon did not fail completely but suffered fracture of four complete
strands and a single wire on a fifth strand, noticed seven months after being
initially stressed, while still ungrouted. The fractures took place near duct
hardpoints which are expected to have locally increased stresses. Moreover, the
fractures were noticed shortly after mid-frame jacking that may have further
increased stress levels. Other than the presence of fractures, the surface
appearance of about half of the strands in this tendon corresponded to a
"Moderate" rating, while the rest of the strands showed little or minor corrosion.
However, some of the strands that had not failed on site but spanned a hardpoint
had strength and ductility below specifications, and some of the fresh tensile test
fracture surfaces showed corrosion products indicative of preexisting
microcracks. A detailed fractographic analysis was performed by MKL which
summarized the results in Report No. MAC061011. That analysis documented
multiple and branching cracks at some locations near the hard point, and the
appearance of straight fracture surfaces perpendicular to the wire axes at some
of the wire breaks. Those symptoms suggest that the strand failures on site
appear to be at least partially a consequence of environmentally assisted
cracking (EAC) promoted by enhanced stress at the hard point, and possibly

3
compounded by additional stresses resulting from the mid-frame jacking that took
place shortly before the fracture was noted.

As a result of the observation of microcracks in E3E-C04S, CTB commissioned


additional examination of six strands rated as Category 5 appearance (near the
highest severity ratings observed). As shown in the Phase III Report, only one
instance of a transverse crack affecting the base metal was found (strand 4 from
tendon E14W-C13N). That crack had morphology resembling that observed in
the E3E-C04S tendon, so some form of EAC may have been in progress there.
However the crack depth was only about 0.005 inch and strength and ductility of
strand 4, although somewhat degraded, were still appreciable and no wire breaks
in service were noted. Indeed no strand failures other than at E3E-C04S have
been reported in association with corrosion, even when it was at its most severe
("moderate") level. In contrast, per communication from CTB at least two strand
failures occurred during tensioning (i.e. before environmental exposure) at other
project locations with hard points. Those observations suggest that in the
tendons of interest any incipient EAC (as exemplified in E14W-C13N) did not
progress to the point of substantial damage unless tension levels were unusually
high, such as at hard points where conditions for failure from purely mechanical
causes are already approached anyway. Therefore, the failures at E3E-C04S
appear to reflect an isolated case not representative of the rest of the tendons of
concern. Caution is nevertheless in order considering the many tendons that
could not be evaluated in the Eastbound bridge and the consequent possibility of
undetected fractures there. Thus, evaluation of the potential and modalities of
EAC should be continued in follow up monitoring and studies of the structures.
Some pertinent considerations are noted next.

The branching nature of the observed microcracks suggests that the detected
EAC was a form of stress corrosion cracking (SCC). The possible species
responsible for SCC may have been inorganic or even associated with microbial
action [2] facilitated by nutrients such as the lubricant present in the ducts,
although the Phase III Report noted low levels of sulfur as a possible negative
indicator of microbial activity. The crack morphology observed at E3E-C04S
cannot completely rule out other EAC mechanisms such as Hydrogen
Embrittlement (HE) which might have been active if local conditions near the
hard point supported the development of negative enough potentials (e.g. -950
mV vs Cu/Cu Sulfate electrode per Travel Report by S-K Lee and P. Virmani) at
the corroding steel or galvanized duct contacting it. The likelihood of HE as a
factor was evaluated by comparative determination of residual hydrogen content
in samples of steel extracted from the field and in unexposed controls (Phase III
Report). Those analyses showed both groups to have comparable hydrogen
content in the 1.7 to 3.7 ppm range so no clear enrichment was apparent for the
field specimens. However, those results should not be viewed as conclusive as
often only a part of the total hydrogen is detrimental and the hydrogen
embrittlement threshold could be in the sub-ppm range [4]. It is recommended
that a follow up study of the available evidence should be conducted in an effort

4
to better assess, and possibly quantify, the probability that the delayed grouting
tendons had near-critical EAC conditions. Such study should be supplemented
by additional testing as needed.

Overall condition prior to grouting

In summary, based on the information available to date the corrosion damage in


the tendons with delayed grouting appears to have had little impact on integrity
except for an instance where unusual distress of mechanical origin (a hardpoint
plus subsequent mid-frame jacking) was present as well. Uncertainty remains
as direct inspection was not possible in most tendons in the Eastbound bridge,
so condition there is inferred from evidence of the Westbound bridge and
assumption that environmental and service conditions were comparable in both
bridges. Further uncertainty exists about EAC, which in early stages would have
escaped visual detection. However, EAC that progressed to the point of strand
failures would have had conspicuous manifestations which were not seen, thus
introducing a degree of confidence that this mode of deterioration was not
important.

It is emphasized that the apparently limited corrosion observed in the present


case should in no way be viewed as dismissing the adverse consequences of
delayed grouting in future projects. Small variations in environmental conditions
or system configuration could have easily resulted instead in severe corrosion.
As indicated next, prompt and properly implemented grouting is essential for
reliable corrosion control.

PATH FORWARD

The estimated limited corrosion damage as a result of delayed grouting is


expected to have similarly limited adverse long term consequences if subsequent
grouting was performed promptly and properly. Highly alkaline, properly placed
grout creates an environment protective to the steel that would arrest preexisting
corrosion and tolerate minor residual amounts of contaminants introduced during
the delayed grouting period. Any grouting or service deficiencies including but not
limited to improper flushing of accumulated water prior to grouting, bleed water
formation and voids, pre or post-grouting grout contamination, or external water
recharge could result in serious damage to the tendon, even if the strand had
suffered no pre-grouting corrosion. If voids were to form in the ducts or
anchorages, even very small levels of chloride contamination (or even the native
chloride of present-day specification grouts) could lead to severe corrosion and
eventual tendon failure [3]. Prior corrosion, including incipient EAC cracks, could
seriously aggravate the effect of those deficiencies.

Thus, it is critical that steps be taken to confirm the quality of the grouted
assemblies and the absence of ongoing corrosion, by direct examination as

5
feasible, and by an appropriate non destructive monitoring program. The
recommendations in the FHWA Report in Appendix 1 as well as the earlier Travel
Report by Lee and Virmani are strongly endorsed here. Steps to explore
electrochemical techniques for anchorage corrosion detection such as those
being developed by Florida DOT Project BD544-08 are in progress with
cooperation by the author.

CONCLUSIONS

1 The approach used by the Corrosion Technology Branch (CTB)of


Materials Engineering and Testing Services of Caltrans to estimate the extent of
corrosion in tendons with delayed grouting provided a reasonable indication that
the pre-grouting mechanical consequences of that corrosion were generally
minor, or otherwise affected only a very small number of tendons. Uncertainty
remains as direct inspection was not feasible on much of the Eastbound bridge,
so condition there can only be inferred.

2 The one tendon that suffered actual strand failures appeared to have done
so because unusual distress of mechanical origin (a hardpoint plus subsequent
mid-frame jacking) was present as well as some corrosion. Environmentally
assisted cracking appears to have been a contributing factor. Follow-up
investigations should be conducted to assess that possibility.

3 Grouting quality is critical, especially so to the performance of the delayed


grouting tendons. Confirmation of proper grouting and subsequent corrosion
monitoring is needed.

REFERENCES

[1] W. Hartt, A. Poeydomenge, A. Stauder and W. Scannell, "Long-term effects of


cathodic protection on prestressed concrete bridge components", Report No. FHWA-RD-
98-075, Published by NTIS, April 1998.

[2] R. Staehle and B. Little, " Corrosion and stress corrosion cracking of post tension
cables associated with fungal action", p.33 in Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion ,
Proceedings of Corrosion/2002 Research Topical Symposium, NACE International,
Houston, 2002.

[3] H. Wang and A. Sagüés, "Corrosion of post-tensioning strands", Final Report to


Florida Department of Transportation Contract No. BC353-33, Florida D.O.T.,
November, 2005 (available online at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/ ).

[4] D. Enos and J. Scully, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, Vol 33A, p.1, 2002