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Failure Detection of High-Strength Tendons in Prestressed Concrete Bridges by AE

S. Yuyama, M. Ohtsu


Three types of beams post-tensioned by steel bar, strand, and parallel wire cable with three different grout conditions (unbonded, partially grouted and fully grouted) were tested in a laboratory.  Failure was introduced by artificial corrosion, charging anodic current to tendons.  It is found that acoustic emission (AE) signals with extremely high amplitudes are generated by ruptures of high-strength tendons.  Detectability of failure is demonstrated to be 82-86%.  Then, continuous AE monitoring was carried out in two highway bridges in service.  The analysis of detected AE signals proves that meaningful AE events due to tendon failure are clearly discriminated from other signalsof traffic noises and hammering.


acoustic emission; tendon failure; monitoring; prestressed concrete bridge; wire break

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