Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Irtishad U. Ahamd

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Madasamy Arockiasamy

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


posttensioning, segmental bridge, pier cap, carbon fibers strands, prestressed concrete, creep, anchorage

Date of Defense



Corrosion of steel tendons is a major problem for post-tensioned concrete, especially because corrosion of the steel strands is often hard to detect inside grouted ducts. Non-metallic tendons can serve as an alternative material to steel for post-tensioning applications. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), given its higher strength and elastic modulus, as well as excellent durability and fatigue strength, is the most practical option for post-tensioning applications.

The primary objective of this research project was to assess the feasibility of the use of innovative carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) tendons and to develop guidelines for CFRP in post-tensioned bridge applications, including segmental bridges and pier caps.

An experimental investigation and a numerical simulation were conducted to compare the performance of a scaled segmental bridge model, post-tensioned with two types of carbon fiber strands and steel strands. The model was tested at different prestress levels and at different loading configurations. While the study confirms feasibility of both types of carbon fiber strands for segmental bridge applications, and their similar serviceability behavior, strands with higher elastic modulus could improve structural performance and minimize displacements beyond service loads.

As the second component of the project, a side-by-side comparison of two types of carbon fiber strands against steel strands was conducted in a scaled pier cap model. Two different strand arrangements were used for post-tensioning, with eight and six strands, respectively representing an over-design and a slight under-design relative to the factored demand. The model was tested under service and factored loads. The investigation confirmed the feasibility of using carbon fiber strands in unbonded post-tensioning of pier caps. Considering both serviceability and overload conditions, the general performance of the pier cap model was deemed acceptable using either type of carbon fiber strands and quite comparable to that of steel strands.

In another component of this research, creep stress tests were conducted with carbon fiber composite cable (CFCC). The anchorages for all the specimens were prepared using a commercially available expansive grout. Specimens withstood 95% of the guaranteed capacity provided by the manufacturer for a period of five months, without any sign of rupture.





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