Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

David Garber

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kingsley Lau

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Norman Munroe

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ioannis Zisis

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Seung Jae Lee

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Corrosion, local and global, prestressed concrete, poor grouting, resistivity sensors, relative humidity sensors, resistor-inductor- capacity [RLC] sensors, vibrating wire strain gauges (VWSGs)

Date of Defense



Corrosion of steel rebar in reinforced concrete structures is a concern for highway bridge owners. According to 2002 study by the Federal Highway Administration, ~15% of the highway bridges in the US are structurally deficient due to corrosion and have an estimated annual direct cost of $8.3 billion. Generally, in post-tensioned bridges, ducts filled with poor or incomplete grouting can allow the tendons to come into contact with water, leading to corrosion and fracture. Although new and improved procedures of grouting have been developed to reduce the instances of poor grouting, the problem of how to reliably inspect tendons on existing structures remains. This research aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using currently available local and global corrosion sensing techniques to monitor the performance of concrete structures. This dissertation explores the use of three local corrosion sensors (resistivity sensors, relative humidity sensors, and resistor-inductor- capacity [RLC] sensors). In this research, local sensors (i.e. RH sensors and four-point resistivity sensors) placed at an interval of every three foot were able to detect corrosion conducive environment in PT ducts by measuring the electrical properties and moisture contents of the grout. However, the measured RH was consistently lower in the low point of the specimens compared to the high points for all the specimens. The four-point resistivity sensors were able to detect a clear difference between the grouted ducts with good grout compared to ducts with chloride-rich grout with voids and layered-chloride rich grout without voids. To evaluate destructive testing and monitor the global response, two full-scale prestressed concrete inverted-tee (IT) beams were constructed and instrumented with vibrating wire strain gauges (VWSGs) located in multiple planes along the length. The VWSGs were able to clearly detect the initiation of corrosion in the first prestressing strand in each beam. The local corrosion damage in the first strand resulted in a change in the behavior of the beam, which was detected by the VWSGs (through a change in slope of curvature versus time).





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