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The VSL Grouting Package

Cementitious Grout

Grouting on Site

Inspection and Monitoring of Tendons

Repair of Tendons with Defective Grouting



5 Appendices
VSL Report


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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in May 2002

The concept of prestressed concrete has been around for one hundred years, although
handicapped in the early days by a lack of suitable high strength materials. Its real development
began some sixty years ago and has progressed since then – in terms of technology, systems,
achievable spans and engineering ingenuity – has been remarkable. Without question, it is an
economic and technically efficient system, in countering the weakness of concrete in tension by
explicitly introducing a precompression to resist imposed loads.

Having said that, it had not been without its traumas in the last two decades. Mostly, these were
concerned with durability, mainly due to corrosion caused by chlorides emanating from sources
such as de-icing salts and seawater. While the vast majority of structures have behaved
satisfactorily, sufficient examples of deterioration were found to cause concern – and to question
the quality of grout and grouting especially.

In the UK in particular, a ban was introduced in 1992 by the Highways Agency on grouted
post-tensioned concrete bridges, until satisfactory new standards and practices were introduced.
This took four years, culminating in reference [1] to the present Report (with a second edition due
to be published shortly – reference [17]. Performance requirements for grouts were set, new
grouts were developed and extensive field trials undertaken. The sensitivity of grout and grouting
to variability in practice was fully recognized and dealt with. However, it was also found necessary
to consider all aspects of design, detailing, materials and workmanship in a coherent
comprehensive way.

Parallel activity has occurred in other countries, and internationally, work has been coordinated
under the auspices of FIP (now fib). It is reasonable to claim that, in the last decade, the whole
process of prestressing and grouting has been the subject of a rigorous review – leading to new
technology, and a re-statement of good practice – and how to achieve it.

In writing the Preface to The Concrete Society TR47 (Reference [1], I gratefully achnowledge the
co-operation of all sections of the industry. This included the prestressing companies, all of whom
operate internationally. Since then, they have been adapting the new general standards and
practices, to suit their individual systems – all supported by extensive research and development.
This particular Report is a classic example of that. I am especially attracted to the emphasis put on
the following:

x The need for a holistic approach, embracing design, detailing, materials and construction
x Recognition that grouting is a skilled and sensitive operation, requiring specialist
experience and expertise, to carry it out properly;
x The questioning attitude to past test methods for grouts and grouting, while putting forward
proposals, which give a better measure of key characteristics and properties;
x The obvious desire to adapt and upgrade VSL technology, to give a much better balance
between load capacity and durability performance, than in the past.

Professor George Somerville

Convener, UK Working Party on Durable Post-tensioned Bridges
(June 1995 –November 1999).

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002

1. Introduction 4
1.1 Durability of Post-Tensioned Structures 4
1.2 Past Experience with Post-Tensioning Tendons 4
1.3 Bonded versus Unbonded Tendons 6
1.4 Plastic Ducts for Bonded Post-Tensioning Tendons 8
1.5 Intent of the Report 9

2. The VSL Grouting Package 9

2.1 General Systems and Services 9
2.2 The VSL Grouting Package 10

3. Cementitious Grout 10
3.1 Common Grout Specifications and Recent Trends 10
3.2 Grout Constituents 12
3.3 Grout Characteristics 14
3.4 Recommended Grout Performance Specification and Testing 20
3.5 Stages of Grout Testing 20

4. Grouting on Site 21
4.1 General 21
4.2 Training and Qualification of Personnel 22
4.3 Grouting Equipment 23
4.4 PT System Detailing for Grouting 23
4.5 Grouting Procedures on Site 27

5. Inspection and Monitoring of Tendons 31

5.1 Inspection Methods 31
5.2 The Engineer's Approach to Tendon Inspection 33
5.3 Monitoring - New Developments 35

6. Repair of Tendons with Defective Grouting 35

6.1 General 35
6.2 Preparation 35
6.3 Access to the Tendon 36
6.4 Grouting of Voids 36
6.5 Closing of the Tendon 37
6.6 Repair of External Tendons 38

7. Conclusions 39

References 41

Appendices 43
- Appendix A: Specific Recent Grout Test Procedures 43

Hans Rudolf Ganz, Dr. sc. techn., Civil Engineer ETH
Stephanie Vildaer, Materials Engineer

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
1. Introduction overall protection of the rein- the form of cementitious grout,
forcement. Therefore, the con- or by other types of protection
1.1 Durability of post- cept of multi-layer protection systems applied in the factory
tensioned structures has been created, [1]. In this such as grease and plastic
concept the first and perhaps sheathing for monostrands.
For a long time concrete most important layer of protec-
structures, and in particular tion is the overall concept and Grouting, as reviewed in detail
prestressed concrete struc- design of the structure. A key in this report, is the last, and is
tures, have been considered element in this design is to only one, of the layers of pro-
inherently durable with little to keep water off the structure and tection of tendons in post-
no need for maintenance. the reinforcement, and/or to as- tensioned structures. While
More recently it has been rec- sure that it drains quickly from high quality grouting is impor-
ognized that this is not true, the structure. A second layer of tant for the durability of ten-
and that concrete structures protection can be provided with dons, it alone cannot guarantee
can suffer durability problems water-proofing membranes in the durability of tendons. It is
under certain conditions. In particular on critical surfaces the owner’s and the engineer’s
many cases, such problems exposed to water and other ag- obligation to select and specify
were accompanied with corro- gressive media such as de- a suitable combination of inde-
sion of the non-prestressed icing salts. A third layer of pro- pendent layers of protection
and prestressed reinforce- tection in concrete structures is adapted to the particular envi-
ment in the structure. How- provided with dense concrete ronment in which the structure
ever, the corrosion of the rein- designed specifically for low is built. Additional layers of pro-
forcement is usually not the permeability. A fourth layer of tection provided during con-
root cause of the durability protection for the tendons of struction have a relatively in-
problem but rather a conse- post-tensioned structures has significant cost compared with
quence of inadequate consid- been introduced in the early repair of durability problems of
eration for durability in the 1990’s, and consists of a leak a structure in operation.
overall design of the structure. tight encapsulation of the ten-
dons with robust, corrosion re- 1.2 Past experience with
It has been recognized that a sistant plastic. The last layer of post-tensioning tendons
design for durability relying on protection of post-tensioned
a single layer of protection structures is provided directly While the idea of prestressed
cannot guarantee reliable onto the prestressing steel in concrete is much older, the real

12.0% 1.6
Ungrouted Severe
tendon corrosion

9.0% 7.7%
Large voids
47.0% 9.0%
No voids Medium 48.0%
voids No corrosion 42.0%
23.0% corrosion
Small voids

a) Size of voids in tendons b) Tendon corrosion

Fig. 1: Results of post-tensioning tendon inspection of 447 bridges in the UK, [4].

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
use of the technology started been consumed worldwide over While all these investigations
in the second half of the the years". confirmed that the large major-
1940's with projects by E. ity of prestressed structures
Freyssinet, F. Dischinger, G. The technology of prestressed and post-tensioning tendons
Magnel, U. Finsterwalder, F. concrete did receive extremely show excellent durability with
Leonhardt and W. Baur, and negative press with the tempo- insignificant corrosion defects
many others, [2]. Hence, one rary ban of prestressed con- only, if any, they all found some
could say that prestressed crete bridges using post- instances with durability prob-
concrete has existed for about tensioning tendons introduced lems and post-tensioning ten-
50 years. Most of the projects in 1992 by the Highways don corrosion.
built in prestressed concrete Agency in the UK. The tempo-
in accordance with the rules rary ban was only lifted four In [4], e.g., a summary of find-
for good design, detailing, and years later after a detailed re- ings of a total of 447 state
practice of execution have view of all aspects of bridge owned post-tensioned bridges
demonstrated the excellent design and detailing, of the inspected in the UK is pre-
durability of prestressed con- specifications for materials and sented. The following results
crete in general, and of post- grouting works, and of the were found: 47% of the post-
tensioning tendons in particu- qualification of personnel and tensioning tendon ducts were
lar. In [3] e.g. it is stated that companies. As a consequence completely grouted, i.e. had no
"It must be emphasized that of this action in the UK, a series voids; 23% of the ducts had
instances of serious corrosion of systematic investigations into small voids; 18% had medium
in prestressed concrete struc- the durability of prestressed to large voids; and 12% were
tures are rare when one con- concrete and post-tensioning not grouted at all, see Fig. 1. In
siders the volume of tendons were initiated in the these 447 bridges, 10% of the
prestressing material (strand, UK, France, Switzerland, Aus- post-tensioning tendons
wires and bars) that have tria, and elsewhere, [4,5,6]. showed moderate to severe

3% Completely Grouted 76% In [5] information on an investi-

2% Incomplete at Transition Point
gation of 10 bridges built in Vi-
3% enna between 1956 and 1978
6% Incomplete at Low Point 6%
6% is provided. A total of more than
3% Incomplete at High Point 4% 10,000 duct locations were
Incomplete at End Anchorage
opened locally, and the status
2% of tendon grouting and tendon
76% Incomplete at Coupler 3% corrosion was recorded. The
Incomplete at Other Points 6% results of this investigation con-
firmed that the actual perform-
a) Type of voids in tendon
ance and durability of the post-
tensioning tendons is excellent,
and document the good quality
No Information 19% with which these projects were
built. 76% of all the opened
No Corrosion 30%
duct locations were completely
2% 19% Hardly Visible Corrosion 19% filled. The 24% of duct locations
30% which were not completely filled
Superficial Corrosion
zet (Removable) 30% were essentially found in one
Moderate Corrosion (Local) 2% project with stressbar tendons
30% Severe Corrosion 0%
for which a undersized duct di-
19% ameter had been used. Of
Pitting Corrosion 0%
these 24% duct locations with
grouting defects, only 2%
b) Tendon corrosion in incompletely filled tendon ducts
showed moderate/local corro-
Fig. 2: Results of post-tendoning tendon inspection of 10 bridges in Vienna, Austria, [5]. sion, i.e. 48 out of 10,000 loca-

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
tions. The remaining locations and of the post-tensioning (3) Rely on post-
showed either no corrosion, tendons: It is, e.g. not surpris- tensioning specialist contrac-
minor or superficial corrosion ing that tendons, anchored at a tors with well-trained and ex-
which could be removed by location where water from the perienced personnel for the
cleaning with a soft cloth, see bridge deck drains over the an- execution of the post-
Fig. 2. chorage, and where no sealing tensioning works and grout-
of the anchorage is provided, ing: All grouts whether pre-
In [6] investigations on 143 may develop corrosion of the pared on site from cement and
projects, including 107 prestressing steel at some time. admixtures or ready-mixed
bridges, 23 ground anchor It is not surprising either that grouts are eventually mixed
projects, and 13 others, are tendons crossing porous mortar with water on site before injec-
presented. The majority of the joints without encapsulation in a tion. Utilizing personnel who
structures documented good durable sheath may experience understand the importance of
durability of the post- corrosion. Relatively small im- this activity and who have suffi-
tensioning tendons or ground provements in the detailing of cient experience with grouting
anchor tendons. Of the 14 post-tensioned structures and to realize if there is a problem,
bridge projects with grouting the post-tensioning tendons will and react, is an absolute ne-
defects the majority of corro- significantly enhance the dura- cessity to assure good quality
sion problems in the tendons bility of these structures and grouting. It is important that
was caused by ingress of wa- tendons, often at only a mar- owners and their representa-
ter containing chlorides. A du- ginal cost, if any. tives only accept specialist
rable and leak tight encapsu- companies with well-trained
lation of the tendons, e.g. with (2) Review the specifica- and experienced personnel for
robust plastic ducts, was con- tions for cement grout for post-tensioning activities.
sidered essential to improve post-tensioning tendons: It Leonhardt already said: "The
the protection and to assure has been shown that the speci- responsibility involved in the
the durability of grouted post- fications used today are not design and construction of
tensioning tendons. stringent enough in terms of prestressed concrete requires
acceptance criteria or are using that only engineers and con-
More recently, durability prob- test methods which are not able tractors may carry out this spe-
lems due to incomplete grout- to detect poor performance of a cialized work who have col-
ing and corrosion have been particular grout mix. This com- lected sufficient knowledge and
reported in the USA. On the ment applies in particular to the experience and who can assure
Mid-Bay project in Florida, requirements and tests typically an accurate and careful execu-
one completely and one partly used for the bleed of grout. tion", [2].
failed external tendon were Grouts with excessive bleed or
found during a detailed in- segregation will almost inevita-
spection, [7]. During inspec- bly produce locations inside a 1.3 Bonded versus unbonded
tion many end anchorages of tendon, such as at high points tendons
the external tendons located of the profile, which are left par-
at the high point of the tendon tially grouted. If such locations With the above referenced
profile were found incom- are dry with possibly a film of problems found in grouted ten-
pletely filled with grout. alkaline grout on the tendon dons, the discussion on the
there will be no corrosion of the best option of corrosion protec-
While each of the above re- prestressing steel. However, if tion of tendons has been
ports contains some very spe- water is available and/or finds launched again. This question
cific information, the results of access there is a risk of corro- is not new and different times
all investigations show some sion. Introducing tighter specifi- and people have chosen their
common trends and conclu- cations for the quality of grouts preference in the early years of
sions. These may be summa- has a cost since often excess post-tensioned concrete. For
rized as follows: water will need to be replaced example, unbonded tendons
with cement and specific admix- have been preferred by
(1) Review the detailing of tures. However, this extra cost Dischinger in early post-
post-tensioned structures is marginal for the project. tensioned structures, [8]. How-

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
ever, under the influence of forced switch from one practice Advantages of unbonded ten-
Freyssinet and other promi- to another is neither justified by dons can be summarized as
nent engineers, the advan- past experience nor warranted follows:
tages of structures with in terms of risk. ƒ Future adjustment of
bonded tendons were empha- prestressing force:
sized and this type of tendon Advantages of grouted bonded Prestressing forces of un-
became the common practice. tendons can be summarized as bonded tendons can theo-
External unbonded tendons follows: retically be adjusted at any
were banned in the UK in the ƒ Provision of active corro- time during the design life of
1970's after some problems sion protection: The a structure. However, all
have been found. External prestressing steel is actively necessary tendon details for
tendons have later been protected, i.e. passivated, later stressing need initially
strongly promoted by Jean against corrosion through be provided such as access
Muller and other French engi- the alkaline environment and clearance for jacks, and
neers in conjunction with pre- provided by the cementi- sufficient overlength of
cast segmental bridge con- tious grout. To initiate cor- prestressing steel to con-
struction in France and in par- rosion prestressing steel nect the jack to the strand.
ticular in Florida. Under the first needs to be depas- While re-stressing of ten-
auspices of SETRA (State de- sivated. dons was a justified con-
sign office of highway author- cern when long term losses
ity) many bridges have been ƒ Provision of bond of the due to creep and shrinkage
built in France using either ex- tendon to the structure: of concrete, and relaxation
ternal tendons only or a com- Bond allows a significant in- of prestressing steels, were
bination of internal bonded, crease of the prestressing not yet well understood, this
and external unbonded ten- force in a cracked section is no longer the case today.
dons. While this construction after decompression, and The authors are not aware
practice was not accepted permits the pre-stressing of any recent case where
previously, the German high- steel to reach the yield or re-stressing of a tendon
way administration recently even ultimate strength. This was necessary due to ex-
declared unbonded tendons has significant effects on cessive losses of tendon
as the preferred type of bridge the strength of the section, force. We would like to give
tendons, [9]. on the crack distribution in a word of caution because
the prestressed member, re-tensioning of a tendon,
The above clearly documents and on the energy dissipa- initially stressed to 70-80%
that there is not one superior tion of the member, [8]. of its strength, at some time
type of tendon. A particular Bond has also a very bene- during the design life of the
preference of one type rather ficial effect on the redun- structure is certainly not an
seems to be the consequence dancy of a prestressed easy task. Hence, if an in-
of a personal choice of engi- member. A local defect in crease in prestressing force
neers or of a particular period the tendon remains local, is ever required, the best
of time. As history has shown, i.e. the tendon force is not option seems to be to pro-
these preferences change. It affected over the entire ten- vide additional tendons to
may therefore, be appropriate don length. the structure. A number of
to repeat the strengths and recent standards such as
weaknesses of bonded and ƒ Cost effectiveness: Ce- AASHTO, [10], actually re-
unbonded tendons again for mentitious grout is a very quire new structures to be
reference. In our opinion, cost effective injection ma- detailed for the addition of
there is no one type of tendon terial for which long and future external tendons to
which answers to all require- good experience exists. The potentially increase the
ments, and it is up to the en- compatibility of cementitious prestressing force to ac-
gineer to select the type of grouts with prestressing commodate potential in-
tendon best suited to a par- steel is well proven over a crease of loads or excess
ticular project and construc- long period of time. loss of tendon force. Ac-
tion method. A systematic en- cording to these standards,

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
anchorages and deviation gradual cutting of the ten- ducts compulsory in 1996, [1].
details need to be pro- don according to specific As a further step forward, the
vided to allow addition of a procedures adapted to the concept of verifying the leak
fixed number of tendons, particular site and tendon tightness of the system has
e.g. 2 per section, or of a type. The actual removal of been introduced at the time.
given percentage the tendon is then possible This verification is done by air
(AASHTO: 10%) of the ini- if appropriate details have pressure testing of the assem-
tial prestressing force. been provided initially at bled duct and anchorage sys-
This procedure keeps the anchorages and deviation tem. Pouring of concrete is only
initial investment to a points. Installation of a new approved when the duct system
minimum, and greatly fa- tendon can then follow. The is confirmed to be sufficiently
cilitates the future addition authors are of the opinion air tight.
of tendons to the struc- that tendon replacement
ture, if ever needed. should only be considered if If the encapsulation of tendons
there is a significant risk of in plastic is supplemented with
ƒ Facilitated inspection of unexpected tendon failure specific details at the anchor-
tendon: Since unbonded with consequential damage ages, a “Electrically Isolated
tendons are placed exter- or risk to persons. In all Tendon” (EIT) can be provided.
nally to the structure, ac- other cases, and in particu- In addition to the above men-
cess to the tendon for in- lar if the structure can ac- tioned advantages, an EIT al-
spection is facilitated over cept additional prestress, lows monitoring of the provided
a substantial portion of the rather addition of new than encapsulation at any time dur-
tendon length. Such ac- replacement of existing ten- ing the design life of the ten-
cess is not usually avail- dons should be considered. don. A simple measurement of
able near the anchorages Such favourable conditions the electrical resistance be-
and/or at tendon deviation to avoid replacement exist tween the tendon and the struc-
points where such ten- in particular for bonded ten- ture can be used to confirm the
dons often are anchored dons in structures with suf- intactness of the encapsulation
or deviated in massive ficient concrete dimensions. of the tendon at any time. It
diaphragms. can, in particular, be used to
1.4 Plastic ducts for bonded confirm the proper installation
While access to the ten- post-tensioning tendons and the compliance of the ten-
don is facilitated, inspec- don with the project specifica-
tion of the prestressing Provision of a corrosion resis- tions at the time of construction.
steel inside the tendon or tant and leak tight encapsula- Encapsulation of tendons in
bundle of prestressing tion of the tendon can assure a plastic duct systems combined
strands is not necessarily very effective protection of the with EIT measurement has
provided. Hence, special tendon. This concept has been been introduced in Switzerland
inspection or monitoring used since many years for the in 1993. Since that time more
devices still need to be protection of prestressed than 20 bridge structures have
used to collect information ground anchors. In the early been built with this concept.
on the actual performance 1990’s, VSL introduced the cor- The positive experience with
and durability of the steel. rugated plastic duct system, the concept has now led to the
PT-PLUS, for bonded post- introduction of new guidelines
ƒ Replaceability of ten- tensioning (PT) tendons which for the protection of tendons in
dons: Unbonded external together with suitable accesso- Switzerland [11]. While still ac-
tendons may be replaced ries such as connection details cepting some application of cor-
at any time during the de- and anchorage caps provides a rugated steel duct in benign
sign life of a structure. Re- complete leak tight encapsula- environment, these guidelines
placement is preceded by tion of the post-tensioning ten- require encapsulation of ten-
either de-tensioning of the dons. dons in plastic, in general. EIT
tendon if the necessary is specified for a percentage of
tendon details have been The UK has made the encapsu- tendons to verify the
initially provided, or by lation of tendons in plastic encapsulation, and in general,

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
lation, and in general, for ƒ Providing information on
structures exposed to stray available inspection and
currents. monitoring techniques on
existing grouted post-
Complete encapsulation of tensioning tendons. Such
post-tensioning tendons in techniques allow to either
plastic ducts and EIT are ef- confirm their good health or
fective protection methods. to detect defects to allow
When combined with high subsequent repair (Chapter
quality grouting, they are con- 5). Fig. 3: Properly grouted tendon sec-
sidered a major step forward
to achieve reliable long-term ƒ Providing information on ƒ Assistance to contractors
durability of post-tensioning available repair methods for with the selection and de-
tendons. grouted post-tensioning tails of the construction
tendons which have been method of post-tensioned
1.5 Intent of the report successfully used (Chapter structures.
6). ƒ Detailed design of the post-
The intent of this report is to tensioning system adapted
provide a sound basis for This report is specifically written to a particular project.
owners, engineers, and con- for grouting of post-tensioning ƒ Supply and installation in-
tractors to have total confi- tendons either internal or exter- cluding stressing and grout-
dence in the technology of nal to the structure. The report ing of the post-tensioning
grouted, bonded post- does not cover grouting of system.
tensioning. This is achieved ground anchors or stay cables. ƒ Supply of post-tensioning
by: materials, equipment, and
As recognized during recent in- supervising personnel.
ƒ Providing information on vestigations of post-tensioned ƒ Complete erection of post-
services available from the bridges, careful detailing of the tensioned bridge decks
VSL Group, your specialist structure for tendon layout, an- such as precast segmental
contractor for post- chorage and coupler locations, superstructures working as
tensioning and related en- etc. is essential for the durabil- a subcontractor.
gineering, on any aspect ity of post-tensioning tendons ƒ Use of other VSL Systems
related to grouting and and the structure. However, this such as slipforming or
post-tensioning (Chapter aspect goes beyond the scope climbforming, rock and soil
2). of this report, and the interested anchors, stay cables, heavy
reader is referred to other pub- lifting, bearings, expansion
ƒ Providing information on lications, such as [1,8]. joints, stressbar systems,
recent progress in the de- the retained earth system
sign and testing of cemen- 2. The VSL Grouting VSoL, PT-PLUSTM plastic
titious grout mixes and im- Package duct system, [12, 13], etc.
proving existing knowl- ƒ Design and execution of re-
edge on the interaction 2.1 General systems and pair and strengthening
between cement, water, services works for concrete struc-
and admixtures (Chapter tures.
3). The VSL Group provides a ƒ Design and execution of
comprehensive range of ser- specialized foundation
ƒ Providing information on vices in connection with post- works such as diaphragm
state-of-the-art grouting tensioned structures, including: walls, barrets, caissons,
procedures on site to as- piles, soil grouting, etc.
sure complete filling of ƒ Assistance to owners, engi- ƒ Design, supply and execu-
post-tensioning tendons neers and contractors with tion of members made of
with grout over the entire preliminary and final design the ultra-high performance
length of the tendon, see studies of post-tensioned concrete, DUCTALTM.
Fig. 3 (Chapter 4). structures.

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
The actual extent of the VSL ally is. Already the individual jected by experienced, well-
services will usually be deter- grout constituents, cement and qualified and trained personnel,
mined in discussions with the admixtures, are complex mate- with VSL optimised grouting
owner, engineer, contractor, rials. The interested reader is equipment. The grouting works
and the VSL Organisation. In referred to specialist literature will be carried out in compli-
many cases the combination such as [15]. The interaction ance with our standard proce-
of several VSL Systems and between the individual con- dures adapted to the particular
Services is possible on a par- stituents is even more complex. conditions of the site, and ap-
ticular project. This enables However, the properties of the plying state-of-the art testing
the use of labour and equip- grout are also affected by the and QC procedures as pre-
ment to be rationalized with equipment used to mix and sented later in this report.
corresponding cost savings. pump it. The properties of the
grout inside a post-tensioning The overall objective of VSL
The reader is encouraged to tendon are further influenced by with the above full package ap-
visit the Internet sites of the the detailing of the tendon and proach is to enhance the dura-
VSL Intrafor Group at vents, the ambient conditions, bility of post-tensioned struc-
http:\\ and and the grouting procedures tures by improving the quality of
http:\\ for utilized. Last but not least, all grouting. Owners, engineers,
more details on our systems these activities are carried out and contractors relying on the
and services, or to consult our by human beings with different above approach will quickly re-
brochures, e.g. [14]. backgrounds, education, and alize the advantages provided.
The VSL Group can offer a 3. Cementitious Grout
wide range of specialized pub- In view of the above complexity
lications on the above sys- and the many interfaces to 3.1 Common grout
tems and services. Please manage, only a global ap- specifications and
contact your nearest VSL Or- proach considering all activities recent trends
ganisation for a copy. as one package will assure op-
timum results. In the authors’ Specifications for cementitious
2.2 The VSL grouting opinion it is in the owner's grouts changed little over a
package best interest to consider the long period of time up until
post-tensioning and grouting quite recently. The “Fédération
Grouting has been considered as one package, and subcon- Internationale de la Précon-
by many as a simple activity tract the entire package to trainte” (FIP) Guide to Good
of mixing cement and water, one “Single Source” post- Practice on "Grouting of ten-
and pumping it into a duct. In tensioning specialist contrac- dons" can be considered as a
addition to this perceived sim- tor such as VSL. If assigned fairly representative document
plicity, it is an activity where such a full package, VSL will for grouting up to today, [16].
people's hands can get dirty. use VSL-HPI GroutTM which is a Most national standards in
It has therefore, attracted high performance cementitious Europe and Asia, and recom-
much less interest and atten- grout offering performance mendations such as the ones
tion than placing and stressing characteristics which have issued by the Post-Tensioning
operations, and has been of- been optimised with VSL pro- Institute (PTI), used the same
ten considered something prietary procedures. Our tech- or similar grout testing proce-
"everyone can do" anyway. nical staff will provide post- dures, and either the same or
With the past experience re- tensioning system details which similar acceptance criteria. The
ported under Section 1.2, and are fully compatible with the FIP Guide to Good Practice
with the knowledge collected grout materials, equipment, and also has become the basis for
in recent research presented procedures intended to be used the European Standards, EN
later in this report, an increas- on site. This can be further 445, 446, 447 for Grouting,
ing number of clients and en- complemented with the use of [17].
gineers have started to realise the VSL PT-PLUSTM plastic
how complex the grouting of a duct system. VSL will then as-
post-tensioning tendon actu- sure that the grout will be in-

Page 10
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
The main properties consid- test methods or specimens stabilising admixture but with-
ered relevant for the perform- used to check the properties. out expansion with a water /
ance of grouts in these docu- These are flow cones with an cement ratio of 0.32.
ments are: efflux opening of ‡10-12.7 mm; The Common and Optimised
small scale plastic cylinders of Grout mixes had comparable
ƒ The flowability of grout: diameter and height in the or-
This was considered im- der of 100 mm (FIP), or cylin-
portant to ensure com- ders of 50 mm diameter and
plete filling of the tendon 200 mm height (EN) for volume
duct. change and bleed; and prisms,
ƒ Volume change of grout: cubes, or cylinders in the order
This was considered im- of 50 to 100 mm for strength.
portant to be maintained
within a specified range Recent investigations and ex-
around zero to completely perience on sites have shown
fill the tendon duct. that the specifications [16,17]
ƒ Bleed of grout: It was are either not relevant, or that a) Standard bleed test in 100 mm contain-
considered important to the specimens and test meth- ers
limit free water inside the ods are not representative of
tendon duct, and any the real behaviour of grout in-
bleed water to be reab- side a tendon duct. The first
sorbed by the grout within comment applies in particular to
a specified time. the strength of grout. A well de-
ƒ Strength of grout: This signed grout mix will typically
was considered to provide develop a strength much in ex-
an indication of the grout cess of the specified values.
quality with respect to its The second comment applies
bond and shear strength. to the bleed and volume
ƒ Resistance of grout to change of grout. It has been
freezing: This was con- realised recently that the bleed b) 1 m high tubes with and without strand
sidered important for ap- behaviour of grout inside a
plications in cold climates. plastic container of the speci-
fied size is insignificant com-
Table 1 gives a summary of pared to the real bleed behav- Common Grout

the specified properties in the iour inside an inclined duct with

documents of FIP, [16], and prestressing strands. Fig. 4
European Standards (EN), shows the bleed and volume
[17]. The recent revision of the change behaviour of two grout Optimised Grout

PTI Guide Specification for mixes in different test speci-

Grouting, [18], is also shown mens. The grout called "Com-
for reference. It includes addi- mon Grout" used a plasticizing c) 5 m Inclined Tube with 12 strands
tional tests for setting time and expansive admixture with a
and permeability of grout. Fig. 4: Bleed and volume change behav-
water/cement ratio of 0.38. The iour in different test specimens.
grout called "Optimised Grout"
Table 1 also summarizes the used another plasticizing, and a

Property FIP Guide [16] EN 447 [17] PTI [18] Test method/specimen

d 25 seconds 11 to 30 seconds
ƒ Flowability / Fluidity Flow cone (‡ 10 or 12.7 mm)
-2% to + 5% 0% to + 0,1 %
ƒ Volume change - 1% to + 5% Plastic cylinder (100-200mm high)
0% 1)
ƒ Bleed d 2% d 2% Plastic cylinder (100-200 mm high)
t 21 MPa
ƒ Strength at 7 days t 20 MPa t 27 MPa Cube or cylinder (50-100 mm)
at 28 days t 35 MPa
t 30 MPa t 30 MPa
Wick-Induced test at 3h

Page 11
1: Common2002
specifications for grout
by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002

Note: 1) No limit is specified, but water/cement ratio is recommended to not exceed w/c d 0.40 to 0.45
flow times. Four different test acceptance criteria will consis-
specimens were used, i.e. The above results were ob- tently assure that exclusively
plastic container of about 100 tained in a series of tests done good quality grout mixes are
mm height, plastic pipe of 80 by VSL. The same phenome- used for the injection of post-
mm diameter and 1m high non has been recognized and tensioning tendons. The In-
without strand, plastic pipe of confirmed by others. It was in clined Tube test has been con-
80 mm diameter and 1 m high particular France who devel- firmed to be the most represen-
with one strand, and a 5 m oped the Inclined Tube test af- tative test method. This and
long tube of 80 mm diameter ter a series of grouting prob- other new test procedures are
inclined at 30 degrees to lems with excessive grout seg- included in Appendix A to this
horizontal with 12 strands. All regation and bleed had been report.
four specimens were filled detected on sites. The Inclined
with the same batch of each Tube test was the only test 3.2 Grout constituents
grout mix. method which was able to real-
istically reproduce the phenom- 3.2.1 General
The results for bleed and ex- ena found on site. This led the
pansion were quite different French administration to specify Grout is composed of cement,
from one test specimen to the the Inclined Tube test as basis water and admixtures. These
other. The 100 mm container, for the approval of a particular constituents have a complex in-
typically specified in stan- grout mix before its use on site, teractions. This applies, in par-
dards, showed only an insig- [19]. Later on, in order to re- ticular, to the admixtures and
nificant difference in bleed be- duce the expenses for testing certain reactive components of
tween the two grouts. Actu- on site, the UK introduced the the cement such as tri-calcium
ally, both grout mixes would idea of the 1.5m pipe with a aluminate (C3A). Also the parti-
have satisfied the specifica- number of strands such as to fill cle size of the cement has a
tion of Table 1. The 1m high about 30% of the pipe section significant effect on the interac-
pipe without strand showed as standard bleed test, [20]. A tion between the grout con-
both grout mixes with no European working group on the stituents. Unfortunately, many if
bleed. However, the common approval of post-tensioning sys- not all of these cement and
grout showed significant ex- tems introduced the 1m pipe admixture characteristics or
pansion due to the expansive with one single strand under particles are not part of the ma-
admixture. This was signifi- the name of "Wick-Induced" terial specifications of national
cantly different in the 1m pipe Bleed test, [21]. A similar test or international standards.
with strand. The Common has been introduced by PTI, Hence, specifying a cement for
Grout now showed significant [18]. grouting of tendons according
bleed but no more expansion. to a national or international
The Optimised Grout still The above evidence has con- standard is not sufficient to as-
showed no bleed. Finally, the firmed that the grout test meth- sure consistent grout proper-
Inclined Tube test confirmed ods and acceptance criteria ties. Rather the entire spectrum
the poor performance of the which have been used, and are of chemical and physical prop-
Common Grout with about still being used in most places erties of the cement must be
800 mm bleed water and no around the world, are unfortu- known, and must be maintained
apparent grout expansion. nately not representative of the within acceptable tolerance, in
The Optimised Grout still real performance of grout in a combination with particular ad-
showed an insignificant tendon duct. They are not able mixtures, to assure consistent
amount of bleed in the order to correctly differentiate be- properties and quality of a par-
of 5 mm bleed water on the tween a poor and a good qual- ticular grout mix.
top of the pipe. It shall be ity grout. These test methods
mentioned again that all four need to be replaced quickly by It is beyond the scope of this
specimens were filled with the test procedures which are con- report to review all the parame-
same batch of each grout mix, firmed to be representative, ters of grout constituents which
i.e. there was no variation of with more stringent acceptance affect the grout properties.
grout properties between dif- criteria. Only such representa- However, the following sections
ferent specimens. tive test methods with stringent will briefly review some aspects

Page 12
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
of each constituent consid- tioned above, this value should ter, provide a structure inside
ered essential for good grout be maintained within a rea- the cement having some rigid-
performance. sonably small range of toler- ity, i.e. stiffening the grout. This
ance to assure consistent is known as "false set". On the
3.2.2 Cement properties of a particular grout other hand, "flash set" results in
mix. cements which have insufficient
(1) Type of cement: Port- sulfate present effectively to
land cement is recommended (3) Chloride content of stop the hydration of tri-calcium
for grouting of tendons. Other cement: The cement shall only aluminate (C3A) to the hydrate
types of cement may be con- contain insignificant traces of rather than to ettringite. Flash
sidered for grouting of ten- chlorides to avoid corrosion of set is accompanied with the re-
dons but only after detailed the tendon. A typical limit is lease of considerable amounts
testing for their suitability in 0.05% of chlorides by weight of of heat. Cement which shows
particular in terms of long term cement. either of the two phenomena is
corrosion protection (e.g. for not suitable for grout, and must
slag cements) or in terms of (4) Tri-Calcium Aluminate be avoided.
development of hydrogen gas (C3A) content of cement: C3A
(e.g. silica fume cements). is strongly reactive with admix- (7) Source of cement:
tures. Its content in cement With what was said in Section
(2) Specific surface of may vary widely around the 3.2.1 it is clear that only ce-
cement: The Blaine value is world (range of about 2 to 12% ments of one particular source
an indirect measure of the of clinker). A relatively low C3A or supplier may be used for a
specific surface of cement. content is desirable but may not particular grout mix for grouting
Blaine values of cement vary be easy to obtain. Cements of tendons.
widely across the world (range with medium to high C3A con-
of 250-450 m2/kg) and even tent are more delicate in their The interested reader is re-
vary between batches from interaction with admixtures, and ferred to specialised literature
the same supplier. Cements necessitate a detailed testing for more details on the charac-
with low Blaine values (i.e. low series to assure compatibility of teristics of cements, [15].
specific surface) tend to easily the cement with a particular
flocculate, i.e. form lumps. admixture. 3.2.3 Water
This will create non-
homogeneous grouts which (5) Age of cement: Ce- (1) Water quality: Water
have a tendency to easily seg- ment carbonises with age and must be free of impurities which
regate. Cements with high with this reduces its reactivity could influence the setting of
Blaine values often require with admixtures and water. On the grout and must not contain
larger quantities of water and the other hand, freshly pro- substances which are harmful
admixtures to wet their sur- duced cement may still be in- to the prestressing steel. In
face, and to provide a certain adequately cooled. Hence, the general, it may be assumed
viscosity or flow time of grout. age of cement to be used for that drinking water satisfies
In addition, cements with high grouting of tendons must be these requirements. In case of
Blaine value have an earlier controlled, and kept within a doubt, or if no drinking water is
beginning of setting or stiffen- reasonably small range of a few available, the water should be
ing. The above leads to a weeks. Alternatively, the ce- analyzed in a qualified labora-
minimum specified Blaine ment may be sealed in air tight tory and contents of organic
value of 300m2/kg to avoid containers for longer storage. particles, sulfates, sulfides,
easily flocculating grouts. High carbonates, and chlorides
Blaine values do not cause (6) False set and flash set should be limited to maximum
performance problems. How- of cement: These are two values in the order of 100-500
ever, a reasonable upper end phenomena which are related mg/l.
of Blaine values for cement to the calcium sulfate in the
used in grouts is in the order cement. If calcium sulfate is
of 380m2/kg, mostly for eco- added in the form of gypsum,
nomical reasons. As men- this may, when mixed with wa-

Page 13
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
3.2.4 Admixtures not contain products which are (form lumps), and to settle
harmful to the prestressing (sedimentation), with the lighter
(1) Type of admixtures: steel. This applies in particular water moving upwards, and col-
Types of admixtures differ by to chlorides. But also calcium- lecting at the top of the grout.
the nature of the molecules nitrite has been reported to This sedimentation leads to an
used. They differ in their de- cause corrosion of prestressing apparent reduction of grout vol-
gree of efficiency, i.e. the steel. The supplier therefore, ume. This movement of water
quantity needed to achieve a should provide confirmation may wash out certain compo-
certain performance. Depend- that the particular admixture nents of the cement and admix-
ing on the nature of molecules does not contain substances tures, and thus may cause seg-
used they will interact differ- potentially harmful to the regation of the grout.
ently with different sources of prestressing steel, and/or the
cement. Admixtures are avail- suitability of the admixture Bleed and sedimentation of
able in liquid form or as pow- should be confirmed by a quali- grout is probably one of the
der. Admixtures are available fied laboratory. main reasons, if not the most
to modify grout properties in important, for grouting and du-
many ways including the fol- 3.3 Grout characteristics rability problems with tendons.
lowing: Plasticizing, stabilis- Excess bleed water will collect
ing, retarding, accelerating, The following is a review of se- at high points of tendon profiles
thixotropic, expansive, etc. lected grout characteristics and and leave the prestressing steel
Admixtures with combined ef- of the effect of certain parame- in these areas without protec-
fects are also available. The ters on them. This review pro- tion from alkaline grout. Such
user is advised to ask the sup- vides a better understanding of unprotected, exposed areas
plier of an admixture for a the behaviour of grouts, and have been found in the investi-
detailed certificate of the assists in defining the relevant gations referenced in Chapter
product, and to perform de- characteristics for grout specifi- 1, see [4,5,6]. In cases where
tailed suitability testing in cations, and acceptance crite- the bleed water was reab-
combination with the particular ria. sorbed and ingress of addi-
cement intended to be used tional water and chlorides was
for a grout mix. 3.3.1 Bleed prevented by leak tight con-
crete cover or encapsulation by
(2) Shelf life of admix- Water is needed in grout for the the sheath, no or only insignifi-
ture: Properties of admixtures
change over time. Therefore,
admixtures for which the shelf
life recommended by the sup-
plier has exceeded, should be
Bleeding (%)

discarded. 0.6
(3) Dry extract of admix- 0.2
ture: Many admixtures come 0.0
in liquid form, i.e. are mixed 0.28 0.30 0.32 0.34 0.36 0.38 0.40 0.42
with water. Since it is the dry w /c
content of the admixture
which is relevant for the inter- Fig. 5: Effect of water / cement ratio on bleed at 3 hours
action with the cement, it
needs to be declared and con- hydration of cement. However, cant corrosion was found in
trolled within an acceptable in practice typically much more these exposed areas even after
range to assure consistent water, than is needed for hydra- long time. However, in less fa-
properties of a particular grout tion, is provided to achieve a vourable cases, these locations
mix. sufficiently low viscosity of grout often showed tendon corrosion.
for injection. In such a situation
(4) Corrosiveness of of excess water, the cement The amount of bleed depends
admixtures: Admixtures shall particles tend to flocculate on different parameters of

Page 14
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
which the quantity of water controlled and kept to an insig- the washing out of cement or
added initially is the most im- nificant quantity under all cir- admixture particles by the bleed
portant. The quantity of water cumstances. The most effective water. This washing out may
added to a given quantity of measure is first of all to reduce further cause changes of the
cement, or the water/cement the amount of water added to grout properties such as a re-
ratio (w/c), must be kept as the cement as much as feasi- duction of the pH-value at the
small as possible to limit the ble. The desired low viscosity of high point.
excess water. Actually, the grout for injection can be as-
amount of bleed is not propor- sured, even with low wa- Segregation and sedimentation
tional to the water/cement ra- ter/cement ratio, if suitable can easily be confirmed by
tio. There seems to be a plasticizing admixtures are measurement of the density of
threshold at which bleed sud- used. grout at different locations and
denly becomes significant. by observation of the grout col-
Likely this threshold depends 3.3.2 Segregation and sedi- our. Fig. 6 shows the effect of
on the actual grout constitu- mentation sedimentation due to excess
ents. Fig. 5 shows the effect water for a particular grout mix
of the water/cement ratio on The phenomena of segregation in 1m grout pipes. The grout
the amount of bleed for one and sedimentation were intro- density of the mix with excess
particular grout mix used in duced in Section 3.3.1. As water drops significantly to-
the VSL research. The mentioned, they are a conse- wards the top of the pipe, leav-
threshold in this case is at a quence of bleed and possibly ing a low density and porous
water/cement ratio of w/c | other characteristics of the grout near the top.
0.30 - 0.32. grout constituents which favour
instability of the mix. Both ef- Grout mixes with a tendency to
High pressure to which the fects produce grout which has a segregation or sedimentation
grout is exposed will increase higher density near low points will be detected in an Inclined
bleed. This is well known for of the tendon profile, and a Tube test.
long vertical tendons for which lower density at high points. As
special grout mixes must be
designed and special grouting
procedures be applied to
avoid problems due to bleed.
For such applications, the 800
Height (mm)

bleed properties of grout shall

be verified at elevated pres- 600 Mix 1 w/c 0.28
sure, see [18]. 400 Mix 2 w/c 0.4

As demonstrated in the In- 200

clined Tube test, the addition 0
of prestressing steel, and in
0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0
particular strand, inside the
duct significantly increases Density of grout (kg/m )
3 Grout column
the amount of bleed water col-
lected at the high point. A
smooth duct as typically used Fig. 6: Effect of sedimentation on grout density
for external tendons will fur- documented in Inclined Tube
ther facilitate the movement of tests, segregation in addition 3.3.3 Viscosity and flow time
bleed water to the high point often goes with a change of
compared to a corrugated colour of grout, e.g. dark grey Freshly prepared grout for post-
duct as typically used for in- at locations with higher density, tensioning tendons must be
ternal tendons. and lighter grey and / or whitish easily pumpable for injection
or yellowish colour at locations into the ducts, i.e. it must have
For all of the above said, with lower density. This change a relatively low viscosity. In
bleed of grout must be strictly of colour is a consequence of practice, the efflux time (flow

Page 15
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
time) of a given quantity of The flow time of a particular the expected more rapid stiffen-
grout from a cone has been grout mix should remain stable ing, see e.g. FIP Guide, [16].
used as a measure for the vis- over a sufficiently long period of However, in view of the unde-
cosity. Therefore, the two time, at a given temperature sirable effects of excess water
terms are considered equiva- range, to avoid problems during on bleed, sedimentation, and
lent for the purpose of this re- injection due to stiffening of the segregation described above,
port. grout. It is not sufficient for this this practice should be aban-
case to give an upper limit of doned. Instead, the grout mix
The viscosity of grout can be the flow time. Rather the should be optimised for the ex-
reduced by the addition of wa- change of flow time over time is pected range of temperatures
ter. To achieve a viscosity of important. Grout mixes sub- with specific admixtures, and a
basic grout without plasticizing jected to elevated temperatures minimum quantity of water.
admixtures which can easily are more likely to show rapid
be pumped, water/cement ra- changes of flow time than grout 3.3.4 Volume change
tios in the order of 0.4 - 0.45 mixes at low temperature. With
are required. This is signifi- suitable design and eventual Volume change of grout is pri-
cantly more water than use of specific admixtures, the marily due to two effects, i.e.
needed for hydration of the flow time of grout mixes can be shrinkage of grout and sedi-
cement, and will produce un- maintained stable over an ex- mentation of grout. Unfortu-
stable grout mixes likely to tended duration of time even at nately, in practice the two ef-
show excess bleed, sedimen- high temperatures. Fig. 7 fects are often combined.
tation and possibly segrega- shows an example of the flow
tion. To avoid these problems time development over time for Sedimentation of grout has
suitable plasticizing admix- a grout mix optimised by VSL been discussed in Section 3.3.1
tures can be used which allow for high temperature. Even at a and 3.3.2. It is best controlled
to reduce the water/cement temperature of 40°C, the flow by a low water/cement ratio and
ratio down to the order of 0.30 time changed by less than two thus, by controlling bleed. If not
for low viscosity grouts suit- seconds over a period of two controlled, sedimentation of
able for injection in tendons.
Grout mixes with low wa-
ter/cement ratio are inherently
Flow time in cone (sec)

more stable and less likely to 20

show excess bleed, sedimen-
tation and segregation. 15

The actual amount of water
needed for a particular grout 5 VSL HPI at 40°C

mix is often determined by tri-

als such as to produce a de- 0
sired viscosity or flow time of 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120
the grout. When using the flow
Time (min)
cone according to the Euro-
pean Standard EN 445, [17]
flow times should be kept be- Fig. 7: Grout mix optimised for stability of flow time at 40°C
low 25 seconds for injection.
In practice, values between 13 hours. This was achieved with grouts with excess water can
and 18 seconds are often de- a grout of a water/cement ratio cause volume changes in the
sirable. However, the absolute of w/c = 0.28, and without cool- order of a few percent of the ini-
figure of the flow time de- ing the constituents or grout. tial volume, in the first few
pends to some degree on the hours after injection. This is
particular application, equip- In the past, it has been recom- shown in Figs. 8a and 8b for
ment, and procedures used. mended at elevated tempera- four different grout mixes. The
tures to add some extra water four mixes were made from the
to the grout to compensate for same cement but differed in the

Page 16
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
control of bleed by stabilising 3
admixtures. It is evident that
high bleed leads to high sedi- 2.5
Mix 1
mentation in the order of sev- 2 Mix 2

Bleed (%)
eral percent, see Mixes 1 and Mix 3
2. However, if bleed is con- 1.5 Mix 4

trolled, sedimentation is also

controlled and remains insig- 1
nificant, see Mixes 3 and 4. 0.5

Shrinkage of grout, on the 0

other hand, is a completely 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
different phenomenon which Time (hours)
depends primarily on the type a) Bleed characteristics of different grout mixes (1m grout column specimens)
of the cement and to some
degree on the amount of wa-
ter. Fig. 8c shows selected re-
sults of shrinkage measure-
ments on six different grout
Sedimentation (%)

mixes over time up to 28 Mix 1
days. At 28 days maximum Mix 2
shrinkage values were below 2.5
Mix 3
2000 Pm/m, and hence, about Mix 4
one order of magnitude lower 1.5

than the effect of sedimenta- 1

tion. 0.5
In view of the above, sedi- 0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24
mentation needs to be strictly Time (hours)
controlled since it can poten- b) Sedimentation characteristics of different grout mixes (1m grout column speci-
tially cause voids in the order mens)
of a few percent of the original
volume. This is best achieved
by controlling the bleed of the 2500
grout. On the other hand, vol-
Shrinkage (Pm/m)

2000 Mix 1
ume change of grout due to Mix 2
shrinkage is about one order 1500 Mix 3
of magnitude lower, and 1000 Mix 4
hence, insignificant for the Mix 5
creation of voids in the cross Mix 6
sectional dimension of ten- 0
dons. Along the tendon axis, 3 7 28
shrinkage is completely re- Age of grout (days)
strained by the prestressing
c) Shrinkage values for different grout mixes optimised by VSL (standard test
steel in a similar manner to specimens)
the restraint of concrete
shrinkage in highly reinforced Fig. 8: Bleed, sedimentation, and shrinkage behaviour of different grout mixes.
concrete sections. Based on
the above, the use of expan- recommended at all. In fact, the pansive admixtures create a
sive admixtures is not neces- testing shown in Fig. 4 demon- porous grout.
sary. When considering in strated that the effect of the ex-
addition the results of the pansive admixture was can-
bleed tests shown in Fig. 4, celed by the presence of the
the use of expansive prestressing steel. At best, ex-
admixtures is not rec-
Page 17
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
3.3.5 Corrosiveness and 3.3.7 Setting time temperature. Fig. 10 shows the
toxicity setting behaviour of two grouts
Stiffening and setting of grout using two different admixtures
Grouts for post-tensioning should not commence too early but the same cement, opti-
tendons shall not cause cor- due to the risk of clogging dur- mised by VSL, at 8° and 20°,
rosion of the prestressing ing grouting. Start of setting of and at 20° and 40°C, respec-
steel and shall not be toxic. grout must allow sufficient re- tively.
This can be achieved if the serve time to properly finish
grout constituents are grouting including such special The setting time of a grout mix
selected as discussed in Sec-
tion 3.2.

Heat of hydration (mwatt / g of

End of setting
5 Grout is stiff
Start of setting

3 20°C
Fig. 9: Mud Balance equipment for den- 2
sity measurement of fluid grout.

3.3.6 Density
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
Time (hours)
The density of grout is an ex-
cellent indication of the
amount of water used in a
grout mix. It can be measured
a) Setting behaviour at 8°C and 20°C of grout Mix 1
easily by comparing the
weight and volume of a given 10
Heat of hydration (mwatt / g of

quantity of grout in either its
8 En d o f se t t i ng
liquid or hardened state. For 7
Gr o ut i s st i f f
S t a r t o f se t t i n g
an optimised grout mix with a 6

water / cement ratio in the or- 5 40°C

der of w/c = 0.3 the grout 4
density is around 2,050 - 3
2,100 kg/m3. For a grout mix 2
with w/c = 0.4 the density will
be around 1,900 kg/m3 or be-
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
low, because a part of the
cement is replaced by excess Tim e (hours)
water. Measurement of den- b) Setting behaviour at 20°C and 40°C of grout Mix 2
sity is easily achieved on site
with the Mud Balance which is Fig. 10: Setting behaviour of two grout mixes optimised by VSL
typically used for geotechnical
grouting, see Fig. 9. There-
activities as re-grouting etc. can be adjusted within certain
fore, density measurement is
The actual time necessary de- limits to a desired value. This
recommended as a control of
pends on many parameters in- can be achieved by selecting a
the quality of the grout mix on
cluding type of cement, size of particular source of cement,
site, both at the mixer and at
tendon, and in particular the e.g. choosing a low or high
grout vents.
ambient temperature. Start of Blaine value, and by use of
setting may be significantly re- suitable accelerating or retard-
duced at high temperatures, ing admixtures. In any case, the
and may be extended at low setting characteristics of a par-

Page 18
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002

ticular grout mix at the ex- Mix 1

Strength (MPa)
pected temperature should be 80 Mix 2
known to the user, before 60
Mix 3
starting grouting works on Mix 4
site, and must be compatible 40 Mix 5
with the anticipated grouting 20
Mix 6
procedures and schedule.
0 I I
7 28

3.3.8 Strength Age of grout (days)

Fig. 11: Actual strength of VSL optimised grouts (40x40x160 mm prism halves)
For bonded tendons, the grout
must attain a minimum and without expansive admix- climates where freezing is a
strength to assure sufficient tures, typically grout strengths concern, grout for post-
bond between the prestress- are achieved which far exceed tensioning tendons must pos-
ing steel and the structure. the above requirements. Fig. 11 sess a sufficient frost resis-
Most standards specify a gives a summary of strengths tance. This can be primarily
grout strength in the order of measured on prism halves achieved with a dense grout
25-35 MPa at 28 days, meas- (40x40mm) for VSL optimised with low water / cement ratio,
ured on cubes. Sometimes, a grouts. Compressive strengths with as little excess water as
minimum strength is also re- at 7 and 28 days were at least possible.
quired to transfer compressive 75 MPa and 95 MPa, respec-
forces across the tendon tively, and hence, far above Other methods which have
ducts, such as in slabs near most requirements typically been proposed to improve the
columns, or for shear in webs specified in standards. frost resistance of grout include
of girders. the entrainment of air in the or-
3.3.9 Frost resistance der of 6 - 10% air pores, or the
For an optimised grout mix replacement of about 10 % of
with low water/cement ratio For certain applications in cold the water in the mix with anti-

Item Grout performance characteristics Test method Acceptance criteria

ƒ Bleed water: d 0.3% 1)

ƒ Air void: d 0.3% 1)
Inclined Tube test, Appendix A1, [21]
(1) Bleed and Segregation of grout and ƒ Segregation: No significant segregation visible
Wick-Induced Bleed test, Appendix A2, [21] to the naked eye
of original grout volume

ƒ Initial Flow Time: d 25 seconds


(2) Flow Time of grout Flow Cone according to EN 445, [17] ƒ Change of Flow
Time in 45 minutes: d 3 seconds

(3) Sedimentation of grout Sedimentation test, Appendix A3, [21] ƒ Variation of density: d 5 %

ƒ Chloride content: d 0.1 %
Chemical analysis of grout by qualified labora-
(4) Corrosiveness of grout
tory 2)
of cement weight

Declaration of materials or chemical analysis by

(5) Toxicity of grout ƒ Grout shall not contain toxic materials
qualified laboratory

(6) Strength of grout Test according to EN 445, [17] ƒ Compressive strength at 7 days: t 30 MPa
For refer-

ƒ Volume change at 24 hours: -0.5% to +1%


(7) Volume Change of grout Test according to EN 445, [17]

of original grout volume
Measurement of heat of hydration by qualified ƒ Start of setting: t 3 hours
(8) Setting Time of grout
laboratory ƒ Declaration of start, peak, end of setting
Weight measurement of constituents including
(9) Water / Cement Ratio of grout ƒ Declaration of water/cement ratio of grout

liquid in admixtures
(10) Density of grout Volume and weight measurement of grout ƒ Declaration of density of grout
3) (11) Frost Resistance of grout Testing by qualified laboratory ƒ Declaration of frost resistance of grout

Table 2: Proposed performance specification of grout

Note: 3) Essential for cold climate only

Page 19
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
freeze. Detailed testing of for the record and as reference. the draft Guideline for Euro-
grouts modified with anti- pean Technical Approval of
freeze is recommended to Table 2 gives a listing of the Post-Tensioning Systems, [21],
avoid undesirable effects on grout performance characteris- and to the European Standard
the grout performance. En- tics considered essential for a EN 445, [17]. These references
trainment of air will reduce the high quality grouting of post- allow one to specify values for
strength of grout. The effec- tensioning tendons. These in- acceptance criteria. Other
tiveness of air entrainment is clude items (1) to (5), plus (11), standards exist with test meth-
in question and must be veri- if relevant. Table 2 also in- ods that can be considered
fied with representative size cludes characteristics (Items (6) equivalent. When specifying
grout samples including the to (8)) which are considered of such alternative standards with
prestressing steel. lesser importance and which different test procedures, one
are typically satisfied by well should be aware that likely the
3.4 Recommended grout optimised grouts, as a matter of values of acceptance criteria
performance specification course. Finally, characteristics will change also. Some new
and testing (9) and (10) are listed for which test methods from [21] not yet
no requirements are stated but commonly known are pre-
Based on the discussion and for which the actual values sented in Appendix A.
results presented in the previ- should be declared for the re-
ous section, only a small num- cord and future reference. 3.5 Stages of grout testing
ber of grout performance
characteristics are considered Table 2 also includes proposed There are different stages of
essential. Many of the typi- testing methods, and the corre- grout testing each one with a
cally specified characteristics sponding proposed acceptance particular objective. The follow-
in the past are not considered criteria. For the proposed test ing is a brief review of these
essential but may still be used methods reference is made to stages of testing.
Acceptance / QC Testing
Grout Test Methods Approval Testing Suitability Testing
and Proposed Test Frequency

(1) Bleed / Segregation:

- Inclined Tube x not required not required
- Wick Induced x x x (2 specimens / day)

(2) Flow Time

- Initial x x x (1 specimen / 3h)
- Change x x not required

(3) Sedimentation x x not required

(4) Corrosiveness x not required not required

(5) Toxicity x not required not required

(6) Strength x x x (1 test with 2 specimens / day)

(7) Volume Change x x x (1 specimen / day)

(8) Setting Time x not required not required

(9) Water / Cement Ratio x x x (record for every mix)

(10) Density x x x (1 specimen / 3h)

(11) Frost Resistance for specific use only for specific use only not required

Table 3: Recommended testing regime and test frequency in different stages

Page 20
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
(1) Initial testing of grout: These tests are one part of the prepared. Once it has started it
These tests typically serve to approval procedure for the par- should not be interrupted. The
select or determine a particu- ticular grout mix. However, in assessment of the quality of
lar grout mix design in a addition, adequate QA proce- grout during injection is still
laboratory. In the past the dures must be implemented to based to some degree on
initial testing of grout was assure the consistency of the judgement of an individual, e.g.
often based on trial and error grout constituents for the par- for the decision when the qual-
procedures with testing until a ticular grout mix. If both parts ity of grout is acceptable to
satisfactory solution was are satisfied, the mix can be close a particular vent. Most, if
found. considered approved as grout not all, activities during grouting
for post-tensioning tendons, are on the critical path, in par-
VSL has introduced scientifi- and approval tests do not need ticular for grout mixes which
cally based proprietary optimi- to be repeated for future appli- show an early start of setting.
sation procedures to obtain a cations. The actual grouting works can
specific grout mix design for be physically quite demanding,
optimised bleed and segrega- (3) Suitability Testing of are dirty, and involve safety
tion properties. These optimi- Grout: These tests serve to risks, e.g. if the human skin or
sation procedures also assure confirm the suitability and cer- eyes get in direct contact with
that all the grout constituents tain performance characteristics the grout. For all the above
have acceptable properties for of an approved grout mix on a reasons, grouting work needs
grout for post-tensioning ten- specific site. This testing should to be planned, and supervised
dons, and that they are com- be done under representative, by experienced technicians,
patible between each other. expected climatic conditions, with a thorough understanding
Grout mixes which have been with the grouting equipment in- of the behaviour of grout, and
designed with this optimisa- tended to be used on site, and awareness of the potential im-
tion procedure, and which sat- carried out by the personnel in- plications of poor grouting on
isfy all performance criteria, tended to complete the grouting the durability of a post-
i.e. pass the approval testing, works. tensioned structure. Hence,
obtain the VSL-HPI• Grout only such experienced techni-
label. Table 3 lists the testing recom- cians should be qualified to
mended to confirm the suitabil- plan and supervise grouting
(2) Approval Testing of ity of an approved grout mix for works. These technicians
Grout: use on site. Bleed and segrega- should be capable of training
These tests serve to confirm tion is checked with the Wick- the labour used for grouting,
initially the compliance of a Induced test only in comparison usually on site, as needed for
particular grout mix with the to the corresponding results ob- the anticipated activities.
grout performance specifica- tained during approval testing.
tions listed in Table 2. Typi- A satisfactory quality of grout-
cally, Items (1) to (10) will be (4) Acceptance / QC Testing ing work can only be achieved
covered, see Table 3. Item of Grout: These tests serve to if grouting equipment of a suit-
(11) will only be verified for confirm the consistency of the able capacity adapted to the
specific applications in cold grout properties during execu- particular project is used. Such
climate. Grout produced for tion of the grouting works on equipment should be confirmed
testing should be prepared site. Table 3 lists the testing prior to the actual grouting work
with equipment comparable to recommended for QC on site. It during suitability testing to be
the one intended to be used includes also a proposed test able to produce a sufficiently
on site. Approval testing is frequency for acceptance tests. homogeneous grout mix.
typically done in a workshop
or on site, under conditions 4. Grouting on Site A post-tensioning tendon can
comparable to the site where only reliably and completely be
the grout is intended to be 4.1 General filled if the entire tendon and
used. duct system, including anchor-
Grouting work on site is a com- ages, hoses, etc. is leak tight.
plex activity. It needs to be well Hence, careful detailing of the

Page 21
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
tendon and duct system is es- ments used by the specialist 4.2 Training and qualification
sential. Improvised connec- contractor. FIP has produced of personnel
tions between ducts and an- recommendations on the
chorages, or improvised seal- "Qualification and approval of Any type of grout, whether sup-
ing of anchorages and vents, prestressing contractors and plied in bags as ready-mixed /
present risks which may lead system suppliers", [22]. France pre-bagged grout or mixed on
to grouting defects. has recently introduced an site, is finally mixed with water
"Avis Technique" on the ap- and injected by on site people.
The leak tightness of the ten- proval of grout. It is a two step A consistent good quality of
don system may be confirmed procedure where an approval is grout is only achieved by ex-
by air pressure testing [1]. needed for the product, i.e. the perienced, well-qualified per-
grout, and a separate approval sonnel who receive regular
Excess water in the grout has for the specialist contractor, training to re-fresh and up-date
been confirmed as a major demonstrating that he is quali- their knowledge. Therefore, the
cause of grouting and durabil- fied to produce the approved qualification and training of
ity problems. Hence, control of grout with his personnel, grouting personnel is of prime
the water added to the grout is equipment and procedures to importance. This applies to all
essential. This includes water the specified performance and levels from labour to supervi-
eventually present in the duct quality, [23]. The UK has also sor/foreman, and technician.
system. Therefore, duct sys- introduced comparable re-
tems need to be kept ade- quirements for companies as a In the above terminology, the
quately sealed on site at all basis for the lifting of the tem- grouting technician and super-
times to avoid ingress of rain porary ban of grouted post- visor / foreman assume quite
or other water before grouting. tensioning tendons, [1]. similar responsibilities. They

The quality and reliability of

the filling of the tendon duct
Sedimentation of grout (%)

and anchorages depends on 12

the suitability of the chosen 10 VSL Mixer
acceptance criterion
grouting procedure. There- 8 Laboratory
fore, only grouting procedures Mixer
should be used which have
been proven through sufficient 4
experience and / or represen- 2
tative testing. Whenever pos- 0
sible, standard procedures 0 2 4 6 8 10 12
should be applied to reduce
the risk. Mixing time of grout (minutes)

Fig. 12: VSL Grout Mixers have been confirmed in a proprietary optimisation procedure.
Actually, only the combination
of all these above mentioned
ingredients will assure a high
quality of grouting on site.
This fact has been recognized The different aspects of the should both be able to plan and
by some organisations and quality of grout as a product up organize grouting, to select and
countries which have pro- to its approval have been dis- operate grouting equipment,
posed and / or actually intro- cussed in Section 3. This sec- and to carry out grouting on
duced an approval procedure tion will review the other essen- site. In addition, grouting tech-
combining the product (post- tial ingredients for high quality nicians should be able to select
tensioning system, grout) with grouting on site. grout constituents, prepare a
the qualification of the special- design for a new grout mix, and
ist contractor carrying out the confirm it by testing. The su-
works, and the equipment and pervisor / foreman should in
procedures / method state- particular be able to train labour

Page 22
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
on site for their anticipated ac- test method which may be used standby reservoir to allow
tivity. to qualify a grout mixer for the preparation of a next
grouting of post-tensioning ten- mix. The grout leaves from
In parallel with the develop- dons, and to confirm its per- the standby reservoir into
ment work on the optimisation formance and capability to pro- the tendon during injection.
of grout mixes, the VSL Group duce a homogeneous grout. The grout should not be ac-
has introduced a specific This is the sedimentation test tually mixed but just kept in
training programme in grout- introduced in Section 3, and de- motion since excessive mix-
ing activities for VSL person- tailed in Appendix A.3. A par- ing may be harmful to the
nel. This training programme ticular grout mix can be pre- homogeneity of the grout.
addresses technicians and pared in the mixer to be as- ƒ Pumps of sufficient capacity
supervisors/foremen. It is in- sessed according to a given to inject the grout at the an-
tended to refresh and up-date procedure and specific mixing ticipated speed into a ten-
their knowledge on grouting, time. After mixing, the sedimen- don of a given size and ge-
confirm their qualification, and tation test specimen is pre- ometry.
assist them in training their la- pared with this mix, and sedi-
bour on site. mentation measured after com- The VSL Group owns a large
plete setting of the grout. Based number of grouting equipment
4.3 Grouting equipment on our present knowledge, which satisfy the above re-
sedimentation in this test quirements. As part of the re-
Suitable grout mixers adapted should be limited to a maximum search and development, VSL
to the size of a particular pro- of 5% to assure a sufficiently has also introduced a verifica-
ject, and capable of producing homogeneous and stable grout. tion procedure for the perform-
a homogeneous grout mix are ance of the mixers in terms of
essential for achieving quality Apart from the above perform- grout homogeneity as a func-
grouting. A grout mix which is ance requirement, grout mixers tion of mixing time. The results
not homogeneously mixed will suitable for grouting of tendons of the procedure allow to de-
tend to more easily flocculate need to satisfy other more prac- termine on optimum mixing
and consequentially, is likely tical requirements. These in- time for a particular grout mixer,
to show excessive bleed and clude: see Fig. 12.
possibly sedimentation and /
or segregation. To produce ƒ Device or method to accu- 4.4 PT System detailing for
homogenous grout mixes, rately weigh the grout con- grouting
project specifications often stituents which will be used
make reference to "colloidal to prepare a specific mix. In 4.4.1 General
mixers". According to the dic- particular, this addresses
tionary, a "colloid" is a liquid the weight of cement and Correct detailing of the tendon
substance made up of very water. A weighing tolerance profile, ducts, grout vents (inlet
small, insoluble, non-diffusible of 2% is recommended. and outlet), connections of duct
particles (as single large ƒ Mixing reservoir with a high- to anchorages, and anchorage
molecules or masses of speed mechanical mixer. caps are of decisive importance
smaller molecules) that re- For grouting of large volume for high quality grouting. The
main in suspension in a sur- tendons, two mixing reser- tendon profile is typically cho-
rounding liquid medium of dif- voirs and mechanical mix- sen for structural reasons to
ferent matter. While this ers are required to assure balance applied loads. How-
definition is correct in terms of continuous production and ever, the tendon profile should
objectives for a high quality flow of grout into the ten- also be detailed for optimum
grout for post-tensioning ten- don, at the anticipated flow of the grout. Local high
dons, it provides unfortunately speed of grout flow. points where no vents can be
little guidance in terms of ƒ Standby reservoir with a placed should, e.g. be avoided.
specifying how this perform- slowly moving agitator to The tendon profile needs to be
ance can be quantified and keep the grout continuously secured with sufficiently strong
confirmed. Based on today's in motion. Mixing reservoirs tendon supports at a sufficiently
knowledge there is at least are emptied into the close spacing. Inadvertent
one indirect test method which

Page 23
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
movements of the duct during complete filling of ducts with In the past, inexpensive sealing
concreting must be prevented grout. methods of anchor heads or
under all circumstances. anchorages were used which
Ducts need to be made of 4.4.2 Sealing of anchorages are no longer recommended.
suitable material such as These include sealing of the
sheet metal, polyethylene or Grouting can only be carried anchor head with quick-setting
polypropylene in accordance out once the anchor head and mortar or by pouring the an-
with relevant standards or anchorage are properly sealed. chorage recess with concrete
recommendations. Any tem- before grouting, see Fig. 15.
porary hole in the pipe of ex- The most suitable method of Both these methods do not al-
ternal tendons need to be sealing anchor heads and an- low a proper control of the qual-
properly sealed before grout- chorages is with the use of ity of grouting at the anchorage,
ing to assure reliable corro- temporary or permanent grout i.e. control of complete filling,
sion protection. The duct caps on the anchorages. Per- and should not be used any
needs to have a sufficiently manent grout caps are now be- more.
large cross section to allow ing specified more frequently, in
proper flow of the grout. For particular for fully encapsulated The above sealing methods
strand tendons typically the tendons using plastic duct sys- have been presented for
duct size is chosen such that tems and for external tendons. bonded multistrand tendons.
the cross sectional area of the Fig. 13 shows the VSL CS However, they apply similarly to
prestressing steel does not 2000 - PLUS System which of- external tendons, and to
occupy more than about 40- fers full encapsulation of the smaller slab tendons.
45% of the duct cross section. tendon with the VSL PT-
For bar tendons, this percent- PLUSTM plastic duct system.
age can be higher. Significant The encapsulation is completed
reductions of cross sections by the plastic trumpet through
which will cause significant the CS anchorage, and the
change of speed of grout flow permanent CS cap. All connec-
during injection need to be tions are made with special
avoided since this may cause coupling devices to ensure leak
excessive bleed and segrega- tightness.
tion of grout, or even block-
ages. All connections of ducts, For tendons which are not
vents, anchorages, and caps specified as fully encapsulated,
need to be leak tight to assure temporary grout caps are suit-
able. These can be sealed
against the anchor head if the
interface of anchor head and
bearing plate is leak tight. Fig.
14 shows such an example for
the VSL EC System. Fig. 14: VSL EC anchorage with
temporary grout cap, grout inlet and
For both the above cases with cap vent
permanent and temporary solu- 4.4.3 Detailing of vents
tion, the cap may be removed
after grout setting to verify the The term vent is used here to
complete filling of the anchor- cover both grout inlet and out-
age. Even immediately after let. The diameter of grout vents
grouting, tapping on the cap should be sufficiently large to
may be used to verify the com- allow easy flow of grout. Typi-
plete filling. If necessary, grout cally a minimum diameter in the
pumping and venting can be range of 19-25 mm is recom-
Fig. 13: VLS CS 2000 Anchorage with
permanent grout cap, grout inlet and
continued through the cap till it mended for multistrand ten-
cap vent is completely filled. dons. They need to be flexible

Page 24
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
to accommodate a particular
geometry imposed by the pro-
ject, and must be able to sus- NOT RECOMMENDED
tain the maximum expected
grouting pressure. In view of
the risk of ingress of water
and chlorides the vents should a) Quick-setting mortar
have a leak tight valve or cap.
Alternately, the vents should
be located such that access
of chloride laden water is posi-
tively avoided.

Vents need to be located at all

locations where grout is in- NOT RECOMMENDED
tended to be injected into the
tendon system. Vents also
need to be provided at all high
points of the tendon profile b) Concrete pour back
(duct, anchorage, coupler,
cap, etc.) to allow entrapped Fig. 15: Past sealing methods of anchorages which are no longer recommended
air to be expelled and thus, to
assure complete filling of the ist contractor on shop drawings, the deck in combination with
tendon with grout. Vents may and approved by the engineer, epoxy resin in the joints.
be provided at intermediate before installation and grouting Encapsulation of the tendon
locations if the vent spacing of the tendons on site. with plastic ducts across seg-
should become excessive. ment joints has been difficult.
Acceptable maximum vent 4.4.4 Sealing of joints in pre- Some specific duct couplers for
spacing is in the range of 30- cast segmental construction segment joints have been de-
70m but may go up to 100 m veloped recently but no practi-
for particular cases. Vents at Joints between precast seg- cal experience is available at
low points (drains) are not ments represent a potential the time of writing this report.
recommended and should point of weakness in the protec- However, the use of plastic
only be considered if there is tion of internal tendons crossing ducts even without continuity
a significant risk of water ac- these joints. Sealing of the across the joints has been
cumulating during wintertime segment joints with suitable shown to provide improved cor-
with a consequential risk of epoxy resin has been used for rosion protection to the tendon
freezing. many years and provides suffi- in laboratory tests, [24].
cient protection, in general.
Practice has shown that for Special compressible seals Mortar joints between seg-
small slab tendons which are may be used around the duct to ments should not be used.
relatively short, and/or which avoid ingress of epoxy into the They are too porous to provide
have a relatively shallow pro- duct. The use of O-rings in the an effective protection of the
file of not more than 0.5 - 0.8 joints is not recommended. For tendon in the joint.
m drape, no vents are gener- structures with an exposure to
ally needed at the tendon high particularly severe environ- Dry joints in segmental con-
points. ments such as de-icing salts struction are acceptable if all
special waterproofing mem- the post-tensioning is provided
In any case, the exact layout branes should be provided on externally with a continuous
and details of the vents should encapsulation in plastic sheath.
be detailed by the PT special-

Page 25
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
Fig. 16: Examples for grout con-
nections and vent locations

Page 26
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
4.5 Grouting procedures on regation. Blowing of ducts with ble end as specified in the
site compressed air after flushing method statement. Exam-
will not be able to remove all ples for grout connections
4.5.1 General water. Grouts can now be de- and vent locations for com-
signed such as to permit reli- mon cable types in struc-
Each PT specialist contractor able grouting of long "dry" ten- tures are illustrated in Fig.
has his standard and special dons even at elevated tempera- 16.
procedures which are adapted ture. Because of the above ƒ Grouting should continue
to his PT systems, equipment, reason, flushing of tendons with without interruption so that
and experience of his person- water does not form part of the grout flows continuously in
nel. Specific method state- VSL grouting procedures. the same direction from the
ments typically need to be inlet to the cable end. While
prepared by the PT specialist Instead of flushing with water, the grout moves as a solid
contractor based on these tendon ducts should now be column in upward slopes of
standard procedures, and tested with air pressure to proof the duct, it will often flow
submitted as part of the con- leak tightness such as pro- faster downhill than the
tract for a specific project. posed in [1,20]. Testing for leak pump provides grout.
tightness is an essential step in Hence, it will fill the de-
The following is a brief sum- the procedures to assure high scending branch of the duct
mary of the general grouting quality grouting. Only leak tight from the following low point
procedure used by VSL for a duct systems can be effectively backwards / upwards again.
typical post-tensioning tendon. grouted. This will likely cause en-
This will allow highlighting of trapment of air at the high
some important aspects of After the grout mix has been point which needs to be ex-
grouting. This is then supple- confirmed in the suitability tests pelled via the vent at that
mented with some additional on site, and all grouting activi- location. To allow this to
information on special cases ties including equipment and happen, the maximum rate
or procedures. training of personnel, have of flow of grout in the duct
been properly prepared and / or should be limited to 10 to 12
4.5.2 Typical grouting pro- done, actual grouting of the m/minute.
cedure post-tensioning tendons can ƒ When the grout flows out
commence. This is typically in from the first vent, this vent
Many project specifications in accordance with the following is not closed until the issu-
the past required flushing of steps: ing grout has a comparable
the tendons with water prior to viscosity and consistency
grouting. Flushing was used ƒ The grout is mixed with the as that in the mixer. This
to clean the inside of the duct, appropriate water/cement can be judged visually by
wet the duct surface for im- ratio, the specified se- experienced staff, and can
proved flow of grout, and to quence of adding water, be confirmed by grout den-
check the leak tightness of the admixture, and cement, with sity (Mud Balance) and flow
duct. Based on today's knowl- the specified grout mixer, time measurements. If the
edge, this is now considered and for the specified mixing flow time at the outlet is less
bad practice. Recent specifi- time, as per the method than that at the mixer, the
cations such as the ones is- statement. As soon as the difference should not be
sued by PTI [18], ASBI [7] and first mix is ready, the nec- more than about 3 seconds.
the French grouting standard essary quality control tests This connection can then be
[25], do not permit flushing of can be made to confirm the closed. The same criterion
tendons anymore. Flushing of specified grout properties. applies for all further vent
tendons will leave excess wa- ƒ When the properties of the points, including the outlet
ter in the duct system which grout are confirmed, grout- in the anchorage / cap at
will modify the grout proper- ing proper can commence. the cable end. At all vents,
ties beyond any control with ƒ The grouting nozzle is fitted, the issuing grout should be
likely negative effects on in general, to the lowest collected for environmental
bleed, sedimentation and seg- grout connection or to a ca-

Page 27
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
reasons and to avoid conditions, and grout con- 4.5.4 Special cases
staining of the structure. sumption. Reporting of
ƒ If the grouting pressure at grout consumption will allow Grouting in hot or cold
the grouting connection to detect gross errors but weather
approaches 10 bar (e.g. will not permit the detection
with long cables), the of local voids. Concrete structures will, due to
grouting nozzle should be ƒ During grouting regular their mass and heat storage
transferred to the next al- quality control tests should properties, typically have a
ready filled connection be done as listed in Table 3 temperature close to the aver-
and grouting should be at the mixer and at the ten- age ambient temperature. Due
continued from there. don vent farthest away from to the difference of mass of
ƒ When the entire cable is the mixer. In addition, ac- several orders of magnitude,
filled, i.e. when all the cessible parts of tendons the grout being injected into a
vents have been closed, should be checked by tap- concrete structure must be ex-
the pump pressure is ping shortly after grouting. pected to take quickly a similar
slightly raised (about 1 to All vents and caps should temperature as the structure.
3 bar above the grouting be checked / opened after This will likely occur independ-
pressure depending upon setting of the grout, and any ent of the temperature of the
the type of seal at the an- voids should be filled. grout in the mixer. It must,
chor heads). This pressure therefore, be expected that
is maintained for about 4.5.3 Interruption of grout- cooling the grout in the mixer
one minute. If the pres- ing by use of chilled water or ice, or
sure can be maintained warming the grout by hot water,
without significant loss this Grouting activities of a group of has no or not much beneficial
can be considered confir- tendons should be carried out effect on the grout properties
mation that the duct sys- without interruptions. If a fairly once the grout is injected into
tem is leak tight. The inlet long interruption occurs during the tendon and is in contact
opening is then also changing over from a com- with the structure. Actually, the
closed. The grouting noz- pletely grouted tendon to a new relatively rapid change of grout
zle can now be removed tendon, the entire system com- temperature during injection
and fitted to the next ca- prising mixer, pump and hoses presents a considerable risk
ble. If the pressure drops should be emptied and cleaned that the grout changes its prop-
significantly, this indicates with water. erties from a known set of per-
leakage. Leaks should formance characteristics to an
then be located and If, during grouting of a cable, a unknown set.
sealed, and any void left fairly long interruption occurs,
should be topped up with e.g. due to a blockage, the ten- Based on the above considera-
grout. don must immediately be emp- tions, and the research work
ƒ For long tendons with tied by combined blowing with done by VSL on grouts at a
several high points, vents air and flushing with water. temperature range of 5° to
should be opened again, 40°C, VSL now recommends
one after the other, while For grout mixes which have not not to cool or warm grouts be-
the grout is under pres- been confirmed for stability of fore injection. VSL's strong rec-
sure to expel eventually flow time for extended periods ommendation is to optimise the
accumulated air and water of 2 or more hours, "fairly long" grout mix for the expected am-
at high points till the grout as mentioned above may be bient temperature on the par-
exits at the appropriate considered as exceeding about ticular site or climatic region. By
consistency (re-grouting). 30 minutes. For grout mixes using suitable cement and suit-
ƒ It is recommended to pre- with confirmed stability over ex- able admixtures to either accel-
pare a grouting report tended periods, the period be- erate or delay setting, including
daily, including all relevant fore the tendon is cleaned may detailed confirmation of their
data of the mix, grout test- be increased. compatibility with the other
ing, identification of the grout constituents, a grout mix
grouted tendons, weather can be designed to achieve the

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
specified properties even at should be proven by testing of For very long tendons it is rec-
relatively low and high a representative tendon. ommended to provide an addi-
temperatures. In conclusion, tional grout connection close to
situations where the grout will Grouting of long verti- the top anchorage. This will
change its temperature sig- cal tendons permit to grout the last short
nificantly between mixer and section of the tendon and the
tendon should be avoided. Particular attention must be anchorage without the possible
given to the grouting of long effects of bleed etc. from the
Grouting should not be done, vertical tendons. There is a risk entire tendon length. This is
in general, if the ambient tem- of excessive bleed and possibly considered the most reliable
perature is or will drop below sedimentation and segregation grouting method to assure
5°C within 48 hours due to the as a consequence of the con- complete filling of the top an-
risk of freezing of the water siderable pressure differential chorage and the tendon section
and grout. between bottom and top of the just beneath.
tendon. Grouting of tendons Other methods such as using a
with couplers VSL recommends to specifically grout reservoir located above
optimise a grout mix for the ex- the top anchorage have been
A coupler represents a pected pressure range, and used. Such methods are con-
discontinuity in a tendon, in thus to assure the specified sidered less reliable, not easy
particular for the flow of grout. grout properties at the expected to verify, and do only work with
It is, therefore, recommended maximum pressure. very low viscosity grouts with a
to consider coupler locations
similar to a tendon end, i.e. In addition to the grout optimi-
consider the sections before sation, some additional precau-
and after the coupler as dif- tions must be taken for the ten-
ferent tendons, and grout don detailing for grouting.
them separately. Careful seal- Firstly, the bottom anchorage
ing of the coupler is necessary must be provided with a cap or
for grouting the sections sepa- sealing method which is capa-
rately. Recommended grout- ble of safely accepting the ex-
ing details for couplers are il- pected maximum grout pres-
Fig. 18: Intermediate vents in long vertical
lustrated in Fig. 17. sure. If the tendon is intended tendons
to be grouted in stages, inter-
If for specific reasons, a ten- mediate vents need to be pro- greatly extended stability of
don needs to be grouted vided, preferably as suggested flow time. It should be noted
across a coupler, the feasibil- in Fig. 18. that maximum bleed in rela-
ity of the proposed method tively small scale tests as pro-
posed in Section 3, may occur
sometimes only after 3 or more
hours, see Fig. 8a. The effect of
this bleed at the tendon top
may be expected to be further
delayed in very long vertical
tendons. Hence, the grout in
the reservoir needs to maintain
its low viscosity beyond this
time. Vacuum assisted


In vacuum assisted grouting,

the tendon duct is subjected to
Fig. 17: Grouting details for VSL K-Coupler a 85-90% vacuum before grout-

Page 29
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
ing, i.e. 85-90% of the en- [26], give 7, 15, and 20 days as general, and flushing of water-
closed air is removed. This permissible intervals between soluble oils for environmental
significantly reduces the risk tendon installation and grout- reasons, in particular.
of leaving voids in the grouted ing, for very damp (!70% rela-
tendon due to entrapped air. tive humidity), moderate, and If the delay of grouting is not
This can be particularly inter- very dry atmospheres ( 40% known up front, sealing of the
esting for the grouting of long relative humidity), respectively. duct system and anchorages,
horizontal tendons without de- The final draft European Stan- and either intermittent or con-
fined high points where nor- dard on "Execution of concrete tinuous blowing of dry air is
mally entrapped air would col- structures", [27], proposes a recommended for the tempo-
lect. It is also recommended maximum interval of 12 weeks rary protection of the prestress-
for grouting of external ten- between tendon fabrication and ing steel up to grouting.
dons where the provision of grouting, a maximum interval of
vents at high points is compli- 4 weeks for installation of the Blowing of dry air can also be
cated or even not possible, in tendon into the formwork before used for the temporary protec-
particular if the tendon high casting the concrete structure, tion of tendons which have
points are located inside mas- and a maximum interval of 2 been stressed but due to sud-
sive diaphragms. weeks between tendon stress- den start of winter, with con-
ing and grouting. tinuous temperatures below
It should be noted that vac- 5°C, cannot be grouted for an
uum assisted grouting will If grouting needs to be delayed extended period.
only be feasible, and hence beyond the above proposed in-
show its beneficial effects, if tervals, particular protection 4.5.5 QA procedures
the entire duct system includ- methods need to be provided
ing the anchorages are sealed for the post-tensioning tendon. Grouting activities should be
airtight. This should be con- covered by the site specific QA
firmed by a leak tightness test If the delay is known or ex- plan specified for a particular
prior to grouting, and correc- pected before the purchase and project. Standard or site spe-
tive measures taken as installation of the prestressing cific procedures should be
needed. VSL recommends steel, VSL recommends the available which cover all as-
vacuum assisted grouting for use of water-soluble oils for pects of the grout mix, person-
improved quality for the above temporary corrosion protection nel, equipment, and grouting
listed applications because of of the prestressing steel, and discussed in the previous sec-
the reduced risk of entrapped sealing the duct system and tions of this report.
air. anchorage. These oils should
preferably be applied in the fac- During grouting, acceptance Delayed grouting of tory by the supplier. Oils such testing of grout should be per-
tendons as RUST-BAN 310 are avail- formed as proposed in Section
able which have only a low ef- 3 of this report to assure con-
As a general rule, grouting fect on the bond properties of sistent quality of the grout. All
should be carried out as soon the prestressing steel. Only activities and measured data
as feasible after stressing of these types of oil should be should be recorded in specific
the tendons. Guidance on the used to absolutely avoid flush- grouting reports.
maximum period of time be- ing of the tendon before grout-
tween installation of the ing. While the low effect of oil 4.5.6 Safety precautions
prestressing steel, stressing of on bond is usually acceptable when working with grout
the tendon, and grouting of for bonded tendons, in general,
the tendon with bare this is not necessarily the case Cementitious grout is highly al-
prestressing steel may be for bond anchorages. The ten- kaline and, therefore, poten-
found in selected standards don in the bond length of an- tially harmful to the human skin
and publications. Without tak- chorages must be free of oil. and particularly the eyes (risk of
ing any particular precautions As mentioned under Section loss of sight). Preparation of
the AASHTO Standard Speci- 4.5.2 flushing of tendons is grout at the mixer usually pro-
fications for Highway Bridges, considered bad practice in duces cement dust which may

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
be harmful if inhaled into the prestressing steel in progress however a delicate operation
human lungs. or even ruptured wires, strands requiring experienced person-
or bars in tendons. nel. The presence of cracks
For the above reasons, per- and other concrete defects as
sonnel working with cementi- 5.1.1 Georadar and Cover- often found in real structures
tious grout, must protect their meter significantly influence the test
eyes by protective goggles or results and can make the
a full-face shield during all Experience with practical appli- evaluation impossible." Applica-
times, and cover nose and cations has shown that geora- tions in the United States have
mouth when working at the dar is only suitable for the con- shown that under favourable
mixer. firmation of the location of ten- conditions and in accessible
dons. This is, however, often a areas, the Impact-Echo Method
5. Inspection and Monitor- prerequisite for a detailed ten- is able to identify grout voids.
ing of Tendons 1) don inspection. Whereas, under However, the method does not
favourable conditions (no con- work with tendons in plastic
5.1 Inspection methods gestion of reinforcement) geo- ducts.
radar allows the location of ten-
Post-tensioning tendons are dons to a depth of up to 500 5.1.4 Remanent Magnetism
structural elements essential mm, even a powerful coverme- Method
for the safety, serviceability ter is generally not capable to
and durability of prestressed detect ducts at concrete covers The Remanent Magnetism
structures. Consequently, it of more than 40 to 50 mm and Method was developed in Ger-
would be desirable to assess again only if light reinforcement many for detecting fractures in
their behaviour in existing is present [30]. prestressing steel [33]. The
structures. Such checks to de- magnetizing and recording
tect possible defects or dam- 5.1.2 Potential Mapping equipment has to be moved
ages such as grout voids or along the tendon path on auxil-
tendon corrosion should pref- Whereas, potential mapping iary guidance rails and scaffold-
erably be done by non- (measuring the potential field) ing fixed to the concrete sur-
destructive or at least low- is a powerful tool for finding face. Thus it allows to localize
destructive inspection meth- corroded normal reinforcement, fractures in the accessible ar-
ods and with minimum distur- in case of tendons it is only eas. The difficulty is to cope
bance to the user. successful under very favour- with the disturbing magnetic
able conditions (e.g. small con- signals originating from other
In a report published in 1988, crete cover to the ducts and embedded steel elements such
[29], the then available light normal reinforcement as as normal reinforcement, an-
inspection methods were dis- they may exist in thin webs of chorage elements, duct cou-
cussed and their usefulness precast beams). plers, steel plates, nails, etc.
and potential assessed. The
conclusion was that these 5.1.3 Impact-Echo Method 5.1.5 Radiography
methods provide meaningful
results limited only to localized Since 1983, the Impact-Echo Today the application of radiog-
areas, if at all. In the mean- Method has been under devel- raphy is limited to special
time, some of these methods opment primarily in the United cases. Even in France, where
were developed further and States. It is stated that it can be the method had formerly been
new ones have appeared. used for detecting grout voids widely used, it has practically
in tendons [31]. disappeared. Apart from the
Parts of Chapter 5 have been re- high cost, another important
printed from [28] with permission by In [32], the method was verified reason is that most countries
the author. in this respect and the findings have national regulations for
can be summarized as follows: the protection of people, ani-
The inspection and monitoring
"It is possible to use the Impact- mals and the environment
methods listed below have ei-
Echo Method for checking a when applying radiography.
ther the aim to detect existing
tendon for grout voids. It is Whereas, some of these regu-
grout voids, corrosion of the

Page 31
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
lations impose total evacua- to use the Time Domain Reflec- Institute of Technology in Zu-
tion of human beings in the tometry known from applica- rich is reported. The aim of the
neighbourhood (minimum dis- tions to coaxial telecommunica- project was to understand the
tances depend on the inten- tion cables also for grouted fundamentals when applying
sity of the source; this gener- tendons under the acronym RIMT to a prestressed concrete
ally means that all traffic has RIMT (Reflectometrical Impulse structure. The conclusion was
to be stopped in the area con- Measurement). The method that "the recorded signals do
cerned), others ask for traffic consists of sending high fre- not contain information regard-
suspension only when traffic quency impulses from an ex- ing the condition of the tendon
cannot flow continuously. posed anchorage through the but are artefacts of the meas-
tendon. By evaluating the re- urement procedure. Thus RIMT

Fig. 19: Hazard scenarios for prestressing steel in a typical box girder bridge

Non-structural elements: Corrosion protection system :

1. Defective wearing course (e.g. cracks) 8. Defective concrete cover
2. Missing or defective waterproofing membrane 9. Partly or fully open grouting in- and
incl. edge areas outlets (vents)
3. Defective drainage intakes and pipes 10. Leaking, damaged metallic ducts
4. Wrongly placed outlets for the drainage of mechanically or by corrosion
wearing course and waterproofing 11. Cracked and porous pocket concrete
5. Leaking expansion joints 12. Grout voids at tendon high points
6. Cracked and leaking construction or element joints
7. Inserts (e.g. for electricity)

Note: In precast segmental construction the dry packing of lifting holes, and stressing pockets in segment faces need to
be checked.

5.1.6 Reflectometrical Im- corded reflections it was hoped can definitely not be used as a
pulse Measurement to detect anomalies along the diagnostic technique for
tendon path. In [34], the results grouted tendons."
Since about 1985, it was tried of research work done at the

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
5.1.7 Ultrasonic Methods further methods such as Ther- and have allowed a reliable as-
mography (infrared-scanner) sessment of these structures.
Tests have shown that ultra- and tomography are described. This method is particularly suit-
sonic methods (transmission, able if there is a reasonable
reflection) for grouted tendons 5.1.10 Conclusions doubt about the condition of a
have very limited possibilities. tendon at a particular location.
Ultrasonic waves sent from a A careful analysis of the suit- Such doubt can be based on
transmitter sitting on the end ability and limitations of these results of methods presented in
of the prestressing steel can methods shows that none of Section 5.1, or based on desk
detect anomalies only in spe- them allows a full assessment studies. Although this method is
cial cases (e.g. only for of the conditions of a tendon. not non-destructive, the extent
smooth bars or wires) and Some of them however, permit of intrusion is quite moderate,
only within a few meters from a partial assessment in ideal and is not considered harmful
the tendon anchorage [35]. structural situations. to the structure or tendon, if
properly closed subsequently.
5.1.8 Acoustic Monitoring 5.2 The engineer's approach
to tendon inspection There are several publications
To detect failures of prestress- to assist the engineer in such
ing steel by acoustic monitor- While the above listed methods desk studies. In [6, 37] the au-
ing has been known for many may allow a partial assessment thors conclude that the inspec-
years in fatigue testing of ten- of a structure and its tendons, tion engineer when assessing
dons and stay cables. There- the interpretation of the results an existing structure should be
fore, acoustic monitoring can is not easy and often, to some aware of the possible hazard
also be successfully applied in extent, ambiguous. However, scenarios for post-tensioning
practice in equivalent situa- there is one method which is tendons. Figure 19 shows po-
tions such as for unbonded quite basic and practical, and tential "weak points" in the case
tendons and stay cables. Re- overall rates best in terms of in- of a typical box girder bridge.
cently, trials have been car- formation and interpretation.
ried out in Great Britain to as- This is the careful opening of For each type of structure with
sess whether the method can tendon ducts by drilling into its particular protection concept,
also be used for internal, them, and subsequent visual the water, possibly chloride-
bonded tendons. It is reported inspection with an endoscope contaminated, can reach the
that these trials have been or similar devices. Sometimes, prestressing steel in different
successful [36]. It could be it may be advantageous to ways. When assessing a post-
shown that a single wire frac- open a window around the ten- tensioned bridge, the study of
ture can be detected above don location to obtain easier the structural drawings, the
the ambient noise level, dis- access for inspection and tak- construction and maintenance
tinguished from other acoustic ing samples for investigation. reports and the observations of
events and even located in Such careful opening permits to the owner and his maintenance
position. It is too early to say confirm the presence of voids in staff provide information re-
to what extent and in which the ducts at that particular loca- garding damaging actions and
situations acoustic monitoring tion, and to investigate the hazard scenarios. The key-
will find its place in practical grout (powder) collected during question is: Where does (ag-
application. It can, however, drilling for the presence of chlo- gressive) water get in contact
be expected that the method rides or other aggressive with the structure and how does
will be restricted to special chemicals. These methods it flow off?
cases. have been used successfully
for many years for local isolated
5.1.9 Other methods inspections. More recently,
these methods have also been
It should finally be mentioned applied for the inspection of en-
that in the technical literature tire series of structures, see [5],

Page 33
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
In addition, a thorough visual faces provides information on forcement and their location:
inspection (preferably after damage locations of the un-
rainfall) of the concrete sur- stressed and stressed rein-

a) Core drilling (with automatic switch-off) b) Chiseling

c) Opening of the duct d) Investigation of duct with endoscope

Fig. 20: Getting access to the tendon

(Courtesy of Swiss Association of Post-Tensioning Contractors (VSV), adapted from [38]).

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
ƒ Water flow, wet or moist the good quality of tendon in- fects and deterioration of a ten-
areas stallation. don including its anchorages
ƒ Discoloration (e.g. rust and couplers such as:
stains) This new type of tendon, often
ƒ Spalling, delamination called EIT (Electrically Isolated ƒ Defective grouting (e.g.
ƒ Cracks Tendon) has been applied grout voids, grout segrega-
ƒ Honey-combing since the early nineties primar- tion) and water access to
ƒ Concrete deterioration by ily in Switzerland. Up to now, the prestressing steel.
freezing and freezing- about 100 bridges have suc- ƒ Corrosion of the metallic
thawing cessfully been constructed us- duct, the prestressing steel,
ƒ Joint leakage ing robust plastic ducts of which anchorages and couplers
ƒ etc. in over 20 bridges electrically due to the ingress of water
isolated tendons have been in- possibly contaminated by
The findings can then be sub- stalled. More applications are de-icing salts.
stantiated by in-situ and labo- under execution or in the plan- ƒ Fretting corrosion of the
ratory investigations. Follow- ning phase. The electrical resis- prestressing steel due to fa-
ing these procedures in in- tance is periodically checked, tigue.
spection and maintenance, and the results are as ex- ƒ Corrosion of the prestress-
potential corrosion damage of pected. It is important to note, ing steel due to stray cur-
prestressing steel can be rec- that the protective envelope rents.
ognized and counter- prevents the ingress of water
measures can be taken in and harmful substances. The The inspection of a tendon by
good time. grout, however must still be of opening it locally is a low-
high quality. destructive method but has to
5.3 Monitoring - New devel- be planned carefully. The plan-
opments So far, these applications have ning should not only include the
been made on the basis of a opening itself but also its clos-
Post-tensioning systems have draft guideline prepared by a ing after having carried out the
gradually evolved over the working group under the aus- inspection and the possibly re-
years. A significant step in the pices of the Swiss Federal quired rehabilitation work of the
protection of tendons has Roads Authority and the Swiss tendon.
been made with the introduc- Federal Railways. The final
tion of the VSL PT-PLUSTM German version of this guide- 6.2 Preparation
plastic duct system. This is a line has just been approved. It
robust plastic duct system is expected that it will be pub- Based on non-destructive
specifically developed for in- lished early 2002 under the ti- methods or desk studies, as
ternal bonded post-tensioning, tle: "Measures to ensure the described in Chapter 5, the en-
see [12, 13]. In addition to the durability of post-tensioning gineer selects the tendon loca-
enhanced corrosion protection tendons in bridges”, [11]. Ver- tions which shall be investi-
and service life of the tendon, sions in French and English will gated. The exact tendon loca-
lower and more reliable fric- subsequently also be prepared tions need then be indicated on
tion values, better fatigue per- and published. the surface of the structure.
formance, etc. this system can This can be done based on
be fitted with anchorage de- 6. Repair of Tendons with De- post-tensioning shop drawings
tails to provide a tendon which fective Grouting 1) ("as built drawings") eventually
is electrically isolated from the supplemented with other meth-
surrounding structure. Thus, it 6.1 General ods described in Chapter 5 to
is possible to check the integ- confirm the location. It is rec-
rity of the plastic duct encap- As mentioned in Chapter 5, the ommended to involve the post-
sulation by measuring its elec- careful opening of a tendon at tensioning specialist contractor
trical resistance against the questionable locations is cur-
surrounding concrete and rently the best method to verify Parts of Chapter 6 have been re-
normal reinforcement. Such its condition. Such a probing al- printed from [28] with permission of the
testing also allows to confirm lows determining possible de- author.

Page 35
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
to assist the engineer with drilling machine can be sis of the chloride content.
system related questions. equipped with an automatic Typically, a few grammes of
switch-off when the core grout per location of sam-
The closing of the tendon touches the metallic duct. pling are sufficient.
opening which has been cre- ƒ Removal of the concrete ƒ If the duct is partially or
ated by either drilling or by cover with an electric pick completely without grout,
cutting a window needs to be hammer. The concrete just visual inspection is possible
well prepared such that the adjacent to the tendon duct and photos can be taken
tendon can be closed imme- should be removed prefera- with an endoscope.
diately after inspection and bly by hand with light ƒ If the prestressing steel is
eventual repair, if possible on equipment. corroded, samples of corro-
the same day. sion products can be col-
The tendon duct can then be lected for analysis in a
6.3 Access to the tendon opened for tendon inspection in qualified laboratory to de-
the following steps: termine the type of corro-
The first step in the tendon in- sion.
spection is to create access to ƒ Cutting of the duct by hand Above methods to gain access
the tendon duct or anchorage with small, hand-held to the tendon are illustrated in
without damaging the duct or equipment such as disc cut- Fig. 20.
prestressing steel. The access ter and flat chisel, and re-
needs to be kept as small as moval of the cut duct sec- 6.4 Grouting of voids
possible, at least initially. The tion. The duct opening is
following methods have been preferably kept smaller than Before starting the grouting of
successfully used: the access in the concrete. existing voids, the exposed
ƒ Drilling of a core of 50 to ƒ Small samples of grout can prestressing steel has to be
80 mm diameter. The then be removed for analy- carefully cleaned by a high-

Fig. 21: Vacuum control and grouting equipment for tendons with defective grouting

Page 36
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
pressure water jet, in particu- vacuum injection equipment dance with the instructions
lar in case pitting corrosion or which permits measurement of of the mortar supplier.
chloride contamination has void and grout volume.
been found inside the duct. (2) Access to tendon from be-
The advantage of the vacuum low, Fig. 22 b):
In order to select the appro- method is that only one access ƒ Roughening and cleaning of
priate grouting procedure, it is to the void at any location is re- concrete surface
necessary to determine the quired. In general, this can be ƒ Filling of the opening in the
geometrical characteristics of the borehole which has been concrete with a shrinkage
the detected void (length, made for the inspection of the compensated cementitious
cross-section, volume etc.). In tendon and for taking samples repair filler in several layers
case of a larger void, vacuum to determine the chloride con- in accordance with the in-
assisted grouting is recom- tamination. A comparison of the structions of the filler sup-
mended. In special cases, the previously measured void vol- plier. In case of large voids
vacuum technique can also be ume and the injected grout con- inside the duct, the duct can
used to measure the volume firms the success of the proce- subsequently be vacuum in-
of the void and thus, deter- dure. In case of discrepancies, jected through a hose
mine its extent along the ten- it may be necessary to make placed into the filler.
don. The vacuum pump re- checks by additional boreholes.
duces the air pressure inside (3) Access to tendon from the
the duct to a certain sub- 6.5 Closing of the tendon side, Fig. 22 c):
atmospheric pressure (e.g. ƒ Roughening, cleaning and
about 80% of the atmospheric In the following, four possibili- wetting of the concrete sur-
pressure). The procedure is ties are given for the repair of face
then automatically reversed tendon openings depending on ƒ Placing and sealing of a
and the air flowing back into access, see Fig. 22. In most formwork over the opening
the duct is measured and re- cases, due to the presence of ƒ Partial filling of the tendon
corded. In order to determine normal reinforcement, it is not opening and duct with a
the precision of the applied possible to provide an addi- cementitious grout
equipment preliminary tests tional protection by installing a ƒ Removal of the formwork
are recommended for calibra- half duct. Where the conditions ƒ Filling of the remaining
tion. In principle, only cementi- are favourable, replacement of opening with a shrinkage
tious, alkaline materials the removed duct section compensated cementitious
should be used for void filling. should, however, be consid- repair filler as in Item (2)
In case of very small voids, ered. The placing of repair con- above.
these can be patched by us- crete or mortar on to the tendon N.B.: Alternatively, a thicker
ing a suitable mortar grout has to generally be made cover can be formed
(thixotropic, if required). Tre- "wet-to-wet" to assure optimum and filled with cementi-
mie grouting can be applied bond. tious grout. A minimum
with voids that are still com- of 40 mm on a rough-
paratively small (maybe over (1) Access to tendon from ened concrete surface is
a length of about one meter). above, Fig. 22 a): recommended.
For larger voids being several ƒ Roughening and cleaning of
meters long, vacuum grouting concrete surface (4) Concrete pour back,
is recommended using the ƒ Wetting of concrete surface Fig. 22 d):
same material as for new ƒ Filling of duct and covering Alternatively to the above
grouting (see Chapter 3). At the vicinity of the duct with a methods (1) to (3), the tendon
the end of the grouting opera- minimum of 40 mm of ce- opening can be poured back
tion, the pressure should be mentitious grout with concrete. This is particu-
increased typically 1-3 bars ƒ Filling of the remaining larly suitable, if the openings
and kept for about 1 minute. space of the opening with a are large, e.g. in bridge box
The effectiveness of the cho- shrinkage compensated girders:
sen method should be tested cementitious repair mortar ƒ Roughening, cleaning, and
beforehand. Fig. 21 shows in several layers in accor- wetting of concrete surface

Page 37
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
ƒ Placing and sealing of protection systems. Section 6.3. In most cases, ac-
formwork cess to the tendon reduces to
ƒ Pouring back the opening 6.6 Repair of external ten- the careful opening of the duct.
with repair concrete. dons Typically, this is a HDPE pipe
which can be opened by cutting
In all the above cases (1) to External tendons are over the with a knife or similar tool. The
(4) it may be considered to majority of the tendon length actual investigation of the ten-
provide an eventual protection placed outside of the concrete. don is similar to internal ten-
of the concrete surface Therefore, access to the tendon dons described above. The
against ingress of humidity or is much facilitated compared to same comment applies for the
chlorides with special surface internal tendon as discussed in cleaning of any eventual voids.

a) Access to tendon from above b) Access to tendon from below

c) Access to tendon from side: d) Concrete pour back:

Fig. 22: Closing of tendon openings

(Courtesy of Swiss Association of Post-Tensioning Association (VSV), adapted from [38]).

Page 38
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
For external tendons, the duct ƒ Carefully remove the grout The above method is also ap-
can be closed e.g. with an in the free length and ex- plicable to external tendons
HDPE sleeve with special pose the tendon. This may with soft injection such as
grout connections, properly e.g. be done by tapping or grease or wax, and monostrand
sealed, and then injected un- chiseling, with personnel tendons, if details for a con-
der vacuum. This method may placed behind protective trolled tendon detensioning
even be applied for defects shields. have not been provided.
located inside diaphragms if ƒ Place the sliced HDPE pipe
access to the void is possible around the exposed tendon, 7. Conclusions
via the duct from outside the and secure the pipe with
diaphragm. metal bands. Leave short The present report has pro-
sections of about 1m open vided a summary of the knowl-
If the damage of external ten- for access to the tendon on edge on cementitious grouts
dons, e.g. by corrosion, is be- either side of tendon devia- used for post-tensioning ten-
yond repair, and if the tendon tors and anchorages. dons. It is a collection of se-
system permits, these ten- ƒ Install protective cages in lected information from state-of-
dons can be removed and re- front of access zones to the art publications, vast ex-
placed. For the majority of ex- tendon, fixed to the struc- perience of VSL across the
ternal tendons which used ture. world, and of up to date results
bare strand and cementitious ƒ Start cutting the first strand of an extensive research and
grout inside a HDPE pipe, the by a disc cutter at the first development program carried
tendon replacement must be opening, and repeat this at out by VSL between 1998 and
carefully planned, and exe- each opening. Make sure 2001. The main aspects and
cuted by experienced post- that at any tendon deviation conclusions may be summa-
tensioning specialists. When point there is no more force rised as follows:
a single strand is cut within unbalance than one strand.
the tendon length, bond to the Make sure that the cut ƒ Today's commonly used
grout and adjacent strands will strand releases its force test methods for cementi-
prevent it from freely shorten- and elongation between tious grout for post-
ing and releasing its force tendon deviation points. tensioning tendons such as
over the entire tendon length. ƒ Cut the second strand simi- [16,17], and the
Rather its force will be trans- lar to the first one, and re- corresponding acceptance
ferred over a relatively short peat the procedure until all criteria, have been shown to
distance on either side of the strands are cut. be often not representative
cut to the adjacent strands. ƒ When all strands are cut, of the actual conditions
Hence, the force in the re- pull the tendon from the an- inside a tendon, and not
maining strands increases at chorage and from the devia- stringent enough, to
the location of the cut. If cut- tors. If there is no double consistently assure that
ting individual strands at the tubing at the deviator which only high quality grout is
same location is continued, allows removal, this section used for grouting of post-
there is an inherent risk of a may be removed by chisel- tensioning tendons. New
sudden failure of the remain- ing and/or high pressure test methods have been
ing strands when the increas- water jet. proposed and have been
ing stress approaches the ul- confirmed to be repre-
timate strength. This sudden The above described method sentative for the conditions
failure may be avoided if the has been successfully applied inside tendon ducts. These
following procedures for the in a simplified manner on a tests include in particular
cutting of a tendon are fol- number of single span tendons the Inclined Tube test, see
lowed: removed recently in Florida, Appendix A1. Owners and
[39]. However, the method is engineers now need to ap-
ƒ Slice and remove the also applicable to longer ten- ply and specify these test
HDPE pipe in the free ten- dons running over several methods and acceptance
don length. spans. criteria on all their projects.
Grout based on old test
methods and acceptance

Page 39
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
criteria, typically called conditions of a post- plete encapsulation of the
"Common Grout", should tensioning tendon. These tendon in a robust plastic
no longer be accepted for non-destructive methods al- duct system including tran-
future construction. low a partial assessment of sitions to anchorages, and
ƒ Special grouts can be de- the conditions of a tendon. permanent anchorage caps
signed for high perform- However, the one method such as provided by VSL
ance characteristics, in- which is quite basic and PT-PLUS• in the CS 2000
cluding negligible bleed, practical, and overall still system.
sedimentation and segre- rates best in terms of infor- ƒ The use of high perform-
gation, and stability of flow mation and interpretation, is ance grouts in post-
time over extended peri- the careful opening of ten- tensioned construction has
ods. They can also be de- don ducts by drilling into a cost since excessive wa-
signed for very specific them, and subsequent vis- ter in the formerly called
characteristics such as for ual inspection with an en- common grouts is replaced
use in low or high tem- doscope or similar devices. with cement and special
perature, or for high pres- This method can be applied admixtures. Such high per-
sure in long vertical ten- in particular if there is a formance grouts have to be
dons. Grouts which have reasonable doubt about the specifically designed and
gone through such a rig- condition of a tendon at a tested which represents ad-
orous design and optimi- particular location based on ditional costs. Overall, costs
sation procedure in VSL desk studies or based on of a high performance grout
obtain the label "VSL- non-destructive test meth- mix are expected to be at
HPITM Grout". ods. Although this method least the double of a typical
ƒ Grouting works on site is not non-destructive, the common grout. Considering
need to rigorously follow extent of intrusion is quite that grout materials typically
specific grouting proce- moderate, and not consid- represent about 2-4% of a
dures. These procedures, ered harmful to the struc- post-tensioning contract
when applied consistently ture or tendon, in general, if which may represent in turn
by well-trained and quali- the opening is subsequently 10-15% of the total con-
fied personnel of specialist properly closed. struction cost of a bridge,
contractors, with specific ƒ A number of repair methods this increase of grout mate-
equipment, will reliably exist which allow reliable rial cost is considered in-
produce good quality and and effective repair of ten- significant for the owner,
complete filling of post- dons with defective grout- and certainly is good value.
tensioning tendons for ex- ing. In particular for rela- A similar comment applies
cellent long-term protec- tively large voids in ten- to the cost of PT-PLUSTM
tion. dons, a practical and effec- plastic duct system, see
ƒ There are some specific tive method of repair is to [40]. If life cycle cost was
site procedures, which drill into the tendon void, used as basis of the above
based on today's knowl- clean the void, and inject a comparison, the use of high
edge and capabilities, low viscosity grout under performance grout and PT-
should no longer be used. vacuum. PLUSTM plastic duct sys-
This applies in particular to ƒ High quality grouting must tem, is expected to show
the flushing of tendon be complemented with overall cost savings.
ducts with water. Also the other independent layers of ƒ VSL is proud to have con-
modification of grout tem- protection to guarantee long tributed to a better under-
perature by the use of term protection of the ten- standing of the behaviour of
chilled water or replace- dons, and durability of the cementitious grout for use
ment of parts of water by structure. These other lay- in post-tensioning tendons,
ice in hot climates is no ers include, in particular, a and to the execution of
longer recommended. dense concrete cover over grouting works. We trust
ƒ A number of inspection the tendon. Significant im- that this report will help to
and monitoring methods provement of the protection reinforce the confidence of
exist to verify the actual can be provided by com- owners and engineers into

Page 40
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
the reliable long-term pro- References: Energiewirtschaftsdeparte-
tection provided by ce- ment, Bundesamt für Strassen,
mentitious grout. [1] "Durable Bonded Post- Bericht Nr. 534, 1998.
ƒ VSL can offer a wide Tensioned Concrete Bridges",
range of systems and ser- Technical Report No. 47, The [7] "Interim Statement on Grout-
vices including all the as- Concrete Society, Slough/UK, ing Practices", American Seg-
pects related to grout and 1996. mental Bridge Institute (ASBI),
grouting presented in this Grouting Committee, Phoe-
report. This is one, but [2] F. Leonhardt: "Spannbeton nix/USA, December 4, 2000.
certainly not the only, rea- für die Praxis" (Prestressed
son why VSL should be Concrete in Practice). Verlag [8] "External Post-Tensioning",
your preferred PT special- Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Technical Report Series No. 1,
ist contractor. VSL will be Berlin/München/Düsseldorf, 3rd VSL International Ltd., 1992.
happy to assist you in any Edition, 1973.
question related to grout- [9] "Allgemeines Rund-
ing. VSL has prepared a [3] "Corrosion protection of schreiben Strassenbau Nr.
model Specification for prestressing steels", FIP Re- 28/1998 - Spannbetonbrücken -
Post-Tensioning Works in- commendations, Fédération In- Richtlinie für Betonbrücken mit
cluding grouting works ternationale de la Précontrainte externen Spanngliedern" (Gen-
which can be made avail- (FIP), London, 1996. eral circulate road construction
able to interested parties. No. 28/1998 - Prestressed
Please contact your near- [4] Woodward R : " Durability of bridges - Guidelines for con-
est VSL representative for Post-Tensioned Tendons on crete bridges with external ten-
a copy. Road Bridges in the UK", Pro- dons), Federal Minister for
ceedings of Workshop on Du- Transportation, Department
rability of Post-Tensioning Ten- Road Construction, 1998.
dons, Fédération Internationale
du Béton (fib), Bulletin 15, [10] "Guide Specifications for
Lausanne, 2001. Design and Construction of
Segmental Concrete Bridges",
[5] E.M. Eichinger, J. Diem, J. American Association of State
Kollegger: "Bewertung des Highway and Transportation
Zustandes von Spanngliedern Officials (AASHTO), Washing-
auf der Grundlage von ton D.C., 1989.
Untersuchungen an
Massivbrücken der Stadt Wien" [11] “Massnahmen zur
(Assessment of the condition of Gewährleistung der
prestressing tendons on the Dauerhaftigkeit von
basis of investigations on Spanngliedern in Kunstbauten”
concrete bridges of the city of (Measures to ensure the
Vienna), Institut für Stahlbeton- durability of post-tensioning
und Massivbau, Heft 1, tendons in Bridges),
Technische Universität Wien, Guidelines, Eidg. Departement
2000. für Umwelt, Verkehr, Energie
und Kommunikation,
[6] F. Hunkeler, H. Ungricht, P. Bundesamt für Strassen und
Matt: "Korrosionsschäden an SBB AG, Art. Nr. 308.322d,
Spannstählen in Spanngliedern Bern, 2001.
und vorgespannten Boden- und
Felsankern" (Corrosion defects [12] H.R. Ganz: "Plastic ducts
on prestressing steel in for enhanced performance of
prestressing tendons and post-tensioning tendons", FIP
prestressed soil and rock notes, Quarterly Journal of the
anchors), Eidg. Verkehrs- und Fédération Internationale de la

Page 41
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
Précontrainte (FIP), No. [20] "Durable Post-Tensioned concrete), Direction des affaires
1997/2, London, 1997. Concrete Bridges", The Con- économiques et internationales,
crete Society, Concrete Society Paris, August 2000.
[13] J. Kolleger: Technical Report 47, Edition 2,
"Untersuchungen an einem Draft Version 3, November [26] "Standard Specifications
Kunststoffhüllrohr für 2000. for Highway Bridges", Fifteenth
Spannglieder mit edition, American Association
nachträglichem Verbund", [21] "Guideline for European of State Highway and Transpor-
Bauingenieur, Vol. 69, Technical Approval of Post- tation Officials (AASHTO),
Springer Publishing, 1994. Tensioning Kits for Prestressing Washington D.C., 1992.
of Structures", European Or-
[14] "VSL Your Solution Net- ganisation for Technical Ap- [27] "Execution of concrete
work", Brochure, VSL Interna- provals (EOTA), Draft Edition structures", Final Draft of Euro-
tional Ltd. October 2001, Brussels, 2001. pean Pre-Standard pr ENV
13670-1, Annex D, European
[15] "Lea's Chemistry of Ce- [22] "Qualification and approval Committee for Standardization
ment and Concrete" Fourth of prestressing contractors and (CEN), Brussels, 1999.
Edition, Edited by P.C. Hew- system suppliers", FIP Re-
lett, Butterworth-Heinemann commendations, Fédération In- [28] P. Matt: "Non-destructive
publishers, Oxford, Boston, ternationale de la Précontrainte evaluation and monitoring of
Melbourne, 2001. (FIP), London, 1998. post-tensioned tendons",
fib/IABSE Workshop on Dura-
[16] "Grouting of tendons in [23] "Marchés publics de tra- bility of Post-Tensioning Ten-
prestressed concrete", FIP vaux, Modalités d'application du dons, Proceedings, Ghent,
Guide to Good Practice, fascicule no 65 A" (Public 2001.
Fédération Internationale de works, Use of Specifications no
la Précontrainte (FIP), Tho- 65) Circulaire no 99-54 du 20 [29] P. Matt: "Zerstörungsfreie
mas Telford, London, 1990. août 1999 instituant un avis Prüfung von Spanngliedern in
technique des coulis d'injection bestehenden Brückenbauten"
[17] "Grout for prestressing pour conduits de précontrainte, (Non-destuctive testing of post-
tendons: Test Methods (EN délivré par la commission in- tensioning tendons in existing
445), Grouting procedures terministérielle de pré- bridge structures), Eidg.
(EN 446), Specification for contrainte, Ministère de l'Equi- Department für Umwelt,
common grout (EN 447); pement, des Transports et du Verkehr, Energie und
European Committee for Logement, Direction des affai- Kommunikation, Bundesamt für
Standardization (CEN), Brus- res économiques et internatio- Strassen, Bericht Nr. 170,
sels, 1996. nales, Paris, September 1999. 1988.

[18] "Specification for Grouting [24] J.S. West, R.P. Vignos, [30] X. Dérobert, O.Coffec: "Lo-
of Post-Tensioned Struc- J.E. Breen, M.E. Kreger:” Cor- calisation des armatures des
tures", Guide Specification, rosion Protection for Bonded In- ouvrages d'art en béton armé
Post-Tensioning Institute ternal Tendons in Precast ou précontraint par les techni-
(PTI), Phoenix, Arizona, Feb- Segmental Construction”, Re- ques de radar" (Localization of
ruary 2001. search Report 1405-4, Center reinforcement in reinforced or
for Transportation Research, prestressed structures using
[19] "Coulis pour injection de Bureau of Engineering Re- the radar technique), Bulletin
conduits de précontrainte" search, University of Texas, des laboratoires des ponts et
(Grout for injection of post- Austin, 1999. chaussées, 230, Janvier/ Fé-
tensioning ducts), Note d'in- [25] "Fascicule n° 65 A, Exécu- vrier 2001, pp 57-65.
formation No. 21, tion des ouvrages de génie civil
SETRA/CTOA et ou béton armé ou béton pré- [31] M. Sansalone, W. Street:
LCPC/DTOA, Bagneux - contraint par post-tension" "Use of the Impact-Echo
France, Juillet 1996. (Execution of structures in rein- Method and Field Instrument
forced or post-tensioned for Non-destructive Testing of

Page 42
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
Concrete Structures", Interna- Prestressed Concrete Bridges
tional Symposium ND-Testing in Switzerland", 16th Congress A.1.2 Test method
in Civil Engineering, Berlin, of IABSE, September 2000,
1995, Proccedings Vol. 1, pp Congress Report. In a first test phase, the bleed
495 - 502. water and air accumulated on
[32] E. Brühwiler et al: "Appli- [38] H. Bänziger, P. Matt: „We- top of a tube filled with grout
cabilité de la méthode Impact- gleitung zum Erstellen und In- shall be determined. The grout
Echo" (Applicability of the Im- standsetzen von Sondieröff- is injected under pressure and
pact-Echo Method), Eidg. De- nungen bei Spanngliedern“ is setting such that water losses
partment für Umwelt, Verkehr, (Guidance for the opening and due to evaporation are pre-
Energie und Kommunikation, repair of post-tensioning ten- vented. In a second phase, the
Bundesamt für Strassen, Be- dons), Swiss Association of effect of re-grouting of a tube
richt Nr. 550, 2001. Post-Tensioning Contractors on bleed water and air accumu-
(VSV), 1998. lated shall be determined, if
[33] H. Scheel, B. Hillemeier: such a procedure is envisaged
"The Capacity of the Rema- [39] J. O. Evans, H. T. Boll- by the PT specialist contractor
nent Magnetism Method to mann: "Detensioning an exter- in the grouting method state-
Detect Fractures of Steel in nal prestressing tendon", Pa- ment.
Tendons Embedded in per, Florida Department of
Prestressed Concrete", Inter- Transportation, Tallahassee, A.1.3 Test equipment and
national Symposium on Non- Florida, 2000. set-up
Destructive Testing in Civil
Engineering, Berlin 1995, [40]"Corrugated plastic ducts ƒ Two transparent PVC
Proceedings, Vol. 1, pp 211- for internal bonded post- tubes, of approximately 80
218. tensioning", fib Technical Re- mm diameter and 5 m long,
port, Bulletin 7, Fédération In- equipped with caps at each
[34] B. Elsener at al: "Zer- ternationale du Béton (fib), end including grout inlet at
störungsfreie Spannkabel- Lausanne, 2000. the lower end, and grout
prüfung mit reflektometrischer vent at the top. The tubes
Impulsmessung" (Non- Appendix A: Specific recent shall be able to sustain a
destructive testing of tendons grout test procedures grout pressure of at least 1
by the reflectometrical impulse MPa.
measurement), Eidg. A.1 Inclined Tube test ƒ 12 prestressing strands Ø
Department für Umwelt, 0.6” per tube, i.e. a total of
Verkehr, Energie und A.1.1 Objective 24.
Kommunikation, Bundesamt ƒ Grouting equipment as per
für Strassen, Bericht Nr. 523, This test serves to determine the grouting method state-
1997. the bleed properties and stabil- ment.
ity of a grout, at full scale and ƒ A thermometer with auto-
[35] D. Jungwirth et al: includes the filtering effect of matic recording.
"Dauerhafte Betonbauwerke" strands. It also allows confirma-
(Durable Concrete tion of the proposed grouting
Structures), Beton-Verlag, procedures, in particular the ef-
Düsseldorf, 1986. fect of time between ending an
[36] D. W. Cullington et al: initial grouting and starting of A.1.4 Test procedure
"Continuous acoustic monitor- re-grouting on site, if specified,
ing of grouted post-tensioned and equipment used on site. ƒ The two tubes are fixed on
concrete bridges", NDT & E The intent of the test is to con- their supports such as to
International, Elsevier Science firm that a duct on site can be avoid noticeable deflec-
Ltd., V34 No2, March 2001, completely filled with the pro- tions, at an inclination of 30°
pp 95-106. posed grout, equipment and ± 2° against a horizontal
procedure, without unaccept- reference line. 12 strands
[37] P. Matt, F. Hunkeler, H. able bleed and segregation of shall be installed in each
Ungricht: "Durability of the grout. tube. The caps are subse-

Page 43
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
quently installed on the as used for Tube 1, and ƒ Grout mix design, origin and
tube ends (fixed with shall be done quasi simulta- certificates of all grout con-
glue), see Fig. A.1. neously with Tube 1. At a stituents
time specified in the method ƒ Mixing procedure of grout
ƒ The grout is prepared as
statement for re-grouting, ƒ Flow time of grout mix be-
per the grouting method
the mixing of grout in the fore initial grouting, and be-
statement. Specimens
equipment is started again, fore re-grouting (or viscosity
shall be taken from the
and the flow time of the of a thixotropic grout)
grout mix to confirm flow
grout is determined again. ƒ Method statement for grout-
time per EN 445, [17]. In
Subsequently, the valves of ing specified by the PT spe-
case of a thixotropic grout,
inlet and vent of Tube 2 are cialist contractor
other suitable methods
opened again, and grouting ƒ Measurements of level of
shall be used.
is started again. This will al- air, water, and eventual liq-
ƒ Grouting of first tube : low any liquid accumulated uid on top of the grout
Grout is injected into the on top to be replaced by ƒ Any observations and
first tube (Tube 1) from the grout. When grout exits from comments on the formation
bottom end. When the the vent on top, the valve is of bleed or liquid, or on diffi-
grout exits from the vent at closed, and the grout pres- culties encountered during
the top with the same con- sure is maintained for the the test
sistency as it enters at the duration specified in the ƒ Any observations and
bottom, the valve shall be method statement. Subse- comments on cracking of
closed, and the grout pres- quently, the valve at the bot- the grout, with location, ori-
sure shall be maintained tom is closed, and re- entation, and approximate
for the duration specified in grouting of Tube 2 is consid- widths of cracks
the method statement. ered complete. ƒ Development of air tem-
Subsequently, the valve at perature during the entire
The time between initial
the bottom is closed, and test period
grouting and re-grouting,
grouting of Tube 1 is con- ƒ Photos illustrating test set-
and the duration for the sec-
sidered complete. up, and details of top end of
ond mixing activity, shall
tube with air, water, and
The level of air, water, and comply with the grouting
eventual liquid.
any other eventual liquid on method statement. Typically,
top of the grout shall be this time will be between 30
A.2 Wick-Induced Bleed test
measured, see Fig. A.1. minutes and 2 hours.
Such eventual liquid on top Similar to Tube 1, the meas- A.2.1 Objective
of the grout can be distin- urement of levels are done
guished from the grout by between 0 and 24 hours af- This test serves to determine
its whitish to yellowish col- ter completion of the initial the bleed properties of a spe-
our, usually clearer than grouting. One of the meas- cial grout. It is considered to be
the grout. A minimum of 4 urements shall be taken just more representative than the
measurements of levels prior of re-grouting of Tube bleed test as per EN 445, [17].
shall be taken between 0 2, followed by measure-
and 24 hours after comple- ments 30 minutes, 1 hour,
tion of grouting, with one and 2 hours after completion A.2.2 Test method
measurement just before of re-grouting.
re-grouting of Tube 2 is Bleed is expressed as the per-
started. The following 4 A.1.5 Measurements and ob- centage of the bleed water
measuring intervals are servations depth on top of the grout col-
suggested : 30 minutes, 1 umn divided by the original
hour, 2 hours, and 24 The following measurements grout column height, up to 3
hours after grouting. and observations shall be made hours and after 24 hours.
ƒ Grouting of second tube : and recorded:
Grouting of Tube 2 shall
follow the same procedure ƒ Description of test set-up A.2.3 Test equipment

Page 44
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
ƒ Record temperature of A.3.2 Test method
ƒ One transparent PVC grout constituents before
tube, of approximately 60 testing, and air temperature Sedimentation is measured as
to 80 mm internal diame- during test period a percentage difference in den-
ter, and 1 m long, ƒ Record type and size of sity of the grout between the
equipped with caps at strand installed in column samples taken from the top and
each end, as used in the ƒ Record the original grout bottom of the test specimen.
sedimentation test, see column height
A.3. ƒ Record bleed water depth
ƒ One 7-wire strand ‡0.6” of at the top of the grout col- A.3.3 Test equipment
one metre length such as umn up to 3 hours and after
to fit inside the tube. 24 hours ƒ Two transparent PVC
ƒ Grouting equipment as per ƒ Determine the bleed ratio of tubes, of approximately
the grouting method the grout column as the 60 to 80 mm internal di-
statement. depth of bleed water divided ameter, and 1 m long,
ƒ A thermometer with auto- by the original height of the equipped with caps at
matic recording. grout column each end.
ƒ Photographic documenta- ƒ Grouting equipment as
A.2.4 Test procedure tion, and comments (not re- per the grouting
quired for testing on site). method statement.
The grout mix specified by the ƒ A thermometer with
PT specialist contractor is A.3 Sedimentation test automatic recording.
prepared in the grout mixer in-
tended to be used on site. The A.3.1 Objective A.3.4 Test procedure
transparent tube is placed and
held vertically on a surface This test serves to determine The grout mix specified by the
free from shocks or vibrations. the sedimentation properties of PT specialist contractor is pre-
The strand is placed standing a grout. It is considered as a pared in the grout mixer in-
inside the tube and held con-
centrically. The tube is filled
with grout to about 10mm be-
low the top and sealed to pre-
vent evaporation. Up to 3
hours and after 24 hours the
bleed water depth on top of
the grout column is measured.

A.2.5 Measurements and


The following measurements

and observations shall be
made and recorded:

ƒ Description of test set-up

ƒ Grout mix design, origin
and certificates of all grout measurement of the homoge- tended to be used on site. The
constituents neity of the grout mixed in the two transparent tubes are
ƒ Mixing procedure of grout equipment intended to be used placed and held vertically on a
ƒ Flow time of grout mix be- on site. surface free from shocks or vi-
fore filling of tube (or vis- brations. The two tubes are
cosity of a thixotropic filled with grout to the top and
grout) sealed to prevent evaporation.
At least 24 hours after filling,

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Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002
but after setting of the grout, The following measurements grout columns as the varia-
the grout columns shall be and observations shall be made tion of grout density be-
removed gently from the and recorded: tween the bottom, D Bot , to
tubes. The grout columns ƒ Description of test set-up the top, D Top , of the col-
shall be marked and subse- ƒ Grout mix design, origin and umn as follows:
quently cut into equal slices of certificates of all grout con- R = 1 – (D Top / D Bot)
about 50mm each over the stituents
entire height. The relative po- ƒ Mixing procedure of grout ƒ Report any particular ob-
sition of each slice in the col- ƒ Flow time of grout mix be- servation such as eventual
umn shall be recorded. The fore filling of column bleed water on top of the
density of each slice shall be ƒ Record temperature of grout column at the time of
measured by an approved grout constituents before removing the grout column
method. testing, and air temperature (presence of water and
during test period quantity), or discoloration of
A.3.5 Measurements and ƒ Record the density of each grout columns.
observations slice of both grout columns ƒ Photographic documenta-
ƒ Determine the sedimenta- tion, and comments.
tion ratio, R, of each of the

Page 46
Copyright 2002 by VSL International Ltd., Subingen/Switzerland - All rights reserved - Printed in January 2002