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Process for Nondestructive Testing of Prestressed Concrete Using Electronic Distance Measurements to Measure 3-D Coordinates of Cardinal Points While Tensioning/Detensioning Tendons

This is a companion paper to Opportunities for the use of electronic distance measurement instruments in nondestructive testing and structural health monitoring and implications for ASNT, which was presented at the 2018 ASNT Research Symposium [1]. The earlier paper covered the background and capabilities of electronic distance measurement instruments, and in general how they could be used for nondestructive testing applications, which will not be repeated. This paper covers specific applications limited to prestressed concrete structures, such as slabs, columns, girders, bridges, towers, silos, cooling towers, wind power generation towers, liquefied gas storage tanks, nuclear power containment buildings, and the like—in particular during the process of tensioning/detensioning tendons. A number of failures have occurred coincident with the tensioning/detensioning process. Most recently, in the well documented OSHA and NTSB investigations of the 2018 collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge, which was built using accelerated bridge construction, where cracks occurred while detensioning tendons in two diagonal members, and the collapse occurred while re-tensioning tendons in one of those diagonal members. Other notable documented failures include; the Las Lomas Bridge, the Kapiolani Interchange On-Ramp, and Turkey Point Unit 3 and Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Power Plants. It will be argued that high accuracy 3-D coordinate measurements of cardinal points on a structure should be included in future tensioning/detensioning plans in order to provide real-time feedback as to the performance of the structure under a change in load. An example experimental architecture and 3-D uncertainty analysis, using manufacturers instrument specifications and commercially available software is included for nondestructive testing—using the Florida International University pedestrian bridge as a representative structure.

References

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