Hydrogen Embrittlement of Posttensioning Wires
Single 6.4 mm (0.25 in.) post-tensioning wires failed in a parking garage in the southern portion of the United States. Several failed wires were removed and the lengths were examined for signs of corrosion using SEM metallography. The scans showed localized shallow pitting, and chloride was detected in some of the pits. The test also revealed an initial crack that was probably caused by hydrogen embrittlement. Since no chloride was detected on the fracture surface, and none was detected in the overlying concrete, the corrosion appears to have begun prior to the wires' placement in the concrete.