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RE: Testing In-Place Anchor Bolts

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Consider using a hydraulic tensioner.  Determine the required tension, multiply by the load factor and back out the phi factor (similar to the ACI 318 load test).  If the test load of your anchor bolts is in the elastic range.  Place a hydraulic tensioner on the bolt and give it a pull.  If your test load is not in the elastic range, then you are stuck with some sort of NDT. 
NDT will show if there is a discontinuity which may or may not be definitive depending on the anchor rod design.  NDT suffers from the limitations of the operator and the anchor rod may be too long to be very definitive using most NDT processes. 
You can go cheap and get calibrated load indicating washers if your bolts are 1 1/2" or less in diameter.  You can use a feeler guage and a chart and determine any load within the range of the washer.  Talk to the rep before you do this, and they are a one use washer, but they are cheap.  All you need is the washer, plate washer, hardened washer, spud wrench and a cheater bar. 
Larry Olson at Olson Engineering
Bob Shaw at Steel Structures Technology Center

Hydraulic Tensioners -

Harold Sprague

> Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 08:41:51 -0700
> Subject: Testing In-Place Anchor Bolts
> From: seaint04(--nospam--at)
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> I'm working on a project where the anchor bolts may have been subject to
> an overload of tension. We are considering using ultrasonic testing to
> determine if the bolts are damaged. I read a thread on this from back in
> December of 2002. The topic was discussed for possibly testing anchor
> bolts but I couldn't find any discussion on how successful the test
> results were.
> Is this a good non-destructive method of testing anchor bolt intetgrity,
> or is there a better test method?
> Thanks.
> Rich

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