Pti: Certification Advances Quality Across Industry

The Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) has established certification programs both for manufacturing plants and field personnel. Notes Executive Director

The Post-Tensioning Institute (PTI) has established certification programs both for manufacturing plants and field personnel. Notes Executive Director Theodore Neff, P.E., One of PTI’s aims is to ensure that specifiers and purchasers of post-tensioning materials receive products and services that meet a recognized standard of quality. The certification programs were developed in pursuit of that goal.

Certification is required by the International Building Code (IBC) and American Concrete Institute (ACI) 318. Accordingly, the codes mandate that unbonded single-strand tendons shall be fabricated in a plant certified by an externally audited quality-assurance program to ensure that unbonded tendons and components comply with specifications; and, PTI-certified plants have been shown to meet the fabrication requirements. Similarly, installation shall be performed by individuals certified by an independent training and certification program; and, PTI-certified individuals have been shown to meet such criteria.

PTI offers two programs for certifying post-tensioning suppliers’ facilities. The first program Û Unbonded Single Strand Tendon Fabrication Facilities Û for certification of plants that fabricate unbonded single-strand tendons was launched in 1989. Participation in the program has grown steadily since its inception: 63 plants have been certified to date, representing approximately 95 percent of the industry’s production. In 2007, PTI added provisions to permit certification of mobile fabricating facilities in addition to fixed plants.

PC Strand Plants, the second program, was initiated in 2007 for certification of facilities manufacturing prestressed concrete (PC) strand. The program entails standardization of reporting practices and documentation, as well as required testing procedures and specified minimum intervals. PTI-certification of an operation indicates that the factory and personnel are capable of producing PC strand in conformance with the program’s requirements. To date, five international plants in Asia have been certified, and inspections of additional plants are underway.

Additionally, PTI certifies field personnel. Proper training and education of field personnel Û both installers and inspectors Û are vital to ensuring the performance, serviceability and safety of post-tensioned concrete construction, asserts Neff. Among various PTI field certification programs, 1,000-plus individuals were certified in 2007. To augment certification, PTI offers a range of programs for field personnel:

  • Level 1 Û Fundamentals of Unbonded Post-Tensioning: For individuals involved in the installation and inspection of single-strand unbonded post-tensioning systems, the two-day class outlines basic knowledge that all such personnel should have in their command.
  • Level 2 Û Inspectors: The advanced two-day class builds on Level 1 training to provide inspectors, building officials, engineers and industry personnel with knowledge and capabilities for effective field inspection of single-strand unbonded post-tensioning systems.
  • Level 2 Û Superstructure Ironworker: Similar to the inspectors training, this course emphasizes the role of installers.
  • Bonded Post-Tensioning: The intensive training covers installation of various types of duct systems, diverse methods for installation of prestressing steel (including strand and bar), stressing equipment operation and procedures, as well as grouting techniques and operation of grouting equipment.
  • Slab-on-Ground Installer/Stressor: A new program intended specifically for post-tensioned slab-on-ground applications is currently being finalized and will be launched in several locations later this year.

Besides the scheduled workshops noted above, PTI offers special-request workshops for companies seeking to have a number of employees trained at their facilities. Information on upcoming seminars can be obtained at