Post tensioning has become a common term in the world of construction. From its European beginnings all the way to its widespread use in the U.S as well as in other countries, this building method has become a household name in long-lasting structures.
As you read along, you’ll learn more about the process of post tensioning, its modern day uses and applications as well as its benefits.
Post tensioning is defined as introducing prestressed concrete and other construction materials in the process of building. Prestressing is necessary in order to counteract the heavy weight of service loads that can jeopardize the safety of a certain structure.
Furthermore, post tensioning is the process of steel being tensioned after the concrete has been placed. It is done onsite through the installation of post-tensioned tendons.
Tendons are the primary element in post tensioning. It consists of one (monostrand) or more (multistrand) prestressed steels and is wrapped with a protective coating in a duct.
Concrete is known to be strong but becomes weak when tension is introduced to it. On the other hand, steel is strong and highly resistant to tension. When concrete is compressed and steel is tensioned, this puts the two materials both into their strongest state — which makes for a stronger structure.
Uses & Applications
Since it was first used in a marine terminal in France, post tensioning has gone a long way into being incorporated in other structures. From modern day bridges, stadiums, parking spaces, both commercial and residential buildings alike, this method has proven itself to be highly reliable.
A few of its famous examples are the Brooklyn Bridge, Walnut Lane Bridge, the IBM building and many sports centers around the globe.
The reason why many structures are built upon post tensioning is because it entails a lot of benefits, which brings us to the next point.
There are numerous benefits post tensioning can offer. Here are some of them.
1. It gives proactive support.
Since steel bars have been incorporated into the concrete, it provides a proactive support. No matter how heavy the service and extra load will be, it will be carried well without compromising the safety of the structure.
2. It protects well against soft soil.
Earthquakes are a big concern among contractors. This is where post tensioning can be counted on.
The great thing about this method is it can protect against soft soil. Considering the structure has a sturdy foundation, it makes it a lot easier for the building/bridge/ other applications not to easily shake or jar.
3. It promotes creativity.
With post tensioning, there are fewer slabs used, thereby leaving more space to be creative. This is a great advantage among architects and designers alike. They can make their imagination come to life as there are less constricting factors involved.
4. It is more cost-effective.
With less slabs of post-tensioned concretes used means there is less investment to be made. Not only does post tensioning promote better and stronger structures. It also makes for a cheaper alternative, which at any given day is a big bonus.
By the looks of it, post tensioning will continue to be a building method relied and trusted by many. It’s proven itself to be a well-rounded process of creating massive structures with minimal risks.