Pre Stressed Concrete Design

Concrete is a very important building material, and in today's modern world, it is not a surprise that there have been advances in concrete and construction technology that help us use concrete to even better degrees. Pre stressed concrete design, for example, would not be possible without the ability to pre stress concrete. Pre stressing is a procedure that allows us to overcome the weakness that comes from the natural tension in concrete. This allows the production of longer beams, wider and longer bridges, and larger floors than ordinary or even reinforced concrete which has steel bars inside it. The process of making pre stressed concrete design can be done in three different ways, but they all aim to add compression to the concrete so that the pre stressed concrete design has more tensile strength.

Pre tensioned concrete is obtained through a process where tensile rods are imbedded into the concrete first and then tightened before the concrete is poured. When these tensile rods are loosened, they will create static tension against the load and this ensures compression and increase tensile strength of the pre stressed concrete design. This method poses some problems, however as it needs the concrete to be anchored strongly before it is poured. This method is the most common one used when building prefabricated elements. Compression is applied after the concrete is poured through the use of bonds. Tendons are threaded into the concrete and then tightened with a hydraulic jack after the concrete has dried. After this, the tendons will be wedged into position. Compression is sometimes applied without bonds. Instead, the tensile cords are placed individually so that there is freedom of movement as they are connected only to the concrete and the steel anchors remain only in the perimeter. The disadvantage in this change is that a cable has the ability to break out of the slab during repairs or if the anchoring system weakens and fails.

The advantages of having pre stressed concrete are that it is a very useful building material. It cracks a lot less and can be made thinner while having more strength, which is important in high rise buildings. More floors can be added for a lower cost this way. The tensile strength is greater and so the amount of usable floor is increased. The joints between concrete slabs are costly but with longer slabs of pre stressed concrete that lead to thinner floors, the joints will be used less often, which will also save costs.

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