Over the years, we’ve come to admire the majestic structures built worldwide. Be it a skyscraper, a towering bridge or a coliseum, we’ve often wondered just how it is possible to build such huge and heavy buildings.
A lot of historical and modern structures rely on post tensioning for a strong foundation. But what is this system exactly and how does it benefit all these massive constructions?
Post tensioning is the process of incorporating prestressed concrete to the construction materials. Prestressing is done by strengthening the materials internally in order to withstand the external pressure/weight, which is called “service” load.
A visual representation would be threading a concrete with a series of steel bars, much like a thread or string going through a bead.
The main purpose of post tensioning is to provide structures strength in both compressive and tensile stress, which means at any given time, the structure should hold well.
Post tensioning has been around for ages. In fact, it’s believed to be introduced by Eugene Fryssinet back in 1933 in France when a marine terminal was being built. It wasn’t long until the method reached the U.S in 1950 and was incorporated into building the Walnut Lane Bridge.
Over the years, the method has been developed and has well been utilized for residential spaces as well.
There are a lot of components that make up a complete post tensioning system. Here they are:
Tendons – these refer to one or more series of steel bars that go into the concrete. It could either be a high steel bar or high steel strand that are all ASTM-tested.
- Monostrand tendon – made up of a single steel strand
- Multistrand tendon – made up of a series of steel strands
Sheathing – also referred to as a duct, this is what holds the series of steel strands or bars together and is found on the ends, next to the coating.
Hydraulic Jack – this material is used to apply tension to the steel itself.
Through the years, the application of prestressed steel strands have proven its worth. Many engineers, architects and designers believe in the great benefits post tensioning can provide any structure.
Here are some of the most common benefits this system has for both buildings and even homeowners.
1. It provides proactive support.
Considering steel bars are incorporated just before concrete is introduced, there is proactive support involved. This means that any other extra load that’s going to be given on the structure could be handled well.
2. It prevents jarring and cracking.
It could be such a horrible experience for homeowners or workers in a building to feel the structure shake and move from time to time. Thanks to post tensioning, you can trust that the structure’s foundation would remain strong and prevent as much cracking and jarring as it could withstand.
3. It adds value to your home.
If you live in a home that’s build through the post tensioning method, then you’re in luck. It guarantees a bigger payout in the end as this process adds a lot to the value of your home.
Post tensioning system has indeed innovated the construction world, as we know it. Considering it’s proven itself to be very effective, we’ll be seeing much more astounding structures in the near future built using it.