5 Unexpected Advantages of Post-Tensioning
Since the 1950s, post-tensioning concrete has grown in popularity. Whether you’re trying to streamline the building process, reduce costs or give a structure the best chance of surviving weather hazards, there are numerous benefits of post-tension slabs.
Here’s a look at some hidden advantages of post-tensioning concrete and why you should consider these methods for new structures.
What Is Post-Tensioning?
Post-tensioning concrete is the process of adding steel bars (tendons) below a mixture’s surface. Once the concrete fully cures, tension is applied to the steel bars. These reinforcements introduce stress to the concrete, which can prevent cracks and shifting down the road.
Construction teams rely on post-tensioning methods to help concrete reach its strongest state. This process is efficient for creating surfaces that can withstand the loads required for a newly developed structure.
Benefits of Post-Tensioning
Consider these surprising advantages of post-tensioning.
1. Saving on Costs and Materials
Prestressed concrete supports larger loads compared to traditional pouring. Using post-tension methods means concrete substrates are thinner, sometimes by as much as 20%.
When a building is complete, the total height of the structure is shorter than constructing slabs without post-tension reinforcements. Smaller buildings call for teams to use less cladding, concrete, cement and shear. Extra materials can be used for future projects or returned to the manufacturer to increase your bottom line. Either way, you’ll save on costs and materials.
2. A Sustainable Approach to Building
When you rely on post-tensioning concrete methods, fewer materials are involved in the final structure. This includes the amount of cement used to create concrete mixtures — a significant source of carbon emissions.
It’s possible the timeline for a building project will be shorter with post-tensioning concrete, which lessens the amount of time gas-powered tools and vehicles run from the start of the assignment through completion.
3. Efficient Construction Timelines
The setup for post-tension procedures can be done quickly without the variables of traditional curing. The fact that crews spend less time laying steel supports means teams will be ready to pour mixtures and let the concrete dry on an impressive timeline. Your post-tension building project can progress consistently.
4. Crack Control
Post-tensioning results in compressive stress in concrete, which helps to reduce the effects of shrinkage and temperature changes that can cause cracking. The post-tensioning system consists of steel strands that are tensioned after the concrete has hardened, creating internal forces that resist external loads.
Post-tensioning systems are effective for crack control because the tendons act as reinforcement for the concrete and prevent it from splitting apart. The tendons are anchored at both ends of the concrete member and are usually placed in ducts or sleeves to allow them to move freely during tensioning.
The tendons are tensioned by hydraulic jacks and then locked in place by wedges or nuts at the anchorages. The tension in the tendons induces a compressive stress in the concrete, which counteracts the tensile stress caused by shrinkage or bending. This way, the concrete remains relatively crack-free and watertight throughout its service life.
5. Better Performance
Many property owners building post-tension structures find surfaces do a fantastic job of limiting unwanted vibration and sag. Inside the poured concrete, cables help to balance the load.
Rather than the center of slabs being put under immense stress where they can crack, the internal cables take care of the heavy lifting. Over time, concrete maintains its shape and refrains from dipping downward when objects are placed on top of it.
About Post-Tensioning Products and Services From STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES
STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES provides VSL post-tensioning products as well as construction systems in the United States. Whether you want to build or repair a commercial building, parking lot or similar structure, we will assist with design, installation and material fabrication for unbonded monostrand post-tension systems, bonded multistrand post-tension systems, shear reinforcements, barrier cables and lockable dowels.
We specialize in external and internal post-tensioning technology. STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES provides you with solutions for installations outside a structural element — within grouted ducts — or within an existing member — via core drilling — to handle the scope of your project.
Get Started With Post-Tensioning Today
To learn more about post-tensioning products and our service capabilities, submit a contact form with STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES.