Post-Tensioning for Bridges
Post-tensioning is a critical structural reinforcement for concrete bridges. This technique was first used in the 1950s and has become increasingly popular over the decades as its technology has improved. Post-tensioned reinforcement is utilized as a part of new construction and to strengthen existing bridges for repair or increase their load-carrying capacity.
What Is Post-Tensioning in Bridges?
Post-tensioning for bridges is a prestressing technique for reinforcing concrete during bridge construction and rehabilitation. Post-tensioning makes the bridge structure ready to handle service loads by enhancing its structural safety and durability.
With post-tensioning, high-strength steel tendons are placed in sleeves and ducts before the concrete placement. When the appropriate tension is applied to pull the tendons and anchor them to the concrete’s outer edges. The internal stress from the post-tensioning tendons counteracts the external stress from loads, reducing structural deformation and concrete cracking.
The Benefits and Applications of Bridge Post-Tension
Post-tensioning offers several advantages over standard reinforcing steel:
- Reduces or eliminates shrinkage: Post-tensioning minimizes or removes shrinkage and cracking. As a result, the bridge needs fewer joints.
- Expands building opportunities: With post-tensioning technology, bridges and slabs can be safely laid on soft or expansive soils.
- Holds bridge components together: Post-tensioning holds any bridge cracks tightly together.
- Supports long spans: With post-tensioning support, bridges can have longer spans on elevated members, like beams and floors.
- Enables thinner structural members: Slabs and other structural members can be thinner on a bridge post-tension.
Post-tensioning has practically endless applications. Besides post-tensioned concrete bridges, post-tensioning technology can be used for:
- On-ground slabs: Post-tensioning is useful for slabs on grade with expansive soils. It supports the structure as the soil moves.
- Existing structures: Post-tensioning can be added to existing structures, such as upgrading them for seismic retrofit.
- Water storage tanks: Post-tensioning for water tanks reduces crack width and chance of leakage.
- Masonry walls: These walls can be post-tensioned for structural support. The steel tendon is fastened to the foundation and stressed with a nut on top of the wall.
Choosing the Right Post-Tensioning Specialist
Your post-tensioning specialist should use industry-accepted techniques to optimize the structure’s design, employ quality systems and technologies and follow strict quality procedures. STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES is a Post-Tensioning Institute-recognized firm with a reputation for durable, reliable and quality solutions.
The post-tension bridge products and services at STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES deliver efficient performance for new bridges, correct construction issues, enhance performance and lengthen the service life of existing bridge structures. Our post-tensioning products include:
- Unbonded Monostrand Systems for anchorages and custom-made components for strength and protection applications.
- Bonded Multistrand Systems to hold up to 55 duct-encased strands in large structural members.
- Bonded Slab PT Systems to reinforce slabs as thin as 5 inches.
- VStrand™ Heat Resistant Tendons to maintain prestressed steel’s strength after a fire.
- Threaded Bars made of high-tensile steel for strengthening.
Get Your Post-Tension Bridge Services Today!
STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES offers expert post-tension services for bridge construction and rehabilitation. We are the exclusive manufacturer of Post-Tensioning in the United States that make structures stronger and longer lasting.
Schedule your post-tension bridge service with us today by contacting us online or calling 410-376-8577.