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Prestressed concrete, invented by Fressinet in 1928 is a method for
overcoming concrete's natural weakness in tension . It can be used
to produce beams , floors or bridges with a longer span than is
practical with ordinary reinforced concrete.
PRINCIPLE Using high tensile strength steel alloys producing permanent

pre-compression in areas subjected to Tension.


portion of tensile stress is counteracted thereby reducing the crosssectional area of the steel reinforcement .


a) Pretensioning
b) Post-tensioning
PRETENSIONING :- Placing of concrete around reinforcing tendons that

have been stressed to the desired degree.


:- Reinforcing tendons are stretched by jacks whilst

keeping them inserted in voids left pre-hand during curing of concrete.

These spaces are then pumped full of grout to bond steel tightly to the


Pre-tensioned Concrete

Pre-tensioned concrete is cast around already

tensioned tendons.

This method produces a good bond between

the tendon and concrete, which both protects

the tendon from corrosion and allows for direct
transfer of tension.

The cured concrete adheres and bonds to the

bars and when the tension is released it is

transferred to the concrete as compression by
static friction.

However, it requires stout anchoring points

between which the tendon is to be stretched

and the tendons are usually in a straight line.

Thus, most pretensioned concrete elements

are prefabricated in a factory and must be

transported to the construction site, which
limits their size.


elements may be balcony

elements, lintels , floor slabs, beams or
foundation piles.




reinforcing (strengthening) concrete or
other materials with high-strength steel
strands called tendons.


allows construction that

would otherwise be impossible due to
either site constraints or architectural


expertise to fabricate, assemble and install.


reinforcing tendons (placed in side the
tensioned/stretched by jacks on the sides &
grouts filled with appropriate mix.


a) Structural members
beams, bridge-deck panels, Roof Slabs,
Concrete Silos Etc.


compression but weak in tension.
This deflection will cause the bottom
of the beam to elongate slightly &
cause cracking.
Steel reinforcing bars (rebar) are
typically embedded in the concrete
as tensile reinforcement to limit the
crack widths.
Rebar is what is called passive
reinforcement however; it does not
carry any force until the concrete has
already deflected enough to crack.
Post-tensioning tendons, on the other
Because it is prestressed, the steel is
effective as reinforcement even
though the concrete may not be
cracked .
structures can be
designed to have minimal deflection
and cracking, even under full load.

Post Tensioned Structure


allows longer clear spans,

thinner slabs, fewer beams and
slender, dramatic elements.

Thinner slabs mean less concrete is required.

It means a lower overall building height for

the same floor-to-floor height.
Post-tensioning can thus allow a significant

reduction in building
weight versus a
conventional concrete building with the same
number of floors reducing the foundation
load and can be a major advantage in seismic
A lower building

height can also translate to

considerable savings in mechanical systems
and faade costs.

Another advantage of post-tensioning is that

beams and slabs can be continuous, i.e. a

single beam can run continuously from one
end of the
building to the other.
Reduces occurrence of cracks .
Freezing & thawing durability is higher than

non prestressed concrete.

This innovative form is result

of post tensioning.

Post-tensioning is the system of choice for parking structures since it allows a high

degree of flexibility in the column layout, span lengths and ramp configurations.
In areas where there are expansive clays or soils with low bearing capacity, post-

tensioned slabs-on-ground and mat foundations reduce problems with cracking

and differential settlement.

allows bridges to be built to very demanding geometry

requirements, including complex curves, and significant grade changes.

Post-tensioning also allows extremely long span bridges to be constructed without

the use of temporary intermediate supports. This minimizes the impact on the
environment and avoids disruption to water or road traffic below.

In stadiums, post-tensioning allows long clear spans and very creative


Post-tensioning can also be used to produce virtually crack-free concrete for water-

The high tensile strength & precision of placement gives maximum efficiency in

size & weight of structural members.

Applications of various prestressed techniques enable quick assembly of standard

units such as bridge members, building frames, bridge decks providing cost-time

In slab-on-ground construction, tendons are typically

prefabricated at a plant and delivered to the construction

site, ready to install.
The tendons are laid out in the forms in accordance with

installation drawings that .

After the concrete is placed and has reached its required

strength, the tendons are stressed and anchored.

The tendons, like rubber bands, want to return to their

original length but are prevented from doing so by the

The fact the tendons are kept in a permanently stressed

(elongated) state causes a compressive force to act on

the concrete.
The compression that results from the post-tensioning


counteracts the tensile forces created by subsequent

applied loading (cars, people, the weight of the beam
itself when the shoring is removed).

This significantly increases the load-carrying capacity of

the concrete.
Since post-tensioned concrete is cast in place at the job

site, there is almost no limit to the shapes that can be


Limitations of Prestressing

The limitations of prestressed concrete are

few and really depend only upon the
imagination of the designer and the terms
of his brief. The only real limitation where
prestressing is a possible solution may be
the cost of providing moulds for runs of
limited quantity of small numbers of nonstandard units.

Method of post-tensioning
Wedges tensioned by


Losses of Prestress Concrete

The reduction is prestress is called loss of prestress.

The losses are due to:

1. Loss due to Elastic Shortening.
The losses of prestress is about 5 to 10% for pre-tensioned and about 3% for
post-tensioned beams.
2. Loss due to anchorage slip.
Occurs at jacking and anchorage ends. In general the loss is 1 to 10mm.
3. Loss due Friction.
The actual force in tendon is reduced by friction (Specified by the manufacturer
of jacks). In additional a further loss occurs due to friction between tendon and
surrounding materials.
4. Loss due to creep.
The sustained compressive stress on the concrete causes long-term shortening
due to creep.
5. Loss due to relaxation.
6. Loss due to shrinkage.

General arrangement of a Major

Details of PS Beams.

Stressing Details.

A pre-cast post tensioned beam is usually a I Section having a bottom flange to

accommodate cables and a top flange to take care of tension / compression at top fiber.
Usually when the cables are laid, they are having maximum eccentricity at centre and goes
on reducing towards support with almost zero eccentricity at end block.
The cable when stressed, they induce a hogging moment so the beam is hogged upward.

Notes on Pre-stressing for Post -Tensioned Beams:

Each pre-stressing tendon is comprise of 7 nos. 12.7mm dia 7-ply Class-2 uncoated

low relaxation strands conforming to IS: 14268, with a minimum
ultimate tensile strength (U.T.S) of 184 KN. Necessary test certificate for conformity to
the above requirements were obtained from the manufacturers.
Sheathing is comprise of flexible 'ribbed conduit' type with minimum 51mm I.D.(54mm
O.D. ) for which friction coefficient = 0.25 and wobble coefficient k = 0.0045/m have
been assumed in the design. The sheathing was made from short lengths of not less
than 4 metres.
All strands of a tendon are stressed simultaneously. The slip at anchorage at each end of

tendon for the above system has been taken as 6mm.

Each tendon is stressed from both ends simultaneously.
The sequence specified in the relevant drawings are followed for stressing of tendons.
Tendon extensions specified are for the length between mid-span and face of anchorage

and are based on a Modulus of Elasticity of 1.95X10^8 kN/sq.m and sheathing

properties given above.
These extensions are suitably modified to account for the variation in properties as well
as the additional length between face of anchorage and gripping point of the jack.
Jacking forces and extensions specified are generally achieved simultaneously. In case
of shortfall, the stressing is continued to achieve the required jacking force/extension,
without exceeding the specified values by more than 5%. Tendons satisfying the above
are locked. Tendons failing to satisfy are pulled out, reinserted after cleaning blockages,
if any, and stressed again.

Casting of Girders.

Stressing of Tendons..

Stressing Record.

EQUIPMENTS : T6Z-08 Air Powered Grout Pump

Pumps cement grout only, no sand. 32 Gallon

Mixing Tank. Mixes up to 2 sacks of material at

once and allows for grout to be pumped during
mixing or mixed without pumping.


50" long
30.5" high
52" wide


560 lbs.

Production Rate

8 gallons per
at 150 psi

EQUIPMENTS : Colloidal Grout Plant

The heavy duty, high volume Colloidal Grout Plant is

favoured for precision post-tension grouting. The unit

features a high speed shear mixer that thoroughly wets
each particle and discharges the mixed material into a
13 cubic foot capacity agitating holding tank. A direct
coupled progressing cavity pump delivers slurries at a
rate of up to 20 rpm and pressures of up to 261 psi. The
unit easily mixes and pumps slurries of Portland
cement, fly ash, bentonite, and lime flour. All controls
31.6 progressing
are conveniently
Type on the operator platform for
easy one-man control.

variable up to 20
gpm, 261 psi

Mix Tank

13.0 CF with
bottom clean out

Mixing Pump

2 x 3 x 6 diffusertype centrifugal

Holding Tank

13.0 paddle

Drive Power


300 CFM, 100 psi



96" L x 60" W x 63"


Colloidal Mixer


1800-2800 lbs.

Problem Encountered during the execution of works

One Out of 20 No's of Girders has been deflected laterally. The deflection

measured was 140mm and the it becomes a girder curved in plan. No crakes
were observed.
The design calculations indicate that the net upward deflection is 1.758 Cm due

to pre-stressing force and dead load of the girder which will further reduce to
almost zero when deck slab and SIDL load will act on the girder.
The following reasons were analyzed to fix the reason for the lateral sway.

Due to sudden stressing of a particular cable to a load of P, a torsional moment

Px ex
will be induced. For example if cable 4, at a lateral eccentricity of ex is
pulled at one stretch to the design force which may cause a horizontal sway.
Hence it was necessary to know,
Cable arrangements
Sequence of pre-stressing
Check calibration of Jack to ascertain that over stressing has not been done
Stress verses elongation Table as per actual at both ends. It is imperative that

stressing is done at both ends and elongation achieved tally with design table of
elongation with +or- 5 percent variation.
But, the Contractor wanted to utilize the girder as the above mentioned things

have been verified and stressing has been done as per design. As supervision
consultants we resisted to use the Girder and asked the contractor to
substantiate with the design calculations.

Finally, the Girder was rejected and instructed the contractor to replace

with new one as contractor was not come up with any such proposal to
utilize the same girder.
Reasons for the rejection of the Girder.
1. The allowable deflection of girder is L/250, which in our case should be
(Clause 23.2 of IS 456-2000). But in no case Lateral deflection of girder is
in the code.
2. Lateral sway is not permitted for bridge girder either in IRC 18 or IRC 21.
3. But a deflection of 140/70 mm is unacceptable within the ambits of the
codes since bridge codes do not permit lateral deflections as the girder
becomes a girder curved in plan.
4. Girder curved in plan will induce torsional moment for which girders are not

Erection of Girders

Minor Bridge.

Details of PS Planks, Tendons and Release order..

Details of Deck Slab

Kathipara Flyover Chennai.

Is the largest Cloverleaf
flyover in whole Asia.

Kathipara Flyover Chennai.

Type of Construction:
Voided slab superstructure in PSC and RCC adopted. Span of
continuous voided slab is 120 Mts
( Span arrangement of 3* 40 Mts ).
The strands were procured from China got rusted as the bundles of
strands were not stored
properly and the location of construction is near to
seashore. We sought for an experts opinion from a IIT, Madras. They
opined not use the
strands and suggested to replace with new procurement.
But, contractor submitted a proposal to wash the strands with lime to
remove the rust before
inserting in to the sheathing ducts. After a trial the contractors
proposal was accepted.


Prestressed Concrete - By N.Krishna Raju.

The end