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PRINCIPLE AND METHOD OF

PRESTRESSING

1.1 Prestressing concept
A prestressed concrete structure is different from a conventional
reinforced concrete structure due to the application of an initial
load on the structure prior to its use.
The initial load or prestress is applied to enable the structure to
counteract the stresses arising during its service period.
The prestressing of a structure is not the only instance of
prestressing. The concept of prestressing existed before the
applications in concrete. Two examples of prestressing before the
development of prestressed concrete are provided.

2. Definitions
2.1 Prestressed Concrete
Prestressing of concrete is defined as the application of
compressive stresses to concrete members. Those zones of the
member ultimately required to carry tensile stresses under working
load conditions are given an initial compressive stress before the
application of working loads so that the tensile stresses developed
by these working loads are balanced by induced compressive
strength. Prestress can be applied in two ways - Pre-tensioning or
Post-tensioning.
2.2 Pre-tensioning
Pre-tensioning is the application, before casting, of a tensile force
to high tensile steel tendons around which the concrete is to be
cast. When the placed concrete has developed sufficient
compressive strength a compressive force is imparted to it by
releasing the tendons, so that the concrete member is in a
permanent state of prestress.
2.3 Post-tensioning
Post-tensioning is the application of a compressive force to the
concrete at some point in time after casting. When the concrete has
gained strength a state of prestress is induced by tensioning steel
tendons passed through ducts cast into the concrete, and locking
the stressed tendons with mechanical anchors. The tendons are
then normally grouted in place.
3. Development of PC
Reinforced concrete combines concrete and steel bars by simply
putting them together. PC combines high strength concrete with
high strength steel in an active manner. This is achieved by
tensioning the steel and holding it against the concrete, thus putting
the concrete into compression. Concrete is a brittle material with
its tensile capacity now improved by being compressed. The basic
principle of prestressing was applied to construction perhaps
centuries ago when ropes or metal bands were wound around
wooden staves to form barrels. The bands and the staves were both
prestressed before they were subjected any service loads. Around
1890, some obtained patents. These first patented methods were
not successful, because low tensile prestress then produced in the
steel was soon lost as a result of the shrinkage and creep of
concrete.
4. Concept of Prestressed Concrete
Three different concept
1. First concept - Prestressing to transform concrete into an
elastic material.
From this concept, the criterion of no tensile stresses was born. It
is generally believed that if there are no tensile stresses in the
concrete, there can be no cracks, and the concrete is no longer a
brittle material but becomes an elastic material. From this
standpoint concrete is visualized as being subject to two systems of
forces it is internal prestress and external load.
2. Second concept - Prestressing for combination of high
strength steel with concrete
This concept is to consider Prestress Concrete as a combination of
steel and concrete similar to
Reinforce Concrete. There have two materials form a resisting
couple against external moment. So, after cracking this concept
works. From this point , Prestress Concrete is no longer a strange
type of design. It is rather an extension and modification of the
applications of reinforced concrete to include steels of higher
strength.
Note: if no crack, the tensile force of prestressed steel has no
change. Not so much difference and after cracking, this concept
can be used.
3. Third concept - Prestressing to achieve load balancing
This concept is not popular and not similar to be used
1.2 Comparison between reinforced concrete and prestressed
concrete
pc rc
1. Used high strength steel and
concrete
2. PC member or lights more
slender
3. Is crack less and provides better
protection
4. Prefer high grade
5. Pc member remains crack-free
under service load
6. Pc provide better resistance to
shear and requires a thinner
web and lesser stirrups.
1. Use grade 230 or 460 steel not
useful propose
2. Employ concrete grade lower
3. Rc counterpart for long spans
and heavy load
4.

1.3 Advantages and disadvantages of prestressed concrete
structures
Definitions
The terms commonly used in prestressed concrete are explained.
The terms are placed in groups as per usage.
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Wires-Prestressing wire is a single unit made of steel.
Strands-Two, three or seven wires are wound to form a
prestressing strand.
Tendon-A group of strands or wires are wound to form a
prestressing tendon.
Cable-A group of tendons form a prestressing cable.
Bars-A tendon can be made up of a single steel bar. The diameter
of a bar is much larger than that of a wire.

Advantages of Prestressing
The prestressing of concrete has several advantages as compared to
traditional reinforced concrete (RC) without prestressing. A fully
prestressed concrete member is usually subjected to compression
during service life. This rectifies several deficiencies of concrete.
The following text broadly mentions the advantages of a
prestressed concrete member with an equivalent RC member. For
each effect, the benefits are listed.
1) Section remains uncracked under service loads
Reduction of steel corrosion
Increase in durability.
Full section is utilised
Higher moment of inertia (higher stiffness)
Less deformations (improved serviceability).
Increase in shear capacity.
Suitable for use in pressure vessels, liquid retaining structures.
Improved performance (resilience) under dynamic and fatigue
loading.
2) High span-to-depth ratios
Larger spans possible with prestressing (bridges, buildings with
large column-free spaces)
Typical values of span-to-depth ratios in slabs are given below.
Non-prestressed slab 28:1
Prestressed slab 45:1
For the same span, less depth compared to RC member.
Reduction in self weight
More aesthetic appeal due to slender sections
More economical sections.
3) Suitable for precast construction
The advantages of precast construction are as follows.
Rapid construction
Better quality control
Reduced maintenance
Suitable for repetitive construction
Multiple use of formwork
Reduction of formwork
Availability of standard shapes.

Disadvantages/ Limitations of Prestressing
Although prestressing has advantages, some aspects need to be
carefully addressed.
Prestressing needs skilled technology. Hence, it is not as common
as reinforced concrete.
The use of high strength materials is costly.
There is additional cost in auxiliary equipments.
There is need for quality control and inspection.

Types of Prestressing
Prestressing of concrete can be classified in several ways. The
following classifications are discussed.
Source of prestressing force
This classification is based on the method by which the
prestressing force is generated.
There are four sources of prestressing force: Mechanical,hydraulic,
electrical and chemical.

External or internal prestressing
This classification is based on the location of the prestressing
tendon with respect to the concrete section.
Pre-tensioning or post-tensioning
This is the most important classification and is based on the
sequence of casting the concrete and applying tension to the
tendons.
Linear or circular prestressing
This classification is based on the shape of the member
prestressed.
Full, limited or partial prestressing
Based on the amount of prestressing force, three types of
prestressing are defined.
Uniaxial, biaxial or multi-axial prestressing
As the names suggest, the classification is based on the directions
of prestressing a member.
The individual types of prestressing are explained next.
Source of Prestressing Force
Hydraulic Prestressing
This is the simplest type of prestressing, producing large
prestressing forces. The
hydraulic jack used for the tensioning of tendons, comprises of
calibrated pressure
gauges which directly indicate the magnitude of force developed
during the tensioning.
Mechanical Prestressing
In this type of prestressing, the devices includes weights with or
without lever
transmission, geared transmission in conjunction with pulley
blocks, screw jacks with or
without gear drives and wire-winding machines. This type of
prestressing is adopted for
mass scale production

1.4 Prestressed systems
Introduction
The prestressing systems and devices are described for the two
types of prestressing, pre-tensioning and post-tensioning,
separately.
Stages of Pre-tensioning
In pre-tensioning system, the high-strength steel tendons are pulled
between two end abutments (also called bulkheads) prior to the
casting of concrete. The abutments are fixed at the ends of a
prestressing bed. Once the concrete attains the desired strength for
prestressing, the tendons are cut
loose from the abutments.
Advantages of Pre-tensioning
The relative advantages of pre-tensioning as compared to post-
tensioning are as
follows.
Pre-tensioning is suitable for precast members produced in bulk.
In pre-tensioning large anchorage device is not present.
Disadvantages of Pre-tensioning
The relative disadvantages are as follows.
A prestressing bed is required for the pre-tensioning operation.
There is a waiting period in the prestressing bed, before the
concrete attains sufficient strength.
There should be good bond between concrete and steel over the
transmission length.
1.3.5 Devices
The essential devices for pre-tensioning are as follows.
Prestressing bed
End abutments
Shuttering / mould
Jack
Anchoring device
Harping device (optional)

Advantages of Post-tensioning
The relative advantages of post-tensioning as compared to pre-
tensioning are as
follows.
Post-tensioning is suitable for heavy cast-in-place members.
The waiting period in the casting bed is less.
The transfer of prestress is independent of transmission length.
1.4.4 Disadvantage of Post-tensioning
The relative disadvantage of post-tensioning as compared to pre-
tensioning is the
requirement of anchorage device and grouting equipment.
1.4.5 Devices
The essential devices for post-tensioning are as follows.
1) Casting bed
2) Mould/Shuttering
3) Ducts
4) Anchoring devices
5) Jacks
6) Couplers (optional)
7) Grouting equipment (optional).


2.4 Prestressed tendon