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d Concrete
Concrete is a composite material composed of
gravels or crushed stones (coarse aggregate), sand
(fine aggregate) and hydrated cement (binder). It
is expected that the student of this course is
familiar with the basics of concrete technology.
The coarse aggregate are granular materials
obtained from rocks and crushed stones. They
may be also obtained from synthetic material
like slag, shale, fly ash and clay for use in light-
weight concrete.
The sand obtained from river beds or quarries
is used as fine aggregate. The fine aggregate
along with the hydrated cement paste fill the
space between the coarse aggregate.
The nominal maximum coarse aggregate size is
limited by the lowest of the following
1) 1/4 times the minimum thickness of the
2) Spacing between the tendons/strands minus 5
3) 40 mm.

In present day concrete, cement is a mixture of

lime stone and clay heated in a kiln to 1400
1600 C.

Water used for mixing and curing shall be clean

and free from injurious amounts of oils, acids,
alkalis, salts, sugar, organic materials or other
substances that may be deleterious to concrete and
The admixtures can be broadly divided into two
types: chemical admixtures and mineral admixtures.
The common chemical admixtures are as follows.
1) Air-entraining admixtures
2) Water reducing admixtures
3) Set retarding admixtures
4) Set accelerating admixtures
5) Water reducing and set retarding admixtures
6) Water reducing and set accelerating admixtures.
The common mineral admixtures are as

1) Fly ash
2) Ground granulated blast-furnace slag
3) Silica fumes
4) Rice husk ash
Parameters affecting the quality of
Properties of Hardened Concrete

Short Term:
1. Strength in Compression, tension
and shear; and stiffness as measured
by the modulus of elasticity
Long Term:
Creep and Shrinkage
Compressive strength
Compressive strength of concrete can be
obtained up to 20,000 psi or more
The minimum grades of concrete for
prestressed applications are as follows.
1)30 MPa for post-tensioned members
2)40 MPa for pre-tensioned members.
Tensile strength
Shear Strength
High Strength Concrete

It is termed as such by the ACI 318 Code when the

cylinder compressive strength exceeds 6,000 psi
(41.40 Mpa).
Concrete strength up to 20,000 psi (138MPa) is
easily achieved using a maximum stone aggregate
size of 3/8 inches (9.5mm) and pozzolamic partial
replacements for the cement such as silica fume.
Stiffness of Concrete

The stiffness of concrete is required to estimate

the deflection of members. The stiffness is
given by the modulus of elasticity.
Durability of Concrete

The durability of concrete is of vital importance

regarding the life cycle cost of a structure. The
life cycle cost includes not only the initial cost
of the materials and labour, but also the cost of
maintenance and repair.
Creep of Concrete
Creep of concrete is defined as the increase in
deformation with time under constant load. Due to
the creep of concrete, the prestress in the tendon is
reduced with time. Hence, the study of creep is
important in prestressed concrete to calculate the
loss in prestress.
The creep occurs due to two causes.
1. Rearrangement of hydrated cement paste
(especially the layered products)
2. Expulsion of water from voids under load
Creep of Concrete

Creep is the increase in strain with time due

to sustained load.
The initial deformation due to load is the
elastic strain
Additional strain due to the same sustained
load is the creep strain
Effects of Creep

Creep increases the deflection of beams and

Loss of prestress
Initial eccentricity of R.C. concrete column
increases with time due to creep, resulting in
the transfer of compressive load from the
concrete to the steel in the section
Shrinkage of Concrete

Shrinkage of concrete is defined as the contraction

due to loss of moisture. The study of shrinkage is
also important in prestressed concrete to calculate
the loss in prestress.
The shrinkage occurs due to two causes.
1. Loss of water from voids
2. Reduction of volume during carbonation
Types of Shrinkage of Concrete
1. Plastic Shrinkage
occurs during the first few hours after placing
fresh concrete in the forms. Exposed surfaces such
as floor slabs are more easily affected by the
exposure to dry air because of their large contact
2. Drying shrinkage
Occurs after the concrete has already attained its
final set and a good portion if the chemical
hydration process in the cement gel has been
Types of Shrinkage of Concrete
2. Drying shrinkage
it is the decrease in the volume of concrete
element when it loses moisture by evaporation.
What affects shrinkage?
1. Aggregate. Concrete with high aggregate
content are less vulnerable to shrinkage.
2. Water/cement ratio. The higher the
water/cement ratio, the higher the shrinkage
3. Size of the concrete element. Both the rate and
the total magnitude of shrinkage decrease with
an increase in the volume of the concrete
What affects shrinkage?
Grout is a mixture of water, cement and optional
materials like sand, water-reducing admixtures,
expansion agent and pozzolans. The water-to-
cement ratio is around 0.5. Fine sand is used to
avoid segregation.
The desirable properties of grout are as follows.
1) Fluidity
2) Minimum bleeding and segregation
3) Low shrinkage
4) Adequate strength after hardening
5) No detrimental compounds
6) Durable.

1. Nonprestressing Reinforcement
2. Prestressing Reinforcement
Nonprestressing Reinforcement

The most important properties of reinforcing

steel are:
Youngs modulus, Es
Yield Strength, fy
Ultimate Strength
Steel grade designation
Size or diameter of the bar
Nonprestressing Reinforcement

Projections called deformations are rolled to

increase bond between concrete and steel
Nonprestressing Reinforcement
Prestressing Reinforcement
The development of prestressed concrete was
influenced by the invention of high strength
steel. It is an alloy of iron, carbon, manganese
and optional materials. In addition to
prestressing steel, conventional non-prestressed
reinforcement is used for flexural capacity
(optional), shear capacity, temperature and
shrinkage requirements.
Prestressing Reinforcement
Because of high creep and shrinkage
losses in concrete, effective prestressing
can be achieved by using very high-
strength steels in the range of 270,000 psi
or more (1,862 Mpa or higher). Such
high-stressed steels are able to
counterbalance these loses in the
surrounding concrete
Prestressing Reinforcement

Prestressing reinforcement can be in

the form of, wires, strands, tendons,
bars and cables.
A prestressing wire is a single unit made of
steel. The nominal diameters of the wires are
2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 7.0 and 8.0 mm. The
different types of wires are as follows.
1) Plain wire: No indentations on the surface.
2) Indented wire: There are circular or elliptical
indentations on the surface.
A few wires are spun together in a helical form to
form a prestressing strand. The different types of
strands are as follows.
1) Two-wire strand: Two wires are spun together to
form the strand.
2) Three-wire strand: Three wires are spun together
to form the strand.
3) Seven-wire strand: In this type of strand, six
wires are spun around a central wire. The central
wire is larger than the other wires.
A group of strands or wires are placed together
to form a prestressing tendon. The tendons are
used in post-tensioned members.

A group of tendons form a prestressing cable.
The cables are used in bridges
A tendon can be made up of a single steel bar.
The diameter of a bar is much larger than that of
a wire. Bars are available in the following sizes:
10, 12, 16, 20, 22, 25, 28 and 32 mm.
Reading Assignment

What are the properties of the following

prestressing reinforcement?
Stress-relieved wires/strands
Low relaxation wires/strands
High-strength steel bars
What is steel relaxation?
What are the different loss of prestress? Describe
each briefly.