What is Post Tensioned Concrete?
Definition of Post tensioned concrete in Construction
A structural procedure of strengthening concrete slabs and components that involves the installation of high tensile strength cables.
These cables are placed in the concrete slab prior to the actual placement of the concrete. The concrete is placed and the slab is allowed to obtain a designed structural strength. The cables are then pulled to obtain a designed tension within the cables. The result is a concrete structure that has a cabling system under tension that is pulling the slab or concrete component together. The tension pulled on the cables can be as high as 30,000 lbs or more depending on the design, and the ends of the cables are wedged to prevent them from losing the tension after the release of the hydraulic jacks that pull the cables. Post tensioning allows thinner slabs to be placed, which in a high rise situation could allow the construction of another entire floor.
Post tensioning of concrete garage spaces as well as deteriorated concrete components is also popular. The failure of highway supports or abutments can in many instances be corrected by the installation of cables that are installed on the exterior of the structural component. A series of saddles and anchor points are designed by structural engineers to draw the damaged member into compliance. Structural post tensioning to correct failures of structural concrete components is in many cases much more practical and economic that the replacement of that component.