TENSIONING Principles and Applications Elements
Text Box: Prepared by: Danny M. Francisco. C.E., G.E. Tel. 6770359 (Office) Mobi
le: 0557124793 Email: danilo.francisco@aramco.
Prepared by:
Prepared by:
M. Francisco. C.Danny
M. Francisco. C.Tel. 6770359 (Office)Tel. 6770359 (Office)Mobile: 0557124793Mobi
le: 0557124793Email:
1. To know the brief history of post-
2. To understand the basic
3. To identify the
4. To know

The first patent for prestressed concrete issued to P.H. Jackson of San Francisc
o He obtained a US patent for tightening rods in artificial stones (concrete con
crete arches used for slabs
Shortly thereafter, in 1888, C.E.W. Doehring
Germany also obtained a patent for prestressing
concrete slabs with metal wires. However,
development of prestressed concrete
attributed to Eugene Freyssinet
In 1928, Freyssinet begun strength
steel wire for prestressing
In 1940, Professor Gustav Magnel of Belgium
developed a system of curve, multi-
wire tendons in
flexible rectangular ducts.
The first use of post-
tensioning in the US was on the
Walnut Lane
Bridge in Philadelphia in 1949. This landmark bridge had precast girders tension
with the Magnel system.
Ulrich Finsterwalder-
German Civil Engineer
Back Anchorage
Down Anchorage
Over the years, there
have been a number of significant
technological developments that have helped advance the
art of post tensioning and
have contributed to its
continued growth. These developments include:
1. Introduction of strand system
2. Development of ductile iron castings for single strand tendons
3. Introduction of the

design method
4. Introduction of

tendon layout for 2-
way slab system
5. Segmental bridge construction
6. Use of computers and design
7. Formation of Tensioning Institute
8. Improvements

In the United States, early bonded post-
system used high-
strength stress-
relieved steel wires,
bars, or strand. The button-
headed tendon system
inch wire bundled together, greased, and wrapped with Kraft paper as sheathing.
through a stressing head and were

button headed
anchor them. Machinery was used upset the
ends of the wires to create the head anchors.
The post-
tensioning elongation was held or a threaded nut.

The button-
headed tendon system had two major problems. The first problem was that had to b
e an exact length. Any deviation the tendon length and the length required eithe
r a new tendon forms before pouring the
Second, because shims ended up on the outside slab, they have concrete pour.

The first strand tendon system

developed by
Edward K. Riceand others at Atlas Prestressing
inch sever-
wire prestressing strand and an anchorage assembly manufactured coiled wire and
a plate and anchored wedge chucks. The strand was also andwrapped with Kraft pap

Since 1985, post-
tensioning usage has continued to grow at a rapid pace, averaging 8.5% annual as

In the last 50 years, prestressed concrete has grown to be a multibillion-
dollar industry in North America and is used in many different construction appl
ications. Figure shows the relative usage tensioning by market value.

stressing is a method of reinforcing concrete. Externally
applied loads induce internal stresses (forces) in concrete
the construction and services phases of a member. The concrete is
to counteract these anticipated
stresses during the
service life of the member.

There are two commonly used stressing concrete.
One is called pre-
tensioning. The prefix

means that the pre-
stressing steel is stressed
before the concrete
is cast. This method
consists of first stressing high-
strength steel strands or wires between buttresses, steel. Once the concrete
has reached a certain the steel is cut buttresses to stressing force This
process typically a precast complete
tensioned job site and

The other method of pre-
stressing concrete is called
tensioning. The prefix

means that the pre-
stressing steel is stressed after the concrete Instead of stressing the high-
strength steel between buttresses at a precast plant. The installed on
the job site after the contractor the member.
The high-
strength steel is housed in a sheathing or duct that prevents concrete. The stee
l is attached ends of the member by design anchorage devices. Once the concrete
steel is stressed to tensioning has stressed concrete while construct the includ
ing final position in-

Types of post-
tensioning system:

In most post-
tensioned construction, the pre-
tendons are embedded in the concrete before the concrete
is cast. These internally post-
tensioned systems can be
bonded or unbonded. In some bridge applications, the post-
tensioning tendons are mounted
outside the structural members. These are referred to as
external post-
tensioning systems.

In un-
bonded systems, the strand is kept unbonded the surrounding concrete throughout
its In bonded systems, grout is injected in bond the pre-
stressing strand to the surrounding concrete after it has been stressed. has cur
ed (hardened), the system integral system without any between steel and concrete
. grouted post-
tensioned systems are bonded. Unbonded systems between the strand throughout it
service strand systems
and all external tensioning systems this category.

Unbonded Post-
Tensioning Systems:

The tendons in an unbonded system typically consist of
strand that coated with corrosion-
inhibiting coating
and protected by extruded plastic sheathing. This allows the
strand to move inside the plastic sheathing and prevent the
ingress of water.

The strands are anchored to the concrete ductile iron
anchors and hardened steel wedges. supported by chairs and bolsters maintain the
desired profile. Figure components
and construction sequence for an unbonded

Depending on the exposure of the single-
strand unbonded
system, it can be classified as
a standard or encapsulated
system. Encapsulated systems are required environment where there is a possibili
ty of tendon exposure to chlorides or other deleterious substances. tendons are
designed to prevent any ingress of water
during and
after construction. Figure shows an example of a
standard and encapsulated tendon.

Bonded Post-
Tensioning System:

Bonded post-
tensioning systems consist of tendons with multi strands or bars. The strands or

bars are placed in corrugated
galvanized steel, high density polyethylene (HDPE) or
polypropylene (PP) ducts. Depending on the site system used, the strands may be
installed before isplaced
or the ducts may be installed without the strands are then pulled or pushed thro
ugh concrete has hardened, the tendons are stressed and ducts filledwith grout.
Inlets and outlets are provided at high/low points to
ensure that the grout fills the ducts completely. Figure shows components of a t
ypical multi grouted system. The grout provides an alkaline environment stressin
strands from corrosion. It surrounding concrete.

Concrete has a low tensile strength but compression. The tensile strength 10% of
its compressive strength. concrete members are likely to
Consider a beam of plain
As the load increases, the beam deflects slight falls abruptly. Under load, the
stresses in be compressive in the top, but tensile in can expect the beam to cra
ck at the even
with a relatively small load, because of
low tensile strength. In order
to resist tensile stresses or
counter the low tensile strength which plain concrete cannot resist, it can be r
einforced steel reinforcing bars or stressing.

In the usual reinforced concrete beam, the concrete cannot be used efficiently,
certain may be applied to the beams that result member in which all the concrete
can bending stresses.

Introducing a means of pre-
compressing the tensile zones of the concrete anticipated tensile stresses elimi
nate cracking and durable concrete member. compressing a concrete element, appli
ed load, and achieving structure.

The function of Prestressing (pre-
tensioning or
TENSIONING) is to place the structure under compression in those region causes t
ensile stresses. Compressive introduced into areas where tensile under load will
resist or annul stresses.

So the concrete now tensile strength of tensile stresses compression the bottom

Tension caused by the load will first have cancel the compression induced by the
tensioning before it can crack the concrete. pre-
compression stresses can also be overcome the diagonal stresses. procedure is to
design to eliminate working loads.

However, bending is only one of the conditions involved. There is also shear. Ve
rtical and horizontal shear forces are set up within and these will cause diagon
al tension diagonal compression stresses of
As concrete is weak in tension, reinforced concrete beam will diagonal tension s
tresses the support. In pre-
stressed concrete, the compression stresses overcome these tension

Simple illustration #1:

Row of books

Prof. Gustav Magnel, one of the pioneers prestressed concrete used this illustra
tion simply explained to his students using books.

Illustration #2:

Figure 1.4 shows a plainly reinforced concrete simple-
span beam and a fixed cantilever beam cracked under applied load.
Reinforced concrete

Figure 1.5 shows the same unloaded beams Figure 1.5 shows the same unloaded beam
s prestressing forces applied by stressing prestressing forces applied by stress
ing high strength tendons. By placing the prestressing strength tendons. By plac
ing the prestressing in the simplein the simple--
span beam and high in the span beam and high in the cantilever beam, compression
is induced cantilever beam, compression is induced tension zones; creating upwa
rd tension zones; creating upward PostPost--
tensioned tensioned

While figure1.6 shows the two prestressed While figure1.6 shows the two prestres
sed after loads have been applied. The loads after loads have been applied. The
loads both the simpleboth the simple--
span beam and cantilever beam span beam and cantilever beam
to deflect down, to deflect down,

creating tensile stresses in the bottom creating tensile stresses in the bottom
span beam and top of the cantilever span beam and top of the cantilever PostPost
tensioned Fig. 1.6)(Fig. 1.6)

The designer shall be able to balance the effects of load The designer shall be
able to balance the effects of load prestressing in such a way that tension from
the loading
prestressing in such a way that tension from the loading
compensated by compression induced by the postcompensated by compression induced
by the post--tensioning. Figure 1.6 shows that tension is eliminated tensioning
. Figure 1.6 shows that tension is eliminated under combination of Figures 1.4 a
nd 1.5. Also construction
under combination of Figures 1.4 and 1.5. Also construction
materials (concrete and steel)
are used more efficiently;
materials (concrete and steel)
are used more efficiently;
optimizing materials, construction effort and cost.
optimizing materials, construction effort and cost. Fig. 1.4 Fig. 1.4 Fig. 1.5 F
ig. 1.5 Fig. 1.6Fig. 1.6

One of the things that happen to a concrete, masonry wall, is that they are subj
ected that cause them to flex and bend. this includes slabs on ground where the
slabs are forced upward elevated concrete slabs where applied loads pull down su
pports, and walls that lateral forces from bending creates the concrete and the
use of reinforcing

Illustration #3:

Since steel has a high capacity to tensile forces, it can be embedded concrete a
t the tension zones that tensile failures could the tensile forces to be reinfor
cing steel. Adding tensioned
reinforcing combines reinforcing the tension advantages of masonry structure.

Additional benefits are obtained when tensioned reinforcing is installed in drap
ed profile instead of running in a straight typical draped profile in an elevate
d slab would route the post-
tensioned reinforcing
through a high point over supports, and through a low point supports. Now, optim
um in the tension zones, compressed, and tensioned reinforcing is creating an sp
ans where

Consider a beam with a force
applied at each end along beams center line.

This force applies a uniform compressive stress across the section equals to

Consider next a vertical load
Wapplied to the section and the corresponding bending moment diagram applied to

The stress distribution from the flexure of beam is calculated from
M/Z, where
Mis the
bending moment and
Zis the section modulus. By considering the deflected shape of can be seen that
the bottom surface tension. The corresponding stress drawn.

As previously discussed that concrete is strong compression but not in tension.
Only small stresses can be applied before cracks the effectiveness of the sectio
n will
By combining the stress distribution applied pre-
compression and the applied it can be seen that there is

In addition, the technique known
offers the designer a powerful tool. In this, forces exerted by stressing tendon
s are modeled equivalent upward forces slab. These forces are balance the applie
d balancing a chosen loading, it is possible and also to make the beam
Load Balancing by Prestressing

In order to use the load balancing technique, pre-
stressing tendons must be set to follow profiles that reflect the bending moment
from applied loadings. Generally, profiles are used.
Comparison between Post-
tensioning and

tensioning can be done on the job reinforcing bars placement, installation steel
form erection, concrete post-
tensioning of strands until placement.

Bridge abutments and piers can be done simultaneously while fabricating the post
tensioned I-
girders (beams).

Pretensioning normally requires large open areas usually in a factory and being
done between end anchorage, bulkheads or abutments.

Camber is the upward deflection in flexural members due to an eccentrically appl
ied prestressing force. Camber is divided categories i.e., initial camber and te
rm camber. Initial camber is induced the prestressing force at the the net upwar
d deflection algebraically summing deflection caused by weight
.beam) and the larger .ps)
caused by the prestressing eccentricity

ebelow the center section.

The components of camber due to self-
weight and prestressing force.

For straight tendon profile:

.beam =

.ps =

The magnitude difference .ps
.beam) between above two

The three figures below illustrate the elastic components The three figures belo
w illustrate the elastic components beam camber and deflection immediately after
released.beam camber and deflection immediately after released.Load applied to
the beam at released
Load applied to the beam at released Deflection due to beam Deflection due to be
am Camber Camber
Definition of commonly used terms:

Aggressive Environment

An environment in
structures are exposed
to direct or indirect application of
deicing chemicals, seawater, brackish water, or spray from
these water sources; and salt-
laden air as occurs in
vicinity of seacosts. Aggressive environment also include structures where stres
sing pockets directly in contact with soils
which contain chloride levels
considered y the geotechnical engineer to be harmful to

Anchor Cavity

The opening in the anchor
or anchor
designed to accommodate the strand passing the proper seating
Anchor Nut

Threaded device bar and plate.


A mechanical device comprising all components required to anchor the prestressin
g permanently transfer the post-
tensioning force from the
prestressing steel to the concrete.

Anchorage Zone

The portion of the member through
which the concentrated prestressing force is transferred to the concrete and dis
tributed section. Its extent is equal dimension of the cross section. For anchor
age end of the member, the disturbed regions ahead of
The general expression zones.


The expected movement of the wedges into the anchorage during the transfer of th
e force to the anchorage device.
This is that set which was assumed to occur calculation of post-
tensioning forces immediately after load


Actual Ultimate Tensile Strength: breaking strength obtained representative stra
nd or anchorage. For multi-
strand or bar tendons, AUTS the AUTS of a single the number of such in the tendo
n. samples must be from which strands or and used in efficiency

Up Bars

Reinforcing bars placed in concrete in the anchorage zone to position the anchor
and help distributing the loads.

Banded Tendons

Group(s) of closely speced tendons in
slabs placed together in a narrow strip, usually along the
column line.


Bars used in post-
tensioning tendons conforming ASTM A722, Standard Specification for Uncoated Hig
Strength Bar for Prestressing Concrete. Bars have minimum ultimate tensile 150,0
00 psi
(1035 Mpa).
Type I Bar has and Type II deformations. tensioning bars
are high-
strength steel
bars, normally from to 44mm
(5/8 to 1-
3/4in) coarse

Barrel Anchor

A cylindrical metal device housing the
wedges and normally used with a bearing plate to transfer the prestressing force
to the concrete.

Barrier Cable

strength steel strand erected around the perimeter of a structure and at open to

prevent automobiles and pedestrians from falling over open sides.

Basic Bearing Plate

Flat plate bearing directly against
concrete meeting the analytical Covered by this definition plates, sheared or to
rch from readily available plates, normally ASTM A36.

Bearing Plate

A plate which the
concrete and an overall anchorage hardware that


A localized concrete failure which occurs
or after stressing.

Bonded Tendons

Tendon in which prestressing steel is
bonded to concrete either directly or through grouting.

Bursting Steel

Reinforcing steel used to control the bursting forces developed at the bearing s
ide of the anchor
as the concentrated anchor force spreads out in all directions.


A term used by some to strand or a single-
strand tendon.


An upward deflection is caused by application of prestressing is intentionally
built in
a structural form to improve or to nullify the element under loads,


Hardware used to support or hold post-
tensioning tendons or reinforcing.
Bars in their proper position to prevent before and during concrete placement.


Material used to protect the steel from corrosion and
Confinement Reinforcement
prestressed reinforcement in reinforcement anchorage the local zone. reinforceme
nt reinforcing

(Contd) Confinement reinforcement:
For basic bearing plates, confinement reinforcement required in that volume
of concrete in which compressive
stresses exceed acceptable limits for unreinforced concrete determine by rationa
l analysis. For special confinement reinforcement is system dependent as determi
ned by tests on individual anchorages. reinforcement, in
the portion surrounding the special bearing plate and immediately ahead the conf
inement required in the particular system.


A device designed to ends of two strands together, thereby transferring end to e
nd of the
The means by transferred length prestressing another tendon.


Time dependant deformation (shortening) of concrete under sustained stress (load

Curvature Friction

Friction resulting from bends or curves
in the specified prestressing tendon profile.

Distributed Tendons

or group of tendons in a slab
that are uniformly distributed, usually to the
bonded tendons and spaced
a maximum of eight
the slab thickness or 5 feet


A conduit (plain or corrugated) prestressing steel

Distance between concrete cross-
section and center prestressing member.

Effective Prestress
Stress remaining in prestressing steel
after all losses have occurred.

Elastic Shortening

The shortening of a member that occurs immediately after the application of forc


Increase in the length of the prestressing under the applied prestressing
Encapsulated System

A post-
tensioning system that prevents the ingress of stages of construction, anchorage
from contact

Fixed End Anchorage

An anchorage where prestressing operations. end anchorages from
contact with

Friction Loss

The loss of force in
a prestressing tendon
resulting from friction created between the strands and
sheathing due to
curvature and wobble during stressing.

General zone

The region in which the concentrated
prestressing force spreads out to a more linear stress
distribution over the cross section of the structural member
(Saint Venant Region). It includes general zone extends from the the axis of the
member for a distance member. The height of the depth of the member.


A mixture of cementitious or without mineral admixtures or fine proportion to pr
oduce consistency segregation.


Guaranteed Ultimate Tensile Strength: This is the
tensile strength of the material that can be assured by the Manufacturer. GUTS s
hould not be confused
specified ultimate tensile strength (AASHTO LRFD). (The

has been replaced by two definitions,


by the Post-
Tensioning Institute.)


Acronym for High Density Polyethylene HDPE has a minimum density
of 0.941 gram per cubic
centimeter in post-

Initial Concrete Strength

The strength of the concrete
necessary for the post-
tensioning operation.

Initial Prestress

The force in
the tendon immediately transferring occurs after


The opening used to inject
into the duct.

Intermediate Anchorage

An anchorage located at any
point along
the tendon length,
which can be used to stress a given length of tendon without the need Normally u
sed at concrete pour breaks.

Jack Calibration

A chart showing the related gauge
pressure to actual force applied to a tendon.

Jack Gripper Plates

Steel plates designed to grippers in place in the jack.

Jack Grippers

Wedges used in during the stressing

A mechanical hydraulic) apply force

Jacking Force

The maximum temporary force exerted by
the jack on the tendon.

Live End

Stressing End.

Local Zone

The local anchorage zone is the volume concrete surrounding and
immediately ahead of the
anchorage device where the concrete compressive stresses exceed acceptable value
s for unconfined without confinement reinforcement). defined as a rectangular pr
of concrete surrounding the bearing plate and any integral The transverse dimens
ion prism are equal to the bearing plate, including any integral confinement, pl
the suppliers specified minimum edge
The length of loaded concrete surface of device of the

Material Certification

Documentation from manufacturer
that confirms that the quality of material supplied meets all
project requirements.

Modulus of Elasticity

Ratio of stress to corresponding strain for tensile or compressive stresses prop
ortional limit of material.


One single-


More than one single-
strand in a tendon.


Minimum Ultimate measured as a force, single strand or bar outside of the the mu
ltiple of strand or bar strand or bar
MUTS is the sectional of strand nominal stress.

Aggressive Environment

All environments not
specifically defined as aggressive, including enclosed


Opening to allow the escape of
air, water, grout
and bleed water from the duct during operation.

P/T Coating

material used to protect against corrosion
and reduce friction between prestressing steel and sheathing. For unbonded meet
or exceed the performance outlined in the PTI
Specifications for Unbonded
Pocket Former

A temporary device used at the end to
provide a cavity can be grouted prestressing

Tensioning System

This is the proprietary system where the necessary hardware (anchorage, wedges,
strands, bars, couplers, etc.) is supplied by a particular
manufacturer or manufacturers of post-
and may also include ducts and local zone


Method of prestressing in which tensioned after concrete has
Potable Water

Water defined by EPA (Protection Agency) to

Prestressed Concrete

Structural concrete in which internal
stresses are potential in concrete applied loads.

Prestressing Steel

Strength steel, most commonly
wire strand, used to impart prestress forces to concrete.

The steel element of a post-
tensioning tendon, which is elongated and anchored to provide permanent prestres
sing force.


A method of prestressing in tendons are tensioned before placed.


The path of a tendon end.


A hydraulic pressure

Reference Point

The painted mark placed on a tendon
tail used to measure the elongation of a tendon after

Seating Loss

The relative movement of the wedges the anchor cavity during the transfer force
to the anchorage resulting prestressing force.


The total movement of behind the anchoring the jack to the permanent

Set movement respect to deformation


A material encasing prestressing steel to prevent bonding of the prestressing st
eel with surrounding concrete, provide corrosion protection, contain post-
tensiong coating.

Slab Bolster

Continuous hardware used to support hold post-
tensioning tendons in place prior to and during
concrete placement.

Special Bearing Plate

Any hardware that transfers
tendon anchor forces into the concrete but does not meet analytical design defin
ition are devices single or multiple plane bearing surfaces, wedge plate confine

Split Pocket Former

A temporary two-
piece device used
at the intermediate end during
casting of the concrete to
provide an opening in the concrete, allowing stressing equipment access to the a

Stage Stressing

Sequential stressing of tendons in separate steps or stages in lieu tendons duri
ng the same stressing

Strand Slippage

Slippage or relative movement strand with respect seating loss.


strength steel around a tendons a 7-
wire strand.

Stressing End Anchorage

The anchorage at the end of a tendon where the prestressing jack is attached ten
don during stressing operations.

Stressing Equipment

Consists normally of a jack, pump,
and a pressure gauge.

Stressing Force

See jacking force.

Stressing Pocket

The void created by the pocket between the stressing of the concrete to allow ac
cess for stressing void is filled in with grout to provide for the tendon end.

Stressing Record

A permanent record elongations

Stressing End

The end of the tendon at which the
prestressing force is applied.

Temperature Tendons

Tendons used to resist shrinkage and temperature stresses.

Tendon Group

More than one strand of Prestressed steel tied together to form
Tendon Support System

The required support chairs, bolsters, maintain the tendon
The excess
strand beyong end anchor.


In post-
tensioned applications, the tendon is a
complete assembly consisting
of anchorages, prestressing
steel, and sheathing with post-
tensioning coating for
unbonded applications or ducts with grout for bonded
applications. A single or group of prestressing and their anchorage assemblies,
which impart a
compressive force to a structural member. Also included are
ducts, grouting attachment and grout. The main stressing
element is usually a high strength steel member made up of
a number of strands, wires or bars.


The property of a material that enables it to stiffen in a short time while visc
osity when mechanically reversible.

Threshold Inspector

This is a term by certain
states to define inspects
structures of defined also inspects tensioning

Ultimate Strength

The tension force or stress that is
required to fail a steel element in

Unbonded tendon

Tendon in which prestressing steel is
prevented from bonding to concrete and is free to move relative to concrete. The
prestressing transferred to concrete at the tendon anchorages only.

Water reducing Admixture

An admixture that either increases the slump of freshly increasing the water red
uced amount of to factors other than entrainment.

Wedge Plate

The hardware multistrand bearing


Pieces of tapered metal with serrations, which bite into the prestressing steel
(strand) transfer of the prestressing force.

Wedge Set

See seating loss.

Wobble friction

The friction caused by the unintended deviation of the


A single, small diameter, wire, typically the basic component

Yield Strength

The stress at exhibits a proportionality of stress
Anchor assemblyBanded Tendons
Barrier Cable
Barrel Anchor
Bearing Plate
Text Box: General zone
General zone
Text Box: Local Zone
Text Box: Stressing End Anchorage
Stressing End Anchorage
Text Box: Temperature Tendons
Temperature Tendons
Wedge Plate

Materials used in Post-
Spiral Rebar

Prestressing Steel:


The most commonly used prestressing material in not only North America is a 7-
wire carbon
steel strand. Seven-
wire has a center wire enclosed tightly by six helically wound outer conforming
to ASTM A416 Grade ultimate strength of 279 ksi (1860MPa). is also available (wi
th an ultimate for use, for barrier cable applications. ASTM A416 also sets fort
h other requirements strand size, tolerances, stress corrosion and bond.

For each grade, relaxation and stress

Almost all of the prestressing strand supplied today is low
relaxation steel. Up until 1970
s, stress-
relieved strands were common; however they are rarely used today. Relaxation def
ined as the reduction in
over time in a highly stressedtendon at a given elongation. Low
relaxation strand must conformto the Supplement I requirements of ASTM A416, rel
axation loss after 1000 hours of testing minimum ultimate tensile strength
(MUTS) or 3.5% at 80% of

Stress relieved strand, in contrast, is not subject to any relaxation
loss limit under ASTM A416. Relaxation losses for such tendons
typically run at 4.5%, 8%, of the initial stress in the
tendon (
i.e., strand is
not associated with a concrete for
an initial stress equal to 0.6,
0.7, and 0.8 of MUTS, respectively.

Minimizing relaxation loss reduces overall prestress a result enables to
take advantage prestressing

If a structure is exposed to an aggressive environment, the designer may elect c
orrosion protective coating for the as epoxy coating or hot dip galvanizing. coa
ted strands shall conform Standards Specification for Coated Seven-
Wire Strand. Galvanized ASTM A475-
98, Standard Specification Coated Steel Wire strand. coated or galvanized strand
tensioning applications The designer of these materials

Prestressing bars are high-
strength steel bars that
are cold-
stressed to not more than 80% MUTS and then
relieved to produce the desired mechanical properties. They have
ultimate tensile strength
of 150 ksi (1036 MPa). Prestressing bars are rolled from
properly heat ingot

or strand-
cast steel. They can be
manufactured as a smooth round (Type I) or with
deformations similar to a common reinforcing bar (Type II).
Deformed prestressing bars have
deformations that are arranged in a thread pattern on couplers and nuts. Plain b
efore they can be used system. Bars used in tensioned structures Prestressed Con
crete, meet the requirements of High-
Strength Supplementary These requirements chemical dimension,

Wires used for prestressing generally conform to ASTM A421, Uncoated Stress-
Relieved Wire for Prestressed Concrete. Rods manufacture wires by open hearth fu
rnace process. Heat treatment stressed relieve the wires so mechanical propertie
s are manufactures with various sectional shapes and surface conditions: smooth
versus indented, A421 also has a supplement relaxation
wires. Wires are tensioning applications are still used the world.
Types of Prestressing tendons: Typical shapes and commonly available diameters.
Properties of Prestressing Steel

Mechanical Properties: Certain mechanical properties of prestressing steel must
properly design a post-
tensioned structure. ASTM specifications identify requirements fpu; yield limit
fpy, modulus the total elongation under the design strength of substantially les
s than bonded construction, greater than or properties for relaxation strands, b
ars are shown
Prestressing Steel
ksi (MPa)

ksi (MPa)

Ep ksi (MPa)

Low-Relaxation 7-Wire strand Grade 270 per ASTM A416/416M
270 (1860)
0.90 fpu
28,500 (196,500)
3.5 [24 in (610 mm)]
@ 70%
MUTS] or [3.5%
@ 80%
Wire per ASTM A421/421M
235 -
(1620 -1725)
0.85 fpu
29,000 (200,000)
4 [10 in (250 mm)]
Low-Relaxation Wire per ASTM A421/421M
235 -
(1620 -1725)
0.90 fpu
29,000 (200,000)
4 [10 in (250 mm)]
@ 70%
MUTS] or [3.5%
@ 80%
Prestressed Bars Grade 150 per ASTM A722

150 (1035)
Type I: 0.85 fpu Type II: 0.80 fpu
29,700 (205,000)
4 [20 bar dia.] 7 [10 bar dia.]

The typical values shown in the table are used for design purposes; however, the
material properties for the prestressing supplied to the project may vary and s
pecification minimums.

Knowing the actual properties during inspection and future example, when evaluat
ing of-
tolerance elongations during should compare modulus of elasticity) provided mill
in design. explain


Ductility is an essential property of a prestressing material. Standard specific
ations prescribe ductility requirements, which are usually as a minimum percent
elongation gauge length under total load. A416 prestressing strand, elongation i
s specified length of not less than For ASTM A722 prestressing minimum percent 4
% and 7% prestressing

Static and Fatigue Testing

Tendons in prestressed concrete structures and anchors normally do not experienc
e cycling significant enough to cause problems. For those applications fatigue i
s a concern, such tensioned
bridge and cable-
stayed bridges, fatigue resistance can be increase material selection and Tendon
fatigue will structure and or unbonded. wedge connection is the most regards

Where fatigue is a possible concern, the engineer should confirm that the intend
ed tensioning system has been dramatically and qualified in accordance with Acce
ptance Standards for Post-
Tensioning Systems for bonded tendons with the post-
tensioning project specifications unbonded tendons. For bridges, AASHTO requires
anchorage and coupler tendon, be dynamically 500,000 cycles and 50 cycles
Application of Post-

Today, post-
tensioning is used for a wide range of
applications including: