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Post-tensioning- is a method of reinforcing (strengthening) concrete or

other materials with high-strength steel strands called tendons.
Post-tensioning allows construction that would otherwise be impossible due
to either site constraints or architectural requirements.
After adequate curing of concrete, reinforcing tendons (placed in side the
voids of the structure) are tensioned/stretched by jacks on the sides & grouts
filled with appropriate mix.
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 hand, are considered active
Because it is prestressed, the steel is effective as reinforcement even though
the concrete may not be cracked .
Post-tensioned structures can be designed to have minimal deflection and
cracking, even under full load.
Post-tensioning allows longer clear spans, thinner slabs, fewer beams and
more 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 areas.
A lower building height can also translate to considerable savings in
mechanical systems and faade costs.
Reduces occurrence of cracks .
Freezing & thawing durability is higher than non prestressed concrete.

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.
In stadiums, post-tensioning allows long clear spans and very
creative architecture
In slab-on-ground construction, unbonded 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, usually between 3000 and 3500 psi (pounds per
square inch), 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 anchorages.
The fact the tendons are kept in a permanently stressed
(elongated) state causes a compressive force to act on the
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 formed.
The duct is then grouted to protect the tendons from corrosion. This method
is commonly used to create monolithic slabs for house construction in
locations where expansive soils create problems for the typical perimeter

Bonded post-tensioned concrete

All stresses from seasonal expansion and contraction of the underlying soil
are taken into the entire tensioned slab, which supports the building without
significant flexure. Post-stressing is also used in the construction of various
The advantages of this system over unbonded post-tensioning are:
Large reduction in traditional reinforcement requirements as tendons cannot
destress in accidents.
Tendons can be easily 'weaved' allowing a more efficient design approach.
Higher ultimate strength due to bond generated between the strand and
No long term issues with maintaining the integrity of the anchor/dead end.

Tendons are less likely to de-stress in accidents

Tendons can be easily 'weaved' allowing more efficient designs

Higher ultimate strength due to bond generated between the strand

and concrete

No issues with maintaining the anchor

Unbonded post-tensioned concrete

Unbonded post-tensioned concrete differs from bonded post-tensioning by
providing each individual cable permanent freedom of movement relative to
the concrete.
To achieve this, each individual tendon is coated with a grease (generally
lithium based) and covered by a plastic sheathing formed in an extrusion
The transfer of tension to the concrete is achieved by the steel cable acting
against steel anchors in the perimeter of the slab.
The main disadvantage over bonded post-tensioning is the fact that a cable
can destress itself and burst out of the slab if damaged (such as during repair
on the slab). The advantages of this system over bonded post-tensioning are:

The ability to individually adjust cables based on poor field conditions (For example:
shifting a group of 4 cables around an opening by placing 2 to either side).
The procedure of post-stress grouting is eliminated.
The ability to de-stress the tendons before attempting repair work.

Youtz slick slab method

Since then it has become a basic method of economical concrete

construction, especially for office buildings, apartments, parking garages,
hotels and other structures characterized by repetitive framing from floor to

Flat plate floors are commonly used because they are so well suited to stackcasting, requiring for work at only the edges of the slab and at floor openings

Originally , lift-slabs were reinforced with mild steel reinforcing, which limited
the column spacing or required very thick slabs.

With the advent of post-tensioning , however the column spacing was

increased and the thickness of the slabs were reduced.

Contemporarily, all lift-slabs are post-tensioned

The traditional lift slab construction sequence as illustrated in the figure.

Special lifting collars or share heads are provided in the slabs at the columns.
Bond breaking compounds are applied between slabs to separate them.

After the slabs have cured long enough to reach a prescribed strength
powerful hydraulic jacks mounted on top of the columns lift the slabs into
their respective positions.

A console connected to each hydraulic jack synchronizes the number of turns

of the check nuts to assure that the concrete slabs is being raised the same
amount at all points.


The big advantage of erecting concrete buildings using lift slab construction is
elimination of most form work; only the sides need to be formed , an
important factor in areas where labor cost are high.

Lift slab can be used for heights upto about 16 stories. Economical column
spacing ranges from 22 to 32 feet. Columns may be pipe, tubes or wide
flange sections; concrete building columns may be used in 3 to 4 story
buildings not requiring splices.

Another advantage is reduced handling and hoisting of materials and

supplies that can simply be placed on top of the slabs and lifted with them.

There is little need for finishing the bottom of the slabs, since they will
be as smooth as the floor finish of the slab below and thus the bottom of the
slab can be used directly as a ceiling.

The technique offers good fire resistance and good acoustic ratings.

Mass designed into walls, floors and roofs helps to reduce the effects of daily
temperature changes.

Simple Pinning System

The Initial maximum height of the columns is five storeys

The lifting boxes are sequentially raised to higher positions to enable the
partitioning slabs to be lifted to the required levels

The lifting boxes and the partitioning slabs are held in their relative positions
by a simple pinning system

The system is easily expanded to create higher rises

The vertical columns are extended in stages, increasing the height in

multiples of up to five storeys

The first five slabs are elevated further to make room for the subsequent
five slabs

Buildings of up to thirty storeys have been successfully constructed using the

"Lift-Slab" method of construction

No horizontal beams- the slabs are self supporting and create rigidity to the
final structure.

Material saving-upto 30% savings in cement and re-enforcing bars.

Time Saving- typically 30%saving in construction time compared with

traditional construction methods.

The Youtz-Slick System

The foundations are constructed and backfilled and then the slab on
grade is constructed.

Openings are left in the slab on grade to permit the erection of steel columns
which are then erected and plumbed.

In the Youtz-slick system a lifting collar is cast into each slab at each
column. This collar provides a method to hook up lifting rods at each collar,
so that the slab can be lifted, and a method to secure the lifting collar to the
supporting column, either permanently or temporarily.

When the first tier of columns is erected, all the lifting collars for all the slabs
to be lifted are installed over the columns of this tier and are temporarily
suspended above the ground .

The lowest slab to be lifted is constructed first by lowering its lifting collars
into place on the slab on grade, erecting the side forms (which may be high
enough to provide edge forms for all the slabs to be lifted), installing posttensioning strands and reinforcing steel, and placing, finishing, and curing the

A bond breaker is sprayed onto the finished floor slab, and each of the other
floor slabs are constructed on top of the slab below in a similar manner. When
the slabs reach the proper strength, the slabs are post-tensioned.

The building may be dividedinto sections for lifting as shown in Figure 1-4,
depending on available equipment and the size of the floors. The sections are
joined by pour strips after lifting has been completed.

In the Youtz-slick method, the jacks are first mounted on top of the columns
of the first tier, Two threaded lifting rods are attached to each jack, one on
each side of the column.

These rods are then attached to the lifting collars of the slabs to be lifted; if
more than one slab is lifted at a time, the rods are attached to the lowest of
these slabs.

The operation of the jacks is normally coordinated by a central console on the

roof slab, in order to keep the slabs level within a specified tolerance
(typically a fraction of an inch).

If necessary, the jacks can be manually operated to adjust the elevation of

the slab at individual locations

The following the details of a typical Youtz-Slick lifting collar. Referring to the plan and
section A-A, the lifting rods fit into key hole slots in the lifting angle of the lifting collar. To
insert the rod in the slot, centering the sleeve is raised, the rod is slid in and the sleeve
dropped down into the round portion of the keyhole, thus preventing the lifting rods from
sliding out.
Section B-B and C-C show the connection of the lifting collar to the column. The seal
block and the weld block are welded to the column flange in the shop. The seal block only
occurs at the permanent position of the slab. The guide bars are welded to the to the lifting
collar in the shop and are finished flush with the bottom of the lifting collar. As the lifting
collar (and slab) is pulled up by the jacks, the guide bars center the the lifting collars on the
weld blocks and seal blocks.