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Reinforced concrete:
Concrete is strong in compression weak in tension.
Steel in strong in tension
Reinforced concrete uses concrete to resist compression
and to hold bars in position and uses steel to resist tension.
Tensile strength of concrete is neglected (i.e. zero )
R.C beams allows crack under service load.
Pre-stressed Concrete
Pre-stressed concrete is a method for overcoming
concrete's natural weakness in tension.
In members the prestress is commonly introduced by
tensioning the steel reinforcement
Internal stresses are induced to counteract external
In 1904, Freyssinet attempted to introduce permanent
acting force in concrete. to resist elastic forces
under loads and was named Pre stressing.
Concept of pre-stressing:
i . The concept of pre stressing was invented
years ago when metal brands were wound around wooden pieces
to form barrels.
ii . The metal brands were tighten under tensile stress which
creates compression between the staves allowing them to resist
internal liquid pressure.
Principle of pre-stressing:
Pre-stressing is a method in which compression force is
applied to the reinforced concrete section.
The effect of pre stressing is to reduce the tensile stress in the
section to the point till the tensile stress is below the cracking
stress. Thus the concrete does not crack.
It is then possible to treat concrete as a elastic material.
The concrete can be visualized to have two compressive force
i . Internal pre-stressing force.
ii . External forces (d.l , l.l etc )
These two forces must counteract each other.
Advantages of PSC over RCC
The cross section is effectively used
By pre-stressing, it is possible to take full advantage of the high
compressive strength of concrete for resisting loads. At the same
time, the high tensile strength steel is used to introduce
pre-stress in the concrete. The combination of these two
materials in this fashion leads to a more economical section
compared to an RCC section.
The pre-stressed member can better withstand the effect of
impact and vibrations.
In view of elimination of tensile cracks in the pre-stressed
concrete members, they have increased resistance to
atmospheric action and the structural durability increases.
Pre-stressing leads to leaner members, in section, compared to
RCC for similar loading conditions, which reduces the weight of
the structure and ultimately effects economy in the cost of
The pre-stressing induced in the concrete member tends to
reduce diagonal tension.
The use of curved tendons contributes to the shear strength of a
pre-stressed member.
Pre-stressed Concrete: Methods

There are two basic methods of applying pre-stress to a

concrete member
Pre-tensioning most often used in factory situations
Post-tensioning site use
Types of pre-stressing:
I . Pre-tensioning
In Pre-tension, the tendons are tensioned against some
abutments before the concrete is place. After the concrete
hardened, the tension force is released. The tendon tries to
shrink back to the initial length but the concrete resists it
through the bond between them, thus, compression force is
induced in concrete. Pretension is usually done with precast
Pre-tensioning Method

II . Post tensioning
In Post tension, the tendons are tensioned after the
concrete has hardened. Commonly, metal or plastic
ducts are placed inside the concrete before casting.
After the concrete hardened and had enough strength,
the tendon was placed inside the duct, stressed, and
anchored against concrete. Grout may be injected into
the duct later. This can be done either as precast or
Post-tensioning Method

azlanfka/utm05/mab1053 15
Take full advantages of high strength concrete
and high strength steel
Need less materials
Smaller and lighter structure
No cracks
Use the entire section to resist the load
Better corrosion resistance
Good for water tanks and nuclear plant
Very effective for deflection control
Better shear resistance
Disadvantages compared to RC:
Need higher quality materials
More complex technically
More expensive
Harder to re-cycle
Slabs in buildings
Water Tank
Concrete Pile
Thin Shell Structures
Offshore Platform
Nuclear Power Plant
Repair and Rehabilitations
Need for High strength steel and
The normal loss of stress in steel is generally
about 100 to 240 N/mm2 and it is apparent that
if this loss of stress is to be a small portion of
initial stress.
Normal steel of strength 250 or 415 were used
more or less entire strength of steel will be lost
The stress in steel must be very high, about 1200
to 2000 N/mm2. these high stress ranges are
possible only with the use of high strength steel.
High strength concrete is necessary in prestressed concrete as the
material offers high resistance in tension, shear, bond and bearing.
In the zone of anchorages, the bearing stresses being higher, high
strength concrete is invariably preffered.
High strength concrete is less liable to
Creep strain
Shrinkage cracks
And has high Modulus of elasticity
Resulting in smaller loss of prestress in steel
The use of Higher strength concrete results in a reduction in cross
sectional dimensions of prestressed concrete structural element.
With a reduced dead weight of the material, longer spans become
technically and economically practicable.