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Chapter one Introduction

Chapter One


1.1 Pre-Stressed Concrete – Background

Concrete as a building material has been around for thousands of years. Unlike other
isotropic building materials such as steel, wood, and aluminum, concrete and masonry
have a high compressive strength as compared to their relatively weak tensile strength.
Therefore, until the advent of reinforced concrete in the 1800s, concrete and masonry
structures mainly resisted only compressive forces. These structures generally
consisted of columns, arches, and domes to take advantage of their compressive
capacity while eliminating any tensile demand. Several examples include the

Roman Aqueduct Brunelleschi's Dome Stari Most Bridge

Segovia, Spain Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore Mostar, Herzegovina(1567)
(1st Century) Florence, Italy (1461 )

Chapter one Introduction

In the middle of the 1800s, the idea of adding iron to concrete to resist tensile stresses
was first developed. Joseph Monier exhibited this invention at the Paris Exposition in
1867. With the invention of steel in the later part of the 1800s, the use of steel
reinforcing bars to resist tensile forces in concrete structures quickly became
widespread. Thus, "mild" reinforcing steel is strategically placed within, and
continuously bonded to, concrete members to resist tensile forces to which they may be
subjected. Mild steel reinforcing is also commonly used in combination with concrete
to resist compressive and shear forces.
In the early 1900s, the idea of tightening the reinforcing bars to compensate for the
shrinkage of the concrete was first suggested. Embedded high strength steel rods were
coated to prevent bond with the concrete. “Pre-stressed Concrete ”soon became the
single most significant new direction in structural engineering. This unique concept
gave the engineer the ability to control the actual structural behavior while forcing him
or her to dive more deeply into the construction process of the structural material. It
gave architects as well as engineers a new realm of reinforced concrete design pushing
not only the structural but also the architectural limits of concrete design to a level that
neither concrete nor structural steel could achieve.
Ordinary reinforced concrete could not achieve the same limits because the new long
spans that pre-stressed concrete were able to achieve could not be reached with
reinforced concrete. Those longer spans required much deeper members, which quickly
made reinforced concrete uneconomical. Additionally, steel structures weren’t able to
create the same architectural forms that the new pre-stressed concrete could.

Chapter one Introduction

1.2 Principle of Pre-stressing

The function of pre-stressing is to place the concrete structure under compression in

those regions where load causes tensile stress. Tension caused by applied loads will
first have to cancel the compression induced by the pre-stressing before it can crack
the concrete. Figure [1.1(a)] shows a plainly reinforced concrete simple span beam and
fixed cantilever beam cracked under applied load. Figure [1.1(b)] shows the same
unloaded beams with pre-stressing forces applied by stressing post-tensioning tendons.
By placing the pre-stressing low in the simple-span beam and high in the cantilever
beam, compression is induced in the tension zones; creating upward camber. Figure
[1.1(c)] shows the two pre-stressed beams under the action of post-tensioning and
applied loads. The loads cause both the simple span beam and cantilever beam to
deflect down, creating tensile stresses in the bottom of the simple-span beam and top
of the cantilever beam. The designer balances the effects of load and pre-stressing in
such a way that tension from the loading is compensated by compression induced by
the pre-stressing. Tension is eliminated under the combination of the two and tension
cracks are prevented. As a result, durability is increased and more efficient, cost
effective construction is realized.

chapter one Introduction

Figure (1-1) Comparison of Reinforced and Pre-stressed Concrete Beams

chapter one Introduction

1.3 Methods of pre-stressing concrete

Pre-stressed concrete includes both pre-tensioned and post-tensioned concrete.
Pre-tensioning. The prefix "pre" 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, and then casting the concrete around the steel. Once the concrete
has reached a certain specified strength, the steel is cut between the ends of the members
and the buttresses to transfer the pre-stressing forces to the concrete This process
typically takes place at a precast plant and requires the completed pre-tensioned concrete
member to be trucked out to the job site and then assembled.

Figure (1-2) stages of pre-tensioning

chapter one Introduction

The other method of pre-stressing concrete is called post-tensioning. The prefix "post"
means that the pre-stressing ' steel is stressed after the concrete is cast. Instead of
stressing the high-strength steel between buttresses at a precast plant. The steel is
simply installed on the job site after the contractor forms up the member. The high-
strength steel is housed in a sheathing or duct that prevents it from bonding to the
concrete. The steel is attached to the concrete at the ends of the member by specially
designed anchorage devices. Once the concrete has cured (hardened), the steel is
stressed to induce forces in the concrete.

Figure (1-3) Stages of post-tensioning

chapter one Introduction

Post-tensioning is an attractive method of reinforcing concrete slabs and beams due to

its versatility and economy. Post-tensioning is also more versatile than pre-stressing
due the ability to cast members in place, including many situations where pre-stressing
is not feasible.

Post-tensioning is a highly efficient structural system that offers many benefits in a

wide range of construction, repair, and rehabilitation applications.
Post-tensioning has been successfully used for small as well as large projects. The
efficiency stems from being able to use high strength materials, to structurally utilize
the entire cross section. To vary the force and location of the reinforcing to best resist
applied loads, and to control the timing of when the pre-stressing force is applied to
the structure.

Post-tensioning offers a perfect balance of two materials which complement each

other. Concrete is strong in compression and relatively weak in tension. The tensile
strength of concrete is about 10% of its compressive strength. Pre-stressing steel, on
the other hand, has a very high tensile strength (270,000 psi for strand) which is about
four times that of common reinforcing bars. By combining the two, a structural
member can resist both compressive and tensile forces caused by various loads. This
results in greater efficiency in resisting tensile as well as compressive stresses resulting
from the applied loads.
Post-tensioning can be used in all facets of construction from buildings and bridges to
highway pavements, slabs-on-ground and ground anchors. It has also been used for
rehabilitation and retrofit applications.

chapter one Introduction

1.4 Benefits of post-tensioning

Post-tensioned concrete is used in commercial buildings, residential apartments, high-
rise condominiums, office buildings, parking structures, and mixed-use facilities such
as hotels and casinos. Benefits of post-tensioning include:
 A significant reduction in the amount of concrete and reinforcing steel required.
 Thinner structural members as compared to non-pre-stressed concrete, resulting in
lower overall building heights and reduced foundation loads.
 Aesthetically pleasing structures that harness the benefits of cast in place structures
with curved geometries, and longer, slender members with large spaces between
 Superior structural integrity as compared to precast concrete construction because
of continuous framing and tendon continuity.
 Monolithic connections between slabs, beams, and columns that can eliminate
troublesome joints between elements.
 Profiled tendons that result in balanced gravity loads (typically a portion of dead
load only), significantly reducing total deflection.
 Better crack control, which results from permanent compressive forces applied to
the structure during pre-stressing.
 Post-tensioning reduces overall building mass, which is important in zones of high

Post-tensioning also offers the following construction advantages as compared to

steel, non-pre-stressed concrete and precast construction:
 Faster floor construction cycle
 Lower floor weight
 Lower floor-to-floor height
 Larger spans between columns
chapter one Introduction

 Reduced foundations

High early-strength concrete allows for faster floor construction cycles. The use of
standard design details of the post-tensioned elements, minimum congestion of pre-
stressed and non-pre-stressed reinforcement, and earlier Stripping of formwork after
tendon stressing can also significantly reduce the floor construction cycle. Greater
span-to-depth ratios are allowed for post-tensioned members as compared to non-pre-
stressed members. This results in a lighter structure and a reduction in floor-to-floor
height while maintaining the required headroom.

Figure (1-4) reinforced concrete floor and post-tensioned slab

chapter one Introduction

1.5 Types of post-tensioning systems

In most post-tensioned construction, the pre-stressing tendons are embedded in the

concrete before the concrete is cast. These posttensioned systems can be either bonded
or unbonded.

1.5.1Bonded Post-Tensioning Systems

Bonded post-tensioning systems consist of tendons with multiple 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 conditions and system
used the strands may be installed before the concrete is placed or the ducts may be
installed without the strands. The strands are then pulled or pushed through the ducts.
Once the concrete has hardened the tendons are stressed and the ducts filled with
grout. Inlets and outlets are provided at high/low points to ensure that the grout fills
the ducts completely.Figure(1.5) shows the components of a typical multistrand
grouted system.The grout provides an alkaline environment and protects the
prestressing strands from corrosion.It also bonds the strands to the surrounding

Figure(1-5) shows the components of a typical multistrand grouted system.

chapter one Introduction

1.5.1 Unbonded Post-Tensioning Systems

The tendons in an un-bonded system typically consist of single-strands that are coated
with a corrosion-inhibiting coating and protected by extruded plastic sheathing. This
allows the strand to move inside the plastic sheathing and prevents ingress of water.
The strands are anchored to the concrete using ductile iron anchors and hardened steel
wedges. The tendon is supported by chairs and bolsters along its length to maintain
the desired profile. Figure (1-6) shows the typical components and construction
sequence for an unbonded system. Depending on the exposure of the single-strand
unbonded system it can be classified as a standard or an encapsulated system.
Encapsulated systems are required for aggressive environments where there is a
possibility of tendon exposure to chlorides or other deleterious substances.
Encapsulated tendons are designed to prevent any ingress of water during and after

Figure (1-6) the typical components and construction sequence for an unbonded system

chapter one Introduction

1.6 Components of a tendon

Post-tensioning systems can be broadly divided into three categories-single strand,

mullistrand, or bar, depending on the type of prestressing steel used.The entire
assembly of high-strength prestressing steel. End anchorage, P/T coating, fixed end
anchorage. Stressing end anchorage, and intermediate anchorage for long tendons and
the duct is referred to as a “tendon.”In a multistrand system. Multiple strands are
typically installed in a single duct.Multistrand anchors are specially designed devices
that are supplied by the post-tensioning supplier. These devices are intended to anchor
multiple strands to concrete and are specially designed to accommodate the
concentrated forces produced in the anchorage zone.

1.6.1 Prestressing Steel:

The prestressing steel used in a post-tensioning system can be either strand or bar.

Strand for post-tensioning is made of high tensile strength steel wire. A strand is
comprised of 7 individual wires, wrapping six wires around a central straight wire.All
strand should be Grade 1860 Mpa (270 ksi) low relaxation, seven-wire strand
conforming to the requirements of ASTM A416 “Standard Specification for Steel
Strand, Uncoated Seven Wire Strand for Prestressed Concrete.” ASTM A416
provides minimum requirements for mechanical properties (yield, breaking strength,
elongation) and maximum allowable dimensional tolerances. Strand is most
commonly availablein two nominal sizes,12.7mm (0.5in) and 15.2mm
(0.6in)diameter, with nominal cross sectional areas of 99mm2and 140mm2 (0.153 and
0.217 square inches), respectively.Though the majority of post-tensioning hardware
and stressing equipment is based on these sizes, the use of 15.7mm (0.62in) diameter
strand has been increasing.Strand size tolerances may result in strands being

chapter one Introduction

manufactured consistently smaller than, or larger than nominal values. Recognizing

this,“Acceptance Standards for Post-Tensioning Systems” (Post-Tensioning Institute,
1998) refers to the “Minimum Ultimate Tensile Strength” (MUTS), which is the
minimum specified breaking force for a strand. Strand size tolerance may also affect
strand-wedge action leading to possible wedge slip if the wedges and strands are at
opposite ends of the size tolerance range.Strand conforming to ASTM A416 is
relatively resistant to stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement due to the cold
drawing process. However, since susceptibility to corrosion increases with increasing
tensile strength, caution is necessary if strand is exposed to corrosive conditions such
as marine environments and solutions containing chloride or sulfate, phosphate,
nitrate ions or similar. Consequently, ASTM A416 requires proper protection of
strand throughout manufacture, shipping and handling. Protection during the project,
before and after installation, should be specified in project drawings and

Figure (1-7) Steel tendons used in Post Tensioning of Slab

chapter one Introduction

Table(1-1) Common specifications of strands according to ASTM A416 Bars

Prestressing bars typically have an ultimate strength of 1035 mpa (150 ksi). And
diameters ranging from 0.625 in. To 2.5 in. Couplers are used to connect bars and
lengthen the bar tendons. The types and configurations of bars vary by suppliers. Bar
tendons are typically used when short, straight tendons are required.

1.6.2 Anchorages

Anchorages are mechanical devices that transmit the tendon force to the concrete. For
single-strand tendons this includes wedges that grip the strands and a bearing plate
that transfers the tendon force to the concrete. Flat plate bearing directly against
concrete with nuts are used in bar systems as shown in figure(1-8)

chapter one Introduction

Figure (1-8) Post-Tensioning Anchorage System Stressing End Anchorages

Stressing end anchors are used to stress the strand on site. A pocket former is typically
used during forming and casting operations to embed the stressing anchors in the
concrete. After stressing, the tendon tails are cut, and the pocket is grouted with non-
shrink grout to prevent the ingress of water.

Figure(1.9 ) Stressing End Anchorages assembly

chapter one Introduction Fixed End Anchorages

For unbonded systems. The fixed-end anchorages are typically installed at the
fabrication facility before the tendons are shipped to the project site. This involves
stressing the tendon to a specified load to seat the wedges securely in the anchor. This
ensures that no slippage occurs at the fixed end during the stressing operation. Fixed-
end anchorages are used when the tendon is stressed from one end only. Proprietary
anchorage systems are commonly used in multistrand systems. For multistrand
tendons. The anchorage at the fixed end can be achieved by splaying the strands or
bonding the strand to the concrete for a sufficient length beyond the end of the
member .

Figure (1.10) Fixed End Anchorages Intermediate Anchorages

When the tendon is very long, or for staged construction. It may be necessary to
provide a construction joint along the length of the tendon. An intermediate anchorage
is required to stress the strand at a construction joint.

chapter one Introduction

Figure (1.11) intermediate stressing anchorages for unbonded.

1.6.3 P/T Coating

Strands in unbonded construction are coated with a corrosion inhibiting material that
typically consists of special grease. The coating is usually applied to the strand as a
part of the extrusion process. It acts as a barrier for ingress of water, inhibits corrosion
of the steel and lubricates the strand so that it can move independently of the
surrounding concrete.

1.6.4 Grout

In bonded construction the ducts containing the strands are filled with cement grout
as soon as possible after stressing of the tendons. The grout serves several important
functions. First the grout bonds the strand to the duct and hence to the surrounding
concrete, facilitating the transfer of force between the tendon and the concrete.
Second the grout provides a cementitious cover that slows the ingress of water and
corrosion causing contaminants. Third the alkalinity of the grout creates a passive
environment for steel, further inhibiting corrosion. To be effective, the grout must
essentially fill the voids in the tendon. To do so, it must be fluid enough to be easily
pumped over long distances in confined spaces without excessively high pumping
pressure that could burst the duct or damage the structure, and it must maintain its
fluidity during the grouting operations.

chapter one Introduction

1.6.5 Duct/Sheathing

Ducts are used in bonded and, in some cases, in external post-tensioning to provide a
void that permits the installation and stressing of strands after the concrete has been
placed and hardened. The ducts also provide protection to the post-tensioning strands
after construction. Ducts for post-tensioning systems can be either rigid or semi-rigid
and made from ferrous metal, High Density Polyethylene Pipe (HDPE) for External
Tendons or Polypropylene(PP) .Ducts may be round, oval or flat. For bonded post-
tensioning, the ducts are corrugated to facilitate the transfer of force between the
tendon and the concrete. Use of HDPE or PP ducts is recommended for corrosive
environments. Plastic ducts provide a noncorrosive impermeable barrier between the
concrete and the grout. Metallic ducts are usually galvanized to provide a degree of
corrosion protection both before and after construction. Galvanized ferrous ducts also
provide a barrier to water ingress but are not impermeable and may corrode over time
in aggressive environments. This may lead to an increase in the penetration of
moisture and chlorides or other deleterious substances, potentially reducing the long-
term durability of the structure.

Plastic sheathing is used for unbonded post-tensioning. Polyethylene is directly

extruded onto individual strands that are coated with P/T coating Figure(1.12) The
plastic sheathing provides a barrier that is in direct contact with the concrete and
permits the lubricated strand to slide independently during stressing and service
loading. The plastic must be impermeable to water and other corrosion causing
contaminants such as chloride or other deleterious substances, and serves as a barrier
to corrosion. The sheathing must also be sufficiently durable to permit handling the
field and stressing without causing breaks and tears that would expose the underlying
steel strand.

chapter one Introduction

Fig (1.12) bounded and unbounded system

chapter one Introduction

1.6 Types of Post-tension slabs

Structural two way slabs may be classified as follows:

Floor system and layout of post- Tension Typical span range Typical COMMENTS
tendons (column center-to-
Flat Plate • Lowest formwork cost
Light: • Flexibility in column arrangement
Up to • Flat ceiling
5 KN/m2 • Greatest flexibility in under-ceiling
To services layout
(6 to 9m)
Medium: • Must efficient if bay size is
5-10KN/m2 approximately square
• Load path easy to visualize
• Punching shear strength can be
Bands in one direction, and uniformly distributed
increased using stud rails, shear
tendons in the other
heads, or conventional shear

chapter one Introduction

Flat slab with column capitals Light: • Effective system for increasing
Up to punching shear capacity if
5 KN/m2 architectural considerations permit
To • Small caps have minor effect on
(8 to 11) m
Medium: flexural behavior
Bands in one direction, and uniformly distributed
tendons in the other

Flat slab with Drop panels • Larger drop panels can be effective
Light: in reducing flexural reinforcement
Up to • Normally used for longer spans
5 KN/m2
(9 to 12) m
Bands in one direction, and uniformly distributed 5-10KN/m2
tendons in the other

chapter one Introduction

Slab with slab band Light:

• Can be very effective in panels with
Up to
rectangular aspect ratios
5 KN/m2
• two-way behavior must be justified
(8 to 14) m to avoid more restrictive one-way
code requirements
Bands in one direction, and uniformly distributed 5-10KN/m2
tendons in the other .
Waffle slab with Drops Medium:
• Very effective for heavy loading
and relatively long spans
(9 to 18) m • Most efficient if bay size is
approximately square

Ribs both ways

Note: ideally the" drops" and "ribs" haw the same

chapter two literature review

Chapter two
Literature review

The capitals and/or drop panels are generally applied to strengthen the slab-column
conjunction and improve its punching shear resistance. Introducing these strengthening
detailing in two-way post-tensioned slab structures changes the stiffness and moment
for using the equivalent frame analysis and causes two additional pre-stressing
equivalent loads: upward point load and concentrated moment at the interfaces between
columns and/or capitals and drop panels. Wei Zhou [ ] used a moment-area procedure
to analyze a slab-beam with step haunches, rotational stiffness, carry over and fixed-
end moments of a flat slab with capitals and/or drop panels. The design factors that
derived represent in graphical tables and used Equivalent Frame Method (EFM) for
analyzing and designing two-way post-tensioned slabs. Both of equivalent pre-stressing
loads: a point load and/or a concentrated moment were evaluated for the stiffer column-
slab conjunction region due to tensioning pre-stressing tendons. The expressions of two
equivalent loads due to pre-stress were derived in result of the dimension of member
end and pre-stressing effect. Compared to a prismatic member, a stiffer column-slab
joint region increases the stiffness and carryover factor, and influences fixed-end
moment of slab under gravity and pre-stressing loads. Herein five kinds of equivalent
loads were required to analyze the inner force due to post-tensioning the tendons,
including partially uniform loads, horizontal compression loads applied at both of ends,
additional pre-stressing equivalent load.

chapter two literature review

Fig. (2-1) Pre-stressing equivalent load.

Faria , Lúcio and Pinho Ramos[ ] they studied a new flat slab strengthening technique
based on post-tensioning with anchorages by bonding using an epoxy adhesive. The main
advantages of this technique over the traditional pre-stress strengthening systems that use
mechanical anchorages are that it did not need external permanent anchorages, meaning
that the forces are introduced into the concrete gradually instead of being localized,
thereby preserving aesthetics and useable space. They used the seven tested slab models
show that this technique met its objective as it is able to reduce reinforcement strains at
service loads by up to 80% if the strengthening technique is applied in two directions and
slab deformations by up to 70%, consequently making crack widths smaller. It can also
increase punching load capacity by as much as 51% when compared to non-strengthened

Mohamed H.AbuGazia, Mahmoud El-Kateb, Tamer Elafandy and Amr

Abdelrahman[ ], they proposed the strengthening continuous slabs using external pre-
stressing .It is one of the widely used methods of enhancing the flexural strength of the

chapter two literature review

Reinforced Concrete (RC) slabs since it is fast, effective, and economic compared to
other strengthening techniques. An experimental investigation was conducted on two-
span continuous slabs strengthened with externally pre-stressed steel strands using
different profiles. The ultimate load of the strengthened slabs increased significantly due
to using external pre-stressing. Stitching the external pre-stressing strand in the slab at
the zones of high stresses (at the intermediate support and mid span regions) resulted in
a significant increase of the flexural capacity with less values of deflection and cracks.

The un-bonded post-tension (UPT) method has been often applied to continuous flexural
members (e.g., slabs and beams), where tendons are typically placed continuously
through the supports. Most of the previous studies, however, focused on simply
supported UPT flexural members, whereas little research has been performed on
continuous UPT members. Moreover, as the few existing studies on continuous beams
mainly aimed at strength prediction, the results of these studies are not applicable to
examine the service load behavior of UPT members. They also did not reflect the moment
redistribution phenomenon in continuous members, which is quite important to
accurately predict the flexural strength and behavior of continuous UPT members.
Therefore, a flexural behavior model for continuous UPT members has been proposed
by Kang Su Kim and Deuck Hang Lee [ ] , which is a nonlinear analysis model that
reflects the moment redistribution. The accuracy of the proposed analysis model for
flexural behavior of the continuous UPT members was consistent, regardless of the
tendon profiles, the types of the applied load, and the shapes of the section. It was also
confirmed that the proposed analysis model could also be applied to the cases of the
internal and external post-tension method and of the various reinforcement indices of the
members. The effect of the loading types on the flexural behavior of continuous UPT
members was reflected by using the curvature distribution in the maximum moment

chapter two literature review

region and the area of bending moment diagram, which were considered to be relatively
simple and rational, based on the analysis results, also reflected the moment redistribution
phenomenon utilizing the bending moment distribution along the member and the
flexural stiffness ratio.

Fig. (2.2) stress–strain distribution at each loading stage.

Dezsõ Hegyi - András Árpád Sipos [ ] They designed a post-tensioned concrete

cantilever slab with a 6.50 m free span supported by columns for a villa near Pécs. The
shape and number of the bonded strands were determined to balance the dead load of the
structure by the transversal component of the pre-stressing force. The deflections
measured on finished structure were in good agreement with the approximated values of
the structural calculation. During the design they investigated some other structural
possibilities as well and found that the 350 mm thick slab is the most efficient solution
for the problem. The final solution is definitely the thinnest compared to the other variants
namely the system of steel beams (HEA members, the thickness is 400 mm) or a
reinforced concrete slab strengthened by beams (the thickness is at least 550 mm).

chapter two literature review

Erez[ ] studied the factors affecting the increase in tendon stress at nominal strength,
∆ƒps, in un-bonded partially pre-stressed continuous concrete members. It described a
nonlinear numerical model that capable of predicting the response up to failure of un-
bonded, partially pre-stressed continuous concrete beams and it presented a comparison
of results from the model against test data. Loading pattern, type of loading and degree
of concrete confinement are shown by means of a parametric study to have a significant
effect on the tendon stress at ultimate. Finally, modifications were suggested to the
current A23.3-94 Canadian Code equation for predicting the tendon stress at ultimate in
concrete members pre-stressed with un-bonded tendons, in order to consider the
contribution from all plastic hinges likely to develop under a particular pattern of loading.
A comparison between test data and predictions according to provisions in the Canadian
and the American Codes (A 23.3-94and ACI-3183) revealed a poor agreement. The
pattern of loading appeared to have a significant influence on the value of, ∆ƒps, because
the increase in tendon stress is directly related to the maximum number of plastic hinges
that can be developed under a given pattern of loading. The larger the number of hinges,
the larger is the increase in tendon stress. The change in tendon stress was influenced by
the type of loading. Significantly higher values of, ∆ƒps were predicted when the member
was subjected to a two-point loads per span or a uniformly distributed load, than when a
single-point load per span was applied.


chapter three Methodology

Chapter three

3.1 Introduction

This chapter covers the fundamentals of post-tensioned concrete design for building
structures and learn about the load balancing concept, hyperstatic moments, pre-stress
losses, the basic requirements of the American Concrete Institute’s Building Code
Requirements for Structural Concrete, and nominal flexure and shear capacities of
post-tensioned members

3.2 The Load Balancing Method

The load balancing method is the most widely used technique to design post-tensioned
concrete beams and slabs. In the load balancing method, a portion of the design load is
selected to be "balanced", or carried, by the action of the tendons. The balanced load is
commonly taken as 80% of the dead load. The required force in the tendons to carry the
balanced load is easily calculated using statics. The concrete member is then analyzed
using conventional structural analysis techniques with the equivalent set of tendon loads
acting on the member in combination with other externally applied design loads, such as
dead load and live load.

Let's consider the free body diagram at mid-span of the following simple span beam with
a draped tendon with force P . Note that the common simplifying assumption made in
post-tensioned concrete analysis is that the tendon force acts in the horizontal direction at
the ends of the member and the small vertical component, if any, can be ignored or is
transferred directly to the support. Note that the shear force at the right side of the free

chapter three Methodology

body diagram is zero since this occurs at the mid-span of a simple span beam with a
uniformly distributed load.

If we sum the moments about the force P at the left support, we get:

∑ =0

× = ×

= Eq(3.1)

The load balancing concept is further illustrated in the figure below, which shows a
simply supported beam and a tendon with a parabolic profile. The beam shown in the
first figure below may be analyzed with an equivalent set of tendon loads acting on the
member as shown in the second figure. Thus, the equivalent loads acting on the beam
consist of the axial force P, an upward uniform load of w, and a clockwise moment M at
the left end due to the eccentricity of the tendon with respect to the neutral axis of the

chapter three Methodology

Parabolic Tendon Drape

Equivalent Tendon Loads Applied to Beam

Note that reactions are induced at both ends to keep the system in equilibrium.
If we sum the moments about the left support, we get:

∑ =0

× × − − × =0

chapter three Methodology

− =

And if we sum the vertical forces we find the left reaction is:

+ =

Note that the vertical component of the applied pre-stressing force is neglected. This is

practical since the tendons are customarily horizontal, or very nearly horizontal, at the

end of the members, and the vertical component is usually small.

As we have seen, a draped tendon profile supports, or balances, a uniformly distributed

load. Now let's consider a beam that is required to support a concentrated load. In the

case of a concentrated load on a beam, a concentrated balancing load would be ideal.

This can be achieved by placing the pre-stressing tendons in a harped profile. This

concept using harped tendons is illustrated in the figure below.

Harped Tendon Drape

chapter three Methodology

3.3 Load Balancing in Continuous Structures

Let's now turn our attention to the load balancing concept applied to continuous
structures, post-tensioning in continuous structures induces secondary , or so-called
hyperstatic, forces in the members. Consider the figure below. In real continuous
structures, the tendon profile is usually a downward parabola at the supports and an
upward parabola between supports such that the tendon drape is a smooth curve from end
to end. The tendon curve changes at an inflection point. This tendon configuration
actually places an equivalent downward load on the beam near the supports between
inflection points while an upward equivalent load acts on the beam elsewhere, as shown
in the figure below. This type of reverse loading can be taken into account in computer
analysis, where a more rigorous approach to the structural analysis can be
accommodated. However, for hand and more approximate calculations, tendon drapes
are idealized as a single upward parabolic drape in each span.

Usual Parabolic Tendon Drape

Equivalent Loads for a Reverse Parabolic Tendon Drape

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Now let's consider the figure below, which shows a two span continuous beam with a
cantilever on the right end. Each span has a different tendon drape as shown

Idealized Continuous Parabolic Tendon Drape

As in the previous examples, the continuous beam shown above may be analyzed with
an equivalent set of tendon loads acting on the member. Thus, the equivalent loads acting
on the each beam span due to the pre-stressing force in the tendons consist of the axial
force P and an upward uniform load. Since the tendon force, P , acts at the neutral axis at
the ends of the beam in this example, there are no end moments induced due to the
eccentricity of the tendon. The diagram on the following page shows the equivalent set
of tendon loads acting on the beam for the diagram above. Note that the drape "a" in span
1 is not equal to the drape "b" in span 2. Drape "c" in the right cantilever is also different.
If we assume that the tendons are continuous throughout all spans of the beam, then the
post-tensioning force, P , is also constant throughout all spans. Therefore, for a given
post-tensioning force, P , we may balance a different amount of load in each span,
depending on the drape in each span and the span length, according to the equation (3.1).
However, it is not usually desirable or practical to balance different loads in each span.
Nor is it practical to apply a different post-tensioning force in each span to balance the

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same load in each span, except in end spans or in spans adjacent to a construction joint,
where tendons can be added. Therefore, the drape can be adjusted in each span to balance
the same amount of load in each span. Thus, for a given post-tensioning force and
balanced load, we can find the required drape

= Eq(3.2)

3.4 Introduction to Hyperstatic (Secondary) Forces

Hyperstatic, or secondary, forces are the forces generated in a statically indeterminate
structure by the action of the post-tensioning. Generally, hyperstatic forces are generated
due to support restraint. Hyperstatic forces are not generated in a statically determinate
structure. It is important to isolate the hyperstatic forces as they are treated with a separate
load factor when considering ultimate strength design.

Let's consider the two span post-tensioned beam in the following illustration. We know
from previous examples that the tendon force will create an upward uniformly distributed
load acting on the beam as shown in the figure. If the center support were not there, the
beam would deflect upward due to the post-tensioning force. Since the center support is
there, and it is assumed that it resists the upward deflection of the beam, a downward
reaction is induced at the center support solely due to the post tensioning force.

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The next figure shows the deflected shape of the two-span beam due to the posttensioning
force (ignoring self-weight) as if the center support were not there. In order to
theoretically bring the beam back down to the center support, a force equal to the center
reaction would have to be applied to the beam. This induces a hyperstatic moment in the
beam. The hyperstatic moment diagram is illustrated below for the two span beam in this
example. Note that the hyperstatic moment varies linearly from support to support. An
example of a three-span hyperstatic moment diagram is also illustrated below.

Theoretical Deflected Shape due to Post-Tensioning

Hyperstatic Moment Diagram for a 2-Span Beam

Hyperstatic Moment Diagram for a 3-Span Beam

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Note that the above example assumes that the beam is supported by frictionless pin
supports and therefore no moments can be transferred into the supports by the beam.
However, in real structures, the post-tensioned beam or slab is normally built integrally
with the supports such that hypersatic moments are also induced in support columns or
walls. Hyperstatic moments in support members are normally ignored in hand and
approximate calculations, but can and should be accounted for in post-tensioning
computer software. Thus, when designing supporting columns or walls in posttensioned
structures, it is important to take into account hyperstatic moments induced by post-
tensioning forces. The above illustrations serve to introduce the concept and source of
hypersatic forces in continuous post-tensioned structures. The hyperstatic moment at a
particular section of a member is defined as the difference between the balanced load
moment and the primary moment. We refer to the primary moment as M1 and this is
the moment due to the eccentricity of the post-tensioning force with respect to the
neutral axis of the member at any given section. In equation form,


MHYP=MBAL - P×e Eq. (3.3)

Consider the two-span post-tensioned beam shown below. As we have seen previously,
the beam can be analyzed with equivalent loads due to the tendon force. The draped
tendons with force P may be replaced with an equivalent upward acting uniform load of
8Pa/L2. When the two-span beam is analyzed using this load, a moment diagram is
developed as illustrated below. This is called the balanced moment diagram. Recall that
the sign convention results in a negative moment when tension is in the top.

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Equivalent Loading Due to Post-Tensioning

Using our sign conventions, we can construct a primary moment diagram for momentsM1.
The primary moment is obtained from the product of the post tensioning force times its
eccentricity with respect to the neutral axis of the beam at any given section. Thus,
referring to the diagram above, the primary moment at the center support is P × e1 and the
primary moment at the mid-span of each span is P × e2 According to our sign conventions,
the primary moment at the center support is positive.

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Now we can determine the hyperstatic moments using the equation (3.3)at the center
support, we obtain

MHYP= Pa-Pe1

Near the mid-span of each span we have

MHYP=− + Pe

Figure ( )Hyperstatic Moment Diagram