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Under The Guidance of: Prof. K.JAYARAM Prof. & Head Department of Civil Engineering



Introduction How to make prestressed concrete Advantages Difference between RCC & PSC

PSC in Construction Industry


Eugene freyssinet(1879-1962)

The beginning

Eugene Freyssinet (1879-1962) devoted much of his life to the research development and construction of prestressed concrete structures and is rightly named the father of prestressed concrete. It is through his dedicated research that many of the techniques and practices used today to build spectacular and aesthetic structures are possible. Freyssinet achieved the first success with prestressed concrete in marine construction, having secured the tender to correct the threatened foundations of the LeHarve marine terminal using prestress techniques.

La grande arch in Paris was constructed using massive 70m span post tensioned I beams to carry the upper decks of three floors. Precast pretensioned hollow formed slabs

Prestressed concrete is used today for large building works in many civil engineering fields such as ..


Roads Buildings Bridges Water Energy Public facilities etc..


A prestressed concrete member is one in which there have been introduced internal stresses of such a magnitude, and also distribution, that the stresses resulting from external loading are counteracted to a desired degree. WHY PRESTRESS ? Prestressing applies an initial compressive axial force to the concrete which greatly reduces or eliminates the internal stresses. It does this applying a tensile stress to a steel cable running through the concrete. The steel cable is then anchored and the compressive force is then transferred to the concrete by the bond forces

The benefits of prestressing are :1. 2.


Cracking is greatly reduced or eliminated, and Applying the prestressing force below the neutral axis induces the moments which oppose those caused by the externally applied loads, thus significantly reducing deflection. Member sections are smaller than reinforced concrete sections for the same imposed loads..

Based on the method of applying prestress to the concrete member, the Prestressing can be classified as:-



Pre tensioning is one method of applying prestress,thus

Tendons either pass through a single mould or a line of moulds for multiple members arranged end to end and can be attached at one end to fixed anchorage. The tendons are then tensioned from the fixed anchorage between an external independent anchorage to give the required tensile force in the tendon. The tendons are then held in place while the concrete is poured. When the concrete has hardened sufficiently the ends of the tendons are slowly released from the anchorages.The tendons are restrained from gaining their original length by the development of bond stresses between the concrete and the tendon, and it is these bond stresses that transfer the compressive stress to the concrete.

The tendons are then finally trimmed off as shown below.


Post-Tensioning is another method of applying prestress to a concrete member, thus-

The tendon is placed in the correct position in the formwork with the deadend anchorage and live end anchorage, through which the tendon passes. The concrete is then poured and left to harden. When the concrete has gained sufficient strength a jack is attached to the live end anchorage and the tendon stressed to the required force. The operation is to be carefully done as any error could impair the structural integrity of the member. The tension force in the tendon is transferred to the concrete as a compressive force by the reactions at the anchorages.The jack is then removed.

Dead-end anchorage

To prevent the tendon from slipping back it is locked into the anchorage by means of a split wedge located in the barrel of the recessed anchorage.

Tendons used for prestressing generally consists of several high strength steel wires of small diameter wrapped around a similar wire.

This is called a prestressing strand / Tendons. Made of high strength steel, it will soon be embedded in concrete.

1. 2.

Based on how the tendons are used ,they can be classified as Bonded tendons Unbonded tendons. Bonded tendons can also be used. The process is essentially the same except that the prestressing force is transferred to the concrete both by reactions at the anchorages and by the bond stresses between the concrete and the bonded tendon. Unbonded tendons are normally assembled under factory conditions. They consists of strands or wires that are wrapped or encased in plastic having been first coated with grease or a bituminous material.

In this floor construction bonded tendons are provided in the beams and the unbonded tendons in the ribs of the trough slab.


The photograph shows the tendon layout for a posttensioned flat slab.

The tendons are placed in position before the concrete is poured.When the concrete has gained sufficient strength, the tendons are jacked to a predetermined prestress force.

When concrete has gained sufficient strength the tendon is stressed and then the sleeve is filled with grout under pressure through tubes placed at intervals along the sleeve. The grout bonds the tendons to the sleeve thus enabling the transfer of stress from the tendons to the concrete.

How Prestressed concrete is made

It all begins at the prestressed concrete plant.

The prestressing strand is stretched across the casting bed.

Anchorages embedded in the concrete member are generally required only for post tensioning. Pre tensioned members are manufactured and are anchored by bond stresses rather than anchorages.

One anchorage simply holds the end of the tendon in position , while the other is used with the jack to stress the tendon. Each anchorage is attached to the end of the tendon before the concrete is poured .The type of anchorage used depends on the number of tendons and whether they are strands or wires.

A prestressing jack is attached to the outside plate of the anchorage through which the ends of the tendons project. Once the jack has been connected to the tendons, stressing can begin. The predetermined stressing force can be applied to each tendon individually. The force is applied according to the design engineers specifications.

Special trucks bring the concrete to the casting bed where the pouring begins.

Once the pouring is complete, a tarp is placed over the form and applied to cure the cement

The prestressing strands are cut and the concrete form is removed from the casting bed.

The ends are cleaned and the prestressing strands are sealed with a protective coating

The end-product is shipped to a building site.

Bond Stresses

The prestress force in a bonded tendon is transferred to the concrete by bond stresses. There are two stages at which bond stresses are considered in the design of prestressed concrete elements.

At Transfer, the tendons of a predetermined element are released, and the prestress force is transferred to the concrete by bond stresses. Flexural bond stresses develop when members are subjected to external loading. However ,such stresses are likely to be negligible until the member has developed flexural cracks.


Improved resistance to shearing forces Reduce the shear forces developed at the support sections Stiffer Indirect long term savings is more. Economy for long span structures


Tensile Strength Stiffness Shear Cracking & deflection Serviceability Economy Safety

Prestressed concrete in construction industry

It is well established fact that the basic economy of prestressed concrete lies in its high strength to weight and strength to cost ratios , its resistance to fire & corrosion, & its versatility and adaptability.

It is ideally suited for

Long span Bridges Multistory buildings-Flat slabs

Highway 50 Bridge over Osage River in Missouri Land Crossing West Span and Abutment

The Flat Slab flooring system incorporates prestressed concrete units designed for easy and fast placement while requiring the minimum on site work to obtain a finished floor and ceiling.

The large component units are craned into position, providing an immediate working platform which, with the addition of an in situ concrete topping, gives a suspended floor with a flat, steel formed soffit. Temporary propping is required for longer spans.


How to deal with the low tensile strength of concrete by prestressing the member. The mechanics of the prestressing system using a row of books as example. How the prestressing force is applied to a member at site. A brief history of the development of prestressing from its inventor Eugene Freyssinet up to the modern day. The methods of prestressingPre tensioned prestressing, Post tensioned Prestressing, Bonded and unbonded tendons, Anchorages, Bond stresses.