Post-tensioning is a concrete reinforcing method that is superior to strengthening with rebar alone. Since the 1950s, contractors and engineers have designed and built new buildings using post-tensioning methods. However, post-tension is a concrete strengthening technique that can also be used to repair existing concrete structures, and it is our number one specialty at Texas Strengthening Technologies.
Here are five reasons for considering post-tension building methods when constructing or repairing your concrete structure.
Lower Costs of Repairs
Post-tensioned concrete uses steel cables embedded inside the concrete or installed externally to strengthen concrete slabs, beams, and columns. The wires are pulled into tension after the concrete is poured. As a result, post-tension technology reduces the amount of rebar and concrete needed to build structures, lowering the overall costs of construction.
For example, by installing post-tension cables, the amount of rebar needed in a concrete floor can be reduced up to 70 percent, along with the labor costs for installing it. Similarly, the thinner slabs made possible in post-tensioned floors can reduce the amount of concrete needed by up to 20 percent. In addition, with the use of post-tensioning techniques in slabs, the beams and columns used to support the floor can be spaced farther apart and constructed using fewer building materials, further reducing costs.
Improved Performance Over Time
Another important consideration is how well the concrete structure performs over its lifespan. Post-tension repairs improve the performance of concrete buildings during earthquakes, so the structure is less likely to need repairs after a shaker.
Post-tensioned slabs also hold up better in areas with unstable soils, common in many areas of the western United States. When a slab is constructed using post-tension technology, there is a considerably lower chance of sagging or cracking as the ground beneath it shifts over time.
This advantage makes post-tensioned slabs far superior to conventional slabs in areas with expansive and unstable soil types. Because the steel cables used in post-tensioning absorb much of the live and dead load in the building, fewer cracks develop over time. Fewer cracks in slabs and beams result in less water entering the concrete and rusting rebar, leading to costly repairs later on.
Faster Construction Time
When a repair is done to a concrete structure using post-tensioning techniques, the repairs can often be completed in less time. It takes less time because fewer materials are needed for shoring and bracing the concrete forms. Therefore, the time for installing and removing temporary bracing is significantly reduced.
Installing rebar in concrete structures is also time-consuming. However, with less need for rebar, less time is required to prepare the site for concrete placement. For example, in non-tensioned slabs, workers must install up to seven pounds of rebar in every square foot. In comparison, in a slab with post-tension cables, only two to three pounds of rebar are required in the same area.
More Choices in Architectural Design
A whole range of aesthetic architectural possibilities opens up when you build with post-tensioned concrete construction. This building technique allows you to construct a more open floor plan layout with fewer support walls and posts.
In addition, it is simpler and more cost-effectively to install cantilevered balconies and similar attractive design details. In parking garages, having fewer supporting columns also creates better lighting, improving safety in the building.
Post-Tensioned Concrete is More Eco-Friendly
Cement manufacturing is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases, and steel manufacturing is another energy-intensive operation. With less concrete and steel involved in construction, your final building project and repairs will be more environmentally-friendly.
Your Post-Tension Concrete Repair Experts
Texas Strengthening Technologies is your expert and specialist in all types of post-tensioned concrete repair and construction. We also inspect and modify buildings with existing post-tensioned structures, and we travel everywhere in the continental U.S. to do this work.
If you have a car dealership, a high rise, a parking garage, or any other concrete building in need of structural repair, we can show you the advantages of using post-tensioned concrete to get the job done faster, greener, and more economically