What are Prestressed Concrete Structures?
A prestressed concrete structure is defined as a building or structure where the overall integrity, stability, and security depend upon pre-stressing. Prestressed concrete structures can take many forms. Some of the most notable forms are listed below:
- High-rise buildings – Prestressed concrete is especially useful in high-rise buildings due to its ability to be strong but malleable. Tall structures like high rises are safest if they are not overly top heavy, but they still require very stable building materials. Prestressed concrete meets those needs perfectly.
- Underground structures – Prestressed concrete often is used in the support beams of underground structures. The amount of weight placed on a subterranean construct by the earth and other structures that sit above it can be great, so prestressed concrete’s superior strength and durability are a good choice to endow those structures with an added element of sustained security.
- Television towers – Because concrete isn’t a conductor of electricity and television towers must stand tall, pre-stressing for their sake is very important. The durable concrete safeguards the equipment within the tower and keeps the relatively thin structure sturdy.
- Power stations – A power station needs to guard its electrical ware above all else, and prestressed concrete is a great way to do that. The concrete itself has an unmatched strength and durability that can withstand multiple weather fluctuations and other potentially corrosive elements.
Prestressed concrete can also be used to create floating storage, offshore facilities, nuclear reactor vessels, and various bridge systems. This is due to its ability to weather many different types of damage and hold strong under high weight and pressure.
Benefits of Prestressed Concrete Structures
There are multiple ways that employing prestressed concrete can be beneficial to designers and construction crews alike. One of the primary benefits of incorporating this sort of material is the lower construction cost. Because labor is less intensive than it would be in other types of construction projects, labor costs are dramatically reduced. Moreover, fewer materials and less energy are needed to go into the production of this type of concrete since it is crafted within a mold and premade. It can readily be transported into its place. Since the structures are not made on-site, the materials are easily moved to the desired location and installed with minimal effort.
Another great feature of using prestressed concrete is the ability to build larger and stronger structures. This is made possible by the customizable, versatile, and extremely durable nature of concrete that is prepared in this way. Large buildings, like high rises, are particularly good candidates, as the prestressed concrete can be thin without losing its strength. Prestressed concrete also facilitates improved performance under dynamic and fatigue loading.
The versatile strength of the concrete allows it to bear a range of weights and handle transportation under many different conditions. It is a relatively malleable yet exceedingly strong material that can be applied and transported easily and with little cost to the designer or builder. Bridges, electrical housings, load bearing structures, and underground construction can all benefit from the use of prestressed concrete. It is a stronger concrete than any other available and is meticulously strengthened and reinforced.