Conco is now one of the largest reinforcing steel and post tension cable suppliers in the Western U.S. Our high-quality post tension (PT) cable meets precise engineering specifications and provides a great value to customers throughout Northern California, Southern California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. So what is post tensioning and how is it used in concrete construction?
Post tensioning is the process of using high-strength, prestressed steel cables or tendons to actively reinforce concrete and apply compression after concrete is poured. Once the concrete has hardened, the cables are tensioned, or pulled tight with hydraulic jacks and anchored to the outside edges of the concrete. Pre-tensioned concrete, according to Wikipedia, “is cast around steel tendons—cables or bars—while they are under tension. The concrete bond to the tendons as it cures, and when the tension is released it is transferred to the concrete as compression by static friction.”
The job of fabricating, assembling, and installing PT cable requires highly skilled workers and specialized tools. Post tensioned concrete has all the same attributes of reinforced concrete but is used in projects that call for thinner slabs or when a greater span length is called for between support columns. Many projects could not be done without the use of post tensioning, and it is often the choice for parking structures as it allows flexibility in the design of ramps and span lengths. The system is also commonly used in stadiums, bridges, and office and apartment buildings.
Additionally post tensioning reduces the amount of beams needed and allows beams to be placed the full length of a structure rather than from column to column. Since slabs and other structural members can be constructed thinner, they require less concrete, and thereby, reduce the overall weight of a structure. It also reduces or eliminates shrinkage cracking and is considered to be active reinforcement.
For over 50 years, Conco has been providing premium concrete services and is one of the most trusted concrete contractors in Seattle. We partner with clients on every project from the pre-construction stage right through to final completion to maximize efficiency and ensure goals and budgets are met. Our concrete services include commercial, educational, parking and other construction development as well as public works projects.