Three Benefits Of Using Post Tensioning Techniques Over Rebar

Reinforcing concrete helps it stand up to various forces such as earthquakes and tornadoes. However, there are several different methods and techniques for each method. You can use rebar, but rebar is much more rigid and best used for concrete slabs that lay flat. For concrete walls, post tensioning is better because it strengthens the concrete while giving it a little room to flex. Here are some benefits of using post-tension techniques:

The Concrete Gets Pre-Stressed

Post-tensioning pre-stresses the concrete, which means it makes the almost dry concrete pull apart just a wee bit. Additional concrete is added to the stressed layer underneath, which fills in any tiny cracks while adding the final layers to the surface. Pre-stressing allows the concrete to undergo the kind of stress it will face (on a smaller scale) as either a road or a wall before cars, trucks, and forces of nature hit it. It is akin to a surgeon lengthening existing bone by first fracturing it and then getting it to grow back stronger than before.

The Concrete Can Withstand Greater Pressure

If you are erecting a concrete building near a fault zone, you want it to withstand some major quakes and the pressure that comes with those quakes. Because post-tensioning uses cables threaded through special tunnels in the concrete instead of solid metal bars, the waves of energy can travel through the tunnels and the reverberations eventually find an exit. The tightened cables allow the shock waves to travel around and through the concrete without shattering it. 

It Is Easier to Patch and Repair

When you use something like rebar to reinforce concrete, you can expect more frequent repairs. As the concrete cracks and the bars become exposed, you have to pull it all down or pull it all up in chunks around the damaged areas. With post-tensioning methods, you can cut one smaller section out, closer to the tube or tunnels through the affected concrete.

Recreating the tensioning technique used to create the original slabs, you create replacement slabs for those you cut out.  However, since post-tensioning cracks significantly less often than rebar concrete, you may never have to repair the building for as long as you are in it. Walls take less of a beating from forces than do roads, and roads with post-tensioning can last up to a decade or longer, depending on where they are installed.

Contact a company like Advanced Post-Tension, LLC for more information and assistance.