(2)Prestressed concrete is the main material for floors in high-rise buildings and the entire containment vessels of nuclear reactors.

shawlaskewvilleUrban and Civil

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)


tensioned concrete is cast around already tensioned tendons. This method produces a good bond
between the tendon and concrete, which both protects the tendon from corrosion and allows for direct
transfer of tension. The cured concrete adheres and bo
nds to the bars and when the tension is released
it is transferred to the concrete as compression by static
. However, it requires stout anchoring
points between which the tendon i
s to be stretched and the tendons are usually in a straight line. Thus,
most pretensioned concrete elements are

in a factory and must be transported to the
uction site, which limits their size. Pre
tensioned elements may be

, floor
slabs, beams or foundatio
. An innovative

construction method using pre
stressing is the
stressed ribbon bridge


(2)Prestressed concrete is the main material for floors in
rise buildings

and the ent
containment vessels of
nuclear reactors

Unbonded post
tensioning tendons are commonly used in
parking garages

barrier cable

Also, due to its ability to be stressed and then de
stressed, it can be used to temporarily repair a
damaged building by holding up a damaged wall or floor until permanent repairs can be made.

The advantages of prestressed concrete include crack control and lower construction costs;
thinner slabs

lly important in high rise buildings in which floor thickness savings can
translate into additional floors for the same (or lower) cost and fewer joints, since the distance
that can be spanned by post
tensioned slabs exceeds that of reinforced construction
s with the
same thickness. Increasing span lengths increases the usable unencumbered floorspace in
buildings; diminishing the number of joints leads to lower maintenance costs over the design life
of a building, since joints are the major focus of weakness

in concrete buildings.

The first prestressed concrete bridge in
North America

was the
Walnut Lane Memorial Bridge

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
. It was completed

and opened to traffic in 1951.

Prestressing can
also be accomplished on circular concrete pipes used for water transmission. High tensile
strength steel wire is helicall
wrapped around the outside of the pipe under controlled tension
and spacing which induces a circumferential compressive stress in the core concrete. This
enables the pipe to handle high internal pressures and the effects of external earth and traffic

(3)Unbonded post
tensioned concrete differs from bonded post
tensioning by providing each
individual cable permanent freedom of movement relative to the concrete. To achieve this, each
individual tendon is coated with a grease (generally

based) and covered by a plastic
sheathing formed in an

. The transfer of tension to the concrete is achieved
by the steel cable acting against steel anchors embedded in the perimeter of the slab. The main
disadvantage over bonded post
tensioning is the fact that a cable can des
tress itself and burst out
of the slab if damaged (such as during

on the slab). The advantages of this system over
bonded post
tensioning are:


The ability to individually adjust cables
based on poor field conditions (For example:
shifting a group of 4 cables around an opening by placing 2 to either side).


The procedure of post
stress grouting is eliminated.


The ability to de
stress the tendons before attempting repair work.

Picture number one

(below) shows rolls of post
tensioning (PT) cables with the holding end
anchors displayed. The holding end anchors are fastened to rebar placed above and below the
cable and buried in the concrete locking that end.
Pictures numbered two, three and four

shows a
series of black pulling end anchors from the rear along the floor edge form. Rebar is placed
above and below the cable both in front and behind the face of the

pulling end anchor. The above
and below placement of the rebar can be seen in picture number three and the placement of the
rebar in front and behind can be seen in picture number four. The blue cable seen in picture
number four is electrical conduit.
ture number five

shows the plastic sheathing stripped from
the ends of the post
tensioning cables before placement through the pulling end anchors.
number six

shows the post
tensioning cables in place for concrete pouring. The plastic sheathing

been removed from the end of the cable and the cable has been pushed through the black
pulling end anchor attached to the inside of the concrete floor side form. The greased cable can
be seen protruding from the concrete floor side form.
Pictures seven an
d eight

show the post
tensioning cables protruding from the poured concrete floor. After the concrete floor has been
poured and has set for about a week, the cable ends will be pulled with a hydraulic jack.

(1)The word concrete comes from the Latin word "
concretus" (meaning compact or condensed),
the perfect passive participle of "concrescere", from "con
" (together) and "crescere" (to grow).

Concrete was used for construction in many ancient structures.

During the
Roman Empire
Roman concrete

opus caementicium
) wa
s made from

and an aggregate of
. Its widespread use in many
Roman structures
, a key
event in the
history of architecture

termed the
Roman Architectural Revolution
, freed

from the restrictions of stone and brick material and allowed for revolutionary new
designs in terms of both structural complexity and dimension


in Rome is an example of Roman concrete construction.

Concrete, as the Romans knew it, was a new and revolutionary material. Laid in the shape of


, it quickly hardened into a rigid mass, free from many of the internal
thrusts and strains that troubled the builders of similar structures in stone or brick.

tests show that
opus caementicium

had as much compressive strength as modern
cement concrete (ca. 200


However, due to the absence of
, its tensile strength was far lower and its mode of application was also different:

Modern structural concrete differs from Roman concrete in two important details. First, its m
consistency is fluid and homogeneous, allowing it to be poured into forms rather than requiring
layering together with the placement of aggregate, which, in Roman practice, often
consisted of
. Second, integral reinforcing steel gives modern concrete assemblies great
strength in tension, whereas Roman concrete could depend only upon the strength of the concrete
bonding to resist tension.

The widespread use of concrete in many Rom
an structures has ensured that many survive to the
present day. The
Baths of Caracalla

in Rome are just one example. Many
Roman aqueducts

bridges have masonry cladding on a concrete core, as does the dome of the

Some have stated that the secret of co
ncrete was lost for 13 centuries until 1756, when the British
John Smeaton

pioneered the use of
hydraulic lime

in concrete, using pebbles and
powdered brick as aggregate. However, the
Canal du Midi

was built using concrete in 1670.

Likewise there are concrete structures in Finland that date back to the 16th century.
citation needed

Portland cement

was first used in concrete in the early 1840s.


Concrete additives have been used since Roman and Egyptian times, when it was discovered that
adding volcanic ash t
o the mix allowed it to set under water. Similarly, the Romans knew that
horse hair

made concrete less liable to crack while it hardened and adding blood made it
more frost

In modern times, researchers have experimented with the addition of other materials to create
concrete with improved properties, such as higher strength or electrical conductivity.

(2)There are many
types of concrete

available, created by varying the proportions of the main
ingredients below. In this way or by substitution for the cemetitious and aggregate phases, the
finished product can be tailored to its applicati
on with varying strength, density, or chemical and
thermal resistance properties.

Recently the use of recycled materials as concrete ingredients has been gaining popularity
because of increasingly stringent environmental legislation. The most conspicuous o
f these is
, a by
product of coal
fired power plants. This use reduces the amount of quarrying and
landfill space required as the ash acts as a cement replacement thus reducing the am
ount of
cement required.

mix design

depends on the type of structure being built, how the concrete will be mixed and
delivered and how it will be plac
ed to form this structure.


Main article:

Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general usage. It is a basic ingredient of

. English masonry worker
Joseph Aspdin

patented Portland cement
in 1824; it was named because of its similarity in color to
Portland limestone
, quarried from the
Isle of Portland

and used extensively in London architecture. It consists of a mixture of
oxides of

. Portland cement and similar materials are made by

(a source of calcium) with clay and grinding this product (called
) with
a source of

(most commonly

In recent years, alternatives have been developed to help replace cement. Products such as PLC
(Portland Limestone Cement),

which incorporate limestone into the mix, are being tested. This
is due to cement production being one of the largest producers of global green house gas



with a cementitious material forms a cement paste by the process of hydration.
The cement paste glues the aggregate together, fills voids within it and allows it to flow more

Less water
in the cement paste will yield a stronger, more durable concrete; more water will give
a freer
flowing concrete with a higher
. Impure water used to make concrete can cause
lems when setting or in causing premature failure of the structure.

Hydration involves many different reactions, often occurring at the same time. As the reactions
proceed, the products of the cement hydration process gradually bond together the individual

sand and gravel particles and other components of the concrete, to form a solid mass.


Cement chemist notation
: C
S + H → C
H + CH

Standard notati
on: Ca

+ H
O → (CaO)·(SiO
O)(gel) + Ca(OH)

Balanced: 2Ca

+ 7H
O → 3(CaO)·2(SiO
O)(gel) + 3Ca(OH)


Fine and coarse aggregates make up the bulk of a concrete mixture.
, natural gravel and
crushed stone

are used mainly for this purpose. Recycled aggregates (from construction,
demolition and excavation waste) are increasingly used as parti
al replacements of natural
aggregates, while a number of manufactured aggregates, including air
blast furnace

bottom ash

are also permitted.

Decorative stones such as
, small river stones or crushed glass are sometimes added to
the surface of concrete for a decorativ
e "exposed aggregate" finish, popular among landscape

The presence of aggregate greatly increases the robustness of concrete above that of cement,
which otherwise is a brittle material and thus concrete is a true composite material.

on of aggregates after compaction often creates inhomogeneity due to the influence
of vibration. This can lead to strength gradients.

(3)Mass concrete structures

These large structures typically include
gravity dams
, such as the
Hoover Dam
, the
Itaipu Dam

and the
Three Gorges Dam
arch dams
navigation locks

and la
. Such large
structures, even though individually placed in formed horizontal blocks, generate excessive heat
and associated expansion; to mi
tigate these effects

is commonly provided in the
design. An early example at Hoover Dam, installed a network
of pipes between vertical concrete
placements to circulate cooling water during the curing process to avoid damaging overheating.
Similar systems are still used; depending on volume of the pour, the concrete mix used, and
ambient air temperature, the cooli
ng process may last for many months after the concrete is
placed. Various methods also are used to pre
cool the concrete mix in mass concrete structures.

Concrete that is poured all at once in one form (so that there are no weak points where the
is "welded" together) is used for
tornado shelters

stressed concrete structures

Main article:
stressed concrete

stressed concrete is a form of reinforced concrete that builds in
compressive stresses

construction to oppose those
found when in use. This can greatly reduce the weight of beams or
slabs, by better distributing the stresses in the structure to make optimal use of the reinforcement.
For example a horizontal beam will tend to sag down. If the reinforcement along the bott
om of
the beam is pre
stressed, it can counteract this.

In pre
tensioned concrete, the pre
stressing is achieved by using steel or polymer tendons or bars
that are subjected to a tensile force prior to casting, or for post
tensioned concrete, after casting

Concrete textures

foot cacti decorate a sound/retaining wall in
Scottsdale, Arizona

When one thinks of concrete, the image of a dull, gray concrete wall often co
mes to mind. With
the use of
form liner
, concrete can be cast and molded into different textures and used for
decorative concrete

applications. Sound/retaining walls, bridges, office buildings and more serve
as the optimal canvases for concrete art. For example, the Pima Freeway/Loop 101 retaining and
sound walls in Scottsdale, Arizona, feature des
ert flora and fauna, a 67
foot (20

m) lizard and 40
foot (12

m) cacti along the 8
mile (13

km) stretch. The project, titled "The Path Most Traveled,"
is one example of how concrete can be shaped using elastomeric form liner.

(4)Concrete is one of the most
durable building materials. It provides superior fire resistance,
compared with wooden construction and can gain strength over time. Structures made of
concrete can have a long service life. Concrete is the most widely used construction material in
the wor
ld with annual consumption estimated at between 21 and 31

billion tonnes.
citation needed

Concrete is used more than any other man
made material in the w
orld. As of 2006, about 7.5
billion cubic meters of concrete are made each year

more than one cubic meter for every
person on Earth.

Concrete powers a US$35 billion industry, employing more than two million workers in the
United States alone More than 55,
000 miles (89,000 km) of highways in the United States are
paved with this material.
Reinforced concrete
prestressed concrete

precast concrete

are the
most widely used types of concrete functional extensions in modern days.

Energy efficiency

Energy requirements for transportation of concrete are low because it is produced locally from
local resources, typically manufactured within 100 kilometers of the job site. Similarly, relatively
little energy is used in producing and combining the raw ma
terials (although large amounts of

are produced by the chemical reactions in
cement manufacture
). The overall

of concrete is therefore lower than for most structural materials other than wood.

Once in place, concrete offers significant energy efficiency over the lifetime of a building.

Concrete walls leak air far less than those made of wood

Air leakage accounts for a large
percentage of energy loss from a home. The thermal mass properties of concrete increase the
efficiency of both residential
and commercial buildings. By storing and releasing the energy
needed for heating or cooling, concrete's thermal mass delivers year
round benefits by reducing
temperature swings inside and minimizing heating and cooling costs

While insulation reduces energ
y loss through the building envelope, thermal mass uses walls to
store and release energy. Modern concrete wall systems use both external insulation and thermal
mass to create an energy
efficient building. Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are hollow blocks

or panels made of either insulating foam or

that are stacked to form the shape of the walls
of a building and then filled with reinforced concrete to create the structure.

Pervious con

Main article:
Pervious concrete

Pervious concrete is a mix of specially graded coarse aggregate, cement, water and little
fine aggregates. This concrete is al
so known as “no
fines” or porous concrete. Mixing the
ingredients in a carefully controlled process creates a paste that coats and bonds the aggregate
particles. The hardened concrete contains interconnected air voids totalling approximately 15 to
25 perce
nt. Water runs through the voids in the pavement to the soil underneath. Air entrainment
admixtures are often used in freeze
thaw climates to minimize the possibility of frost damage.

Fire safety

Concrete buildings are more resistant to fire than those con
structed using wood or steel frames
since concrete does not burn. Concrete reduces the risk of structural collapse and is an effective
fire shield, providing safe means of escape for occupants and protection for fire fighters.

Options for non
combustible c
onstruction include floors, ceilings and roofs made of cast
and hollow
core precast concrete. For walls, concrete masonry technology and Insulating
Concrete Forms (ICFs) are additional options. ICFs are hollow blocks or panels made of fire
proof i
nsulating foam that are stacked to form the shape of the walls of a building and then filled
with reinforced concrete to create the structure.

Concrete also provides the best resistance of any building material to high winds, hurricanes,
tornadoes due to i
ts lateral stiffness that results in minimal horizontal movement.
citation needed

Earthquake safety

As discussed above, concrete is very strong in compre
ssion, but weak in tension. Larger
earthquakes can generate very large shear loads on structures. These shear loads subject the
structure to both tensile and compressional loads. Concrete structures without reinforcing, like
other unreinforced masonry stru
ctures, can fail during severe earthquake shaking. Unreinforced
masonry structures constitute one of the largest earthquake risks globally.

These risks can be
reduced through seismic retrofitting of at
risk buildings, (e.g. School buildings in Istanbul,