Construction projects have seen tremendous advancements in technology, which have paved the way for innovative solutions to improve structural integrity and safety. One of those solutions is prestressed concrete strand (PC strand).

In this blog post, we will delve into the wide range of applications of prestressed concrete strand in construction projects. Explore how DWR’s high-quality steel solutions contribute to the strength, durability, and versatility of prestressed concrete, revolutionizing the way we build structures.

Applications of PC Strand

There is a wide variety of PC strand applications. From bridge girders to piles and pipes, the versatility of prestressed concrete strand makes it a great solution for many different projects.

Let us describe some of them in detail.

Bridge Girders

PC strand is used in bridge girders to provide compressive stress, which in turn helps to offset the tensile stress that the concrete experiences when placed under load. 

In general, this pre-tensioning process improves the load-carrying capacity of the bridge girder and enhances its ability to flex and deflect under various load conditions. This way, longer spans are possible, and less support structures are needed to achieve a more cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing bridge design.

High-Rise Buildings and Parking Garages

PC strand is also used in the construction of high-rise buildings due to its high strength and durability. It helps in reducing the size of columns and beams resulting in less use of concrete and reinforcement steel.

Ground Anchors

In a ground anchor system, PC strand is typically used in a process called post-tensioning. This process works by applying a compressive stress to the PC strand before it is placed into the ground. Once in position, the compressive stress is released, creating a tensile force within the PC strand. This tension is then transferred to the soil or rock, providing stability to the structure above.

Benefits and Advantages of PC Strand

There are many benefits and advantages in using PC strand in construction projects.

For example, the project manager can benefit from reduced material usage and construction timelines that make the whole process more efficient. This is achieved thanks to the excellent straightness of the PC strand which makes it easy to use and handle at the time it offers less building cost and time.

Also, the versatility of PC strand offers greater design flexibility and architectural freedom.

Now, for the structure itself, this material also offers a series of benefits. Here are some of the most relevant.

Increased structural strength and durability

The PC strand is designed to cope with the stresses of compression, tension and torsion that are encountered by concrete structures during their lifetime.

By pre-tensioning the strands before the concrete is poured, the steel is able to counteract the forces that are placed upon it.

As a result, the concrete is able to handle greater loads without experiencing structural damage.

Enhanced resistance to seismic activities and extreme weather conditions

Prestressing the concrete strand reduces the potential for cracking and failure during seismic activities, which can be caused by earthquakes, soil liquefaction, and ground shaking.

The compressive forces applied to the PC strand during construction significantly improve the concrete’s ability to resist bending and tension stresses, which are known to be the primary causes of seismic damage. 

Add the fact that our PC strand meets standards such as the ASTM A-416 after completing and approving ASTM A1061 1000-hour relaxation testing, and you have enhanced stability to concrete structures and consistent elasticity thanks to a consistent modulus of elasticity up to 80% of the strand’s ultimate strength.

Moreover, PC strands are known to have enhanced resistance to extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. The concrete’s enhanced durability and strength ensure that the structure can withstand these intense weather events virtually without suffering damage.

Minimized maintenance requirements

Generally, the pre-tensioning of the steel cables eliminates any potential for cracking, which typically occurs in traditional reinforced concrete structures. As a result, the structural integrity of the concrete is maintained over an extended period, which reduces the need for frequent repairs and maintenance while making life cycle costs lower.

Final words

PC strand has become an essential component in construction projects due to its durability, strength, and flexibility benefits. As you can see, for any construction project that requires excellent structural integrity and safety, prestressed concrete strand is the go-to solution.

At DWR®, we are committed to providing you with any additional information you require. We have a technical staff with extensive experience in concrete reinforcement solutions design and application that understands the benefits you expect.