Steel Tendons – When Stress is a Good Thing

Steel tendons in the form of a high tensile-strength wire (cables or wire rope) have proven their worth in construction over the years.

In order to counteract the expected applied load in concrete structures, pre-tensioning or post-tensioning is a smart and proven way forward.

Pre-tensioning with Steel Tendons

Pre-tensioning is a process which occurs before the concrete is cast, whereby high-tensile steel tendons are placed within a profile, and then released to introduce compressive force to the cured concrete.

This is perfect for precast products which can be produced to the same quality and consistency and can, therefore, be created in bulk. For example, electrical light poles and railway sleepers require a uniform size, shape and strength for this process would be ideal.

Post-tensioning with PC Strand

Post-tensioning work is usually carried out on site on civil contracts, as opposed to being cast at a remote manufacturing site.

Prestressed concrete steel strand (PC strand), a twisted steel cable available in various thicknesses, is laid within the profile, and then stressed and anchored. This process requires very few modifications to the formwork and results in a concrete form with the necessary compressive strength as required by the project.

High-tensile Steels to the Rescue

The choice of steels in these processes needs to have very specific wear properties – or tensile strength. Alloys which are included to achieve this strength can include molybdenum, silicon, manganese nickel and vanadium.

Steels such as 41xx, 4140, 4145, 4340, or 300M are good examples of high-tensile steel and would be ideal for steel tendons in this application.

The conversation of steel in construction is a lengthy one, and one which we are more than happy to have with you as we determine the requirements of your next project. Why not call the Steelmor technical team today?