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Prestressed Concrete

Structures
Module 1
Introduction, Prestressing Systems
and Material Properties
Prepared by:
Amlan K Sengupta
Devdas Menon
Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Module 1-g (7th Hour)


Prestressing Steel
Introduction
Forms
Types
Properties of Prestressing Steel
Strength and Stiffness
Stress-Strain Curves
Relaxation of Steel
Fatigue
Durability

Material Properties
Introduction
The development of prestressed concrete was
influenced by the invention of high strength steel. It is
an alloy of iron, carbon, manganese and optional
materials. The following material describes the types
and properties of prestressing steel.
The properties
Th
ti off steel
t l for
f non-prestressed
t
d
reinforcement is not covered.

Forms of Prestressing Steel

Material Properties
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Wires

Prestressing wire is a single unit made of


steel. The nominal diameters of the wires are
2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 7.0 and 8.0 mm.

The different types of wires are as follows.


1) Plain wire: No indentations on the surface.
2) Indented wire: There are circular or elliptical
indentations on the surface.

Material Properties
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Pitch

Elliptical indentations

Circular indentations
Examples of indented wires

Material Properties
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Strands

A few wires are spun together in a helical form


to form a prestressing strand. The different
types of strands are as follows.

1) Two-wire strand:
2) Three-wire
Three wire strand:
3) Seven-wire strand: The central wire
is larger than the six wires which are spun
around it.

Material Properties
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Tendons

A group of strands or wires are placed


together to form a prestressing tendon.

Grout
Duct

Fig 1g-1 Cross-section of a tendon

Material Properties
Forms of Prestressing Steel
Cables

A group of tendons form a prestressing


cable.

Bars

A tendon can be made up of a single steel


bar. The diameter of a bar is much larger
than that of a wire.
wire Bars are available in the
following sizes: 10, 12, 16, 20, 22, 25, 28 and
32 mm.

Reinforcing bars

Prestressing wire,
strands and bar

Fig 1g-1 Forms of reinforcing and prestressing steel

Indented wire

Fig 1g-1 Forms of reinforcing and prestressing steel (contd.)

Types of Prestressing Steel

Material Properties
Types of Prestressing Steel
The steel is treated to achieve the desired properties.
The following are the treatment processes.
Cold working (cold drawing)
This p
process is done by
y rolling
g the bars through
g a
series of dyes. It re-aligns the crystals and increases
the strength.

Material Properties
Types of Prestressing Steel
Stress relieving
This process is done by heating the strand to about
350 C and cooling slowly.
Strain tempering for low relaxation
This process is done by heating the strand to about
350 C while it is under tension.
The last two processes improve the stress-strain
behaviour of the steel.

Material Properties
Types of Prestressing Steel
IS 1343: 2012 specifies
p
the material properties
p p
in
Section 5.6. The following types of steel are allowed.
Plain cold drawn stress relieved wire conforming to
IS:1785, Part 1
Indented cold drawn wire conforming to IS:6003
High tensile steel bar conforming to IS:2090
Uncoated stress relieved strand conforming to IS:6006
Uncoated stress relieved low-relaxation strand
conforming to IS:14268.

Properties of Prestressing Steel

Material Properties
Properties of Prestressing Steel
The prestressing steel requires the following properties
properties.
High strength and high elastic range
Adequate ductility
Bendability, required at harping points and at ends
High bond
bond, required for pre-tensioned members
Low relaxation to reduce losses
Minimum corrosion
Good resistance to fatigue.

Material Properties
Strength of Prestressing Steel
The tensile strength of prestressing steel is given in
terms of the characteristic tensile strength ( fpk ).
The characteristic strength is defined as the ultimate
tensile strength of the coupon specimens below which
not more than 5% of the test results are expected to fall.
The ultimate tensile strength of a coupon specimen is
determined by a testing machine according to IS:1608.
The following figure shows a test setup.

Wedge grips

Coupon specimen
Extensometer

Fig 1g-2 Tensile strength testing for prestressing strand


(Courtesy: Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

Fig 1g-3 Failure of a prestressing strand


(Courtesy: Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

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Material Properties
Strength of Prestressing Steel

Table 1g-1 Cold Drawn Stress-Relieved Wires (IS: 1785 Part 1)


Nominal
2.50
Diameter (mm)
Minimum
2010
Tensile Strength
fpk (N/mm2)

3.00

4.00

5.00

7.00

8.00

1865

1715

1570

1470

1375

The proof stress (defined later) should not be less than


85% of the specified tensile strength.

Material Properties
Strength of Prestressing Steel
Table 1g-2 Indented wire (IS: 6003)
Nominal Diameter
(mm)
Minimum Tensile
Strength fpk
(N/mm2)

3.00

4.00

5.00

1865

1715

1570

The proof stress should not be less than 85% of the


specified tensile strength.

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Material Properties
Strength of Prestressing Steel
High Tensile Steel Bars (IS: 2090)
The minimum tensile strength is 980 N/mm2. The proof
stress should not be less than 80% of the specified
tensile strength.

Material Properties
Stiffness of Prestressing Steel
The stiffness of prestressing steel is given by the initial
modulus of elasticity. The modulus of elasticity
depends on the form of prestressing steel (wires or
strands or bars).
fp

fp

p
Ep
p

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Material Properties
Allowable Stress in Prestressing Steel
As per Clause 18.5.1, the maximum tensile stress
during prestressing (fpi) shall not exceed 76% of the
characteristic strength.
fpi 0.76fpk

(1g-1)

There is no upper limit for the stress at transfer (after


short term losses) or for the effective prestress (after
long term losses).

Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
The stress versus strain behaviour of prestressing
steel under uniaxial tension is initially linear (stress is
proportional to strain) and elastic (strain is recovered
at unloading).
Beyond about 70% of the ultimate strength the
behaviour becomes nonlinear and inelastic. There is
no defined yield point.

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Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
The yield point is defined in terms of the proof stress or a
specified yield strain. IS 1343:2012 recommends the yield
point at 0.2% proof stress. This stress corresponds to an
inelastic strain of 0.002.
fp
Proof
stress

0.002

Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
The characteristic stress-strain curve is given in Figure 5
of IS 1343:2012. The stress corresponding to a strain can
be found out by using this curve
curve.
fp
0.95fpk
0.9fpk

Stress relieved
strands and bars

0.002

0.005

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Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
The stress-strain curves are influenced by the treatment
processes. The following figure shows the variation in
the 0.2% proof stress for wires under different treatment
processes.
Low relaxation

fp

Stress relieved
As-drawn
(untreated)
p

Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
The design stress
stress-strain
strain curves are calculated by
dividing the stress beyond 0.8fpk by a material safety
factor m = 1.15.
fp
Characteristic curve
0.8fpkk

Design curve

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Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
A generalised equation uses the RambergOsgood
function.

1 A

fp E p p A
C

1 B p
fpkk

1
C

(1g-2)
fp
AEp

1- A
1
)
Ep(
B

Governed by C
Ep
p

Material Properties
Stress-Strain Curves for Prestressing Steel
For low-relaxation
low relaxation strands
strands, A = 0.025,
0 025 B = 118,
118 C = 10
For stress-relieved strands, A = 0.03, B = 121, C = 6

Reference: Collins, M. P. and Mitchell, D.,


Prestressed Concrete Structures

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Relaxation of Steel

Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
Relaxation of steel is defined as the decrease in stress
with time under constant strain. Due to the relaxation
of steel, the prestress in the tendon is reduced with
time. Hence, the study of relaxation is important in
prestressed concrete to calculate the loss in prestress.
The relaxation depends on the type of steel, initial
prestress and the temperature.

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Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
fp
Fast loading
Effect of relaxation

With sustained loading

Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
The following figure shows the variation of stress with
time for different levels of p
prestressing.
g
100
90
fp

f pi

80

f py

fpi

70

0.6
0.7
0.8
09
0.9

60
50
10

100

1000 10,000 100,000


Time (hours)

Reference: Collins, M. P. and Mitchell, D., Prestressed Concrete Structures

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Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
It can be observed that there is significant relaxation
loss when the applied stress is more than 70% of the
characteristic tensile strength.

Specimen

Load cell

Fig 1g-4 Relaxation test of a single wire strand


(Courtesy: Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

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Specimen

Fig 1g-5 Relaxation test of a seven-wire strand


(Courtesy: Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
The upper limits of relaxation loss are specified as follows.
Table 1g-3 Relaxation losses at 1000 hours
(IS: 1785, IS: 6003, IS: 6006, IS: 2090)
Cold drawn stressrelieved wires
Indented wires
Stress-relieved
strand
Bars

5% of initial
prestress
5% of initial
prestress
5% of initial
prestress
49 N/mm2

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Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
In absence of test data, IS 1343:2012 recommends the
following estimates of relaxation losses
losses. For long-term
loss, the values are multiplied by 3.0.
Table 1g-4 Relaxation losses at 1000 hours at 202C
Initial
Stress

Relaxation Loss (%)


Regular strands

Low relaxation
strands
d

0.5fpk

0.6fpk

3.0
5.0
8.0

1.0
2.5
4.5

0.7fpk
0.8fpk

Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
The following equation provides an estimate of the drop
in stress with time under normal temperature.

logt fpi

0.55
fp t fpi 1

K fpy

Type
Stress-relieved
Low-relaxation

K
7
30

(1g-3)

Reference:
AASHTO LRFD
Bridge Design Specifications

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Material Properties
Relaxation of Steel
The following figure shows the effect of temperature
schematically
schematically.
1
0.9
fp

0.8

fpi

0.7

Temperature

0.6
0.5
Time

Fatigue

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Material Properties
Fatigue
Under repeated dynamic loads the strength of a member
may reduce with the number of cycles of applied load.
The reduction in strength is referred to as fatigue.
Fatigue tests are conducted to develop the stress range
(S) versus number of cycles for failure (N) diagram.
Under a limiting value of stress range, the specimen can
withstand infinite number of cycles. This limit is known
as the endurance limit.

Material Properties
Fatigue
S-N Diagram for prestressing tendons
05
0.5

fp
fpu

0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
103

Endurance
Limit

104 105
106
107
Number of cycles
(log scale)

Reference: Naaman, A. E., Prestressed Concrete Analysis and Design

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Material Properties
Fatigue
S-N Relationship for prestressing tendons

fp
fpu

0.123 logN 0.87

(1g-4)

Reference: Naaman, A. E.,


Prestressed Concrete Analysis and Design

Material Properties
Fatigue
In prestressed applications, the fatigue is negligible in
members that do not crack under service loads. If a
member cracks, fatigue may be a concern due to the
following reasons.
1) High stress in the steel at the location of cracks
2) Effect of fretting (wearing due to contact of strands
under motion)
3) Stress corrosion.

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Material Properties
Fatigue
The prestressed member is designed such that the
fluctuating stress range in the steel under service loads
remain under the specified endurance limit.
Specimens are tested under 2 x 106 cycles of load to
observe any effect of fatigue.
fatigue

Fig 1g-6 Fatigue testing setup for railsleeper fastening


(Courtesy: Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

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Durability

Material Properties
Durability
Corrosion of bars in concrete structures occurs due to
the breakdown of the passive alkaline film, in presence
of moisture and oxygen, under the effect of the
following.
1) Diffusion of chloride ions
2) Carbonation of concrete
Pitting corrosion is more severe in prestressed strands
because of the smaller diameter.

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Material Properties
Durability
In addition, prestressing steel is susceptible to the
following in aggressive environments.
1) Stress corrosion
2) Hydrogen embrittlement
Hence, prestressing strands needs to be adequately
protected.

Material Properties
Durability
For bonded post-tensioned tendons, the alkaline
environment of the grout provides adequate protection.
However, if the grout has voids or develops void with
time, then the strands are susceptible to corrosion.

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Material Properties
Durability
For unbonded tendons, corrosion protection is provided
by one or more of the following methods (Cl. 12.1.5.1).
1) Epoxy coating of strands
2) Mastic wrap (grease impregnated tape) around strands
3) G
Galvanized
l
i d strands
d
4) Non-corroding sheathing duct (HDPE or FRP duct)
5) Anchorages covered by casing
6) Encasing of strands in tubes (for external prestressing).

Material Properties
Codal Provisions
The following topics are covered in IS 1343:2012 under the
respective sections. These provisions are not duplicated
here.
Assembly of prestressing and reinforcing steel: Section 12
Prestressing:
S
Section
13

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Summary
Prestressing Steel
Introduction
Forms
Types
Properties of Prestressing Steel
Strength and Stiffness
Stress-Strain Curves
Relaxation of Steel
Fatigue
Durability

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