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Although concrete is incredibly strong against compressive stress, it falls short when tested by stress from tension. This becomes a problem for contractors when they’re looking to build big and strong structures that weigh as little as possible. Thanks to innovations in precast and construction technology, we have a solution. Post tension concrete slab combines the compressive strength of concrete with the tension resistance of steel to create lightweight slabs with maximum strength. The process of post tension is a form of pre-stressing that begins with the same steps as other pre-stressing methods but makes unique and beneficial changes to the process once the foundation has been made.

The first step in post tension concrete slab fabrication is the construction of the steel frame. Plastic coated steel strands called tendons are laid tightly to build the frame that will hold the concrete. Once the frame has been completed the concrete is carefully poured, leaving the tendons at an exact depth. This is where the process changes. Rather than tightening the tendons immediately after, the concrete is left to cure until the curing process is about 75% complete. At this point the tendons are tightened to 25,000 lbs. per square inch and the concrete is left to cure completely. The adjustment in the timing of tendon tightening gives the process the name “post tension” because it is done after the concrete has almost completely cured.

The post tension fabrication process is unique in its ability to be performed on site, however, precast creates stronger concrete slabs and makes the process quicker and easier. This is because the mixing and curing of the concrete is done in an enclosed area that protects the materials from elemental damage. Call or visit Harper Precast online for more information on post tension concrete slab. We will be happy to help you find the materials you need to see your project to completion. Harper Precast provides quality concrete products throughout Utah and the Intermountain West.

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