Survey of Prestressed/Post-Tensioned Folded Plate Shells for Roof Structures in the United States: 1950 - 1970


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Title: Survey of Prestressed/Post-Tensioned Folded Plate Shells for Roof Structures in the United States: 1950 - 1970

Author(s): K.W. Kramer

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 231


Appears on pages(s): 65-86

Keywords: folded plate; post-tensioned; precast; prestressed

Date: 10/1/2005

A survey of the first uses of precast, prestressed or post-tensioned foldedplates roofs show that this structural system start in the 1950’s and end in the 1970’s Ahistoric perspective of this structural system will be presented starting in the 1950’s andending in the 1970’s. While prestressed concrete was making a break-through in theUnited States with the Walnut Lane Bridge in Philadelphia, PA, Europe was usingprestressed concrete in various types of structural systems. One of these systems wasthe folded plate roof system. Approximately a decade later in the United States, theCloverleaf Lanes Bowling Alley in Dade County, Florida used the same application inwhich the corrugated slab spanned 120 feet and extending transversely 286 feet. In1962, this system of folded plate shells went from long span structures to being used inroof structures for dormitories at Washington State University. The main beams for thedormitories were pretensioned in a factory, while the secondary beams were post-tensioned on site. During the 1970’s, precast folded plate structures were beingconstructed throughout the United States for various types of buildings, one notablestructure is the Hangar for Allegheny Airlines at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts.Then they disappeared in the United States. Some Possible reasons why folded plateconstruction stopped are numerous but the two main factors are the architecturalsolution, and the lack of understanding of folded plate structures on the part ofengineers and architects.