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Title: External Prestressing in Two-Chord Large Span Structural Systems

Author(s): M. Ivkovic and Z. Perisic

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 120


Appears on pages(s): 185-206

Keywords: box beams; creep properties; girders; hangars; long span; precast concrete; prestressed concrete; prestressing roofs; serviceability; structural design; unbonded prestressing; Design

Date: 6/1/1990

Design considerations of externally prestressed large-span reinforced concrete girders with tendons completely outside the cross section are dealt with. The analyzed systems are two-chord structural systems. The lower, downward convex tensioned chord usually consists only of prestressing tendons, while the upper, compressed chord is a reinforced concrete straight-line or upward convex polygonal girder. The desired configuration of tendons is achieved by compressed elements interconnecting the two chords at suitable distances. In such a way, the rise of tendons can be several times larger than the height of the reinforced concrete section, thus greatly increasing their efficiency compared to the classical internally or externally prestressed girders. An important characteristic of such structural systems is that adding a very small prestressing force reduces the deformation. Therefore, the dead load deflection can be easily controlled by the suitable choice of prestressing force. The time-dependent deflection is not considerably greater than the elastic one, even for a very high creep and shrinkage, as it is also primarily governed by the shape and deformation of tendons. Because of such properties, these structural systems are exceptionally favorable for roof structures of medium and very large spans but can also be successfully used for highway bridges. Due to the significant reduction of the chords' cross-sectional areas and the bending stiffness of such structural systems, the design has to be done using the second-order theory. The criteria for cases when it is notnecessary are discussed. Besides the theoretical analysis, some experiences in design and construction of the new hangar at the Belgrade International Airport in Yugoslavia, whose 135.80 m (445 ft) span main roof reinforced concrete girders are externally prestressed with tendons free in space outside the concrete cross section, are also presented.


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