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The Design of Prestressed Concrete Bridges Concepts and Principles- for free


Prestressed concrete is a form of concrete used in construction. Prestressed concrete is substantially “prestressed” (compacted) during concrete production and strengthened against the tensile forces present at the time of service.

This compaction is caused by the tensioning of high-strength “tendons” with in or adjacent to the concrete to improve the performance of the concrete in service. Tendons may consist of single-wire, multi-wire strands, or threaded bars, most commonly made from high tensile steel, carbon fiber, or aramid fiber.

The essence of prestressed concrete is that once the initial compression is applied, the resulting material has the properties of high-strength concrete under subsequent compressive forces and the properties of ductile high-strength steel under tensile forces.

This results in improved structural strength and/or serviceability compared to conventional reinforced concrete in many situations. In prestressed concrete members, internal stresses are introduced in a planned manner so that the stresses resulting from the loaded loads are offset to the desired degree.

About the Book

There are three main objectives of this publication:

  • First, to improve the quality of prestressed concrete bridge design.

Throughout my career, I have been amazed at the number of grossly uneconomic and sometimes virtually unbuildable concrete bridge designs produced by consultants.

This lack of competence has fortunately allowed me to begin my practice by preparing alternative designs for contractors participating in bidding. In some cases, these alternative designs cut the materials for the piers in half, significantly reduced labor costs, shortened construction schedules, and improved the appearance of the finished product.

Bridges must be appropriate for their location and of the right scale. They must also be designed so that they can be constructed efficiently and without unnecessary risk of failure.

  • The second objective is to clearly explain the basic concepts of pre stressed concrete.

Practicing engineers are under pressure to assume responsibility for a structure even though they do not fully understand how it works. In such cases, a well-designed software package can be used, but in the hands of someone who is not familiar with the basic concepts, this can be dangerous.

  • Finally, by concentrating on the concepts and principles underlying bridge design, it is hoped that this book will enhance the intuitive understanding of the practicing engineer.

Many textbooks on reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete lose the essential simplicity of the concepts in a maze of mathematics. It is hoped that this book will be accessible not only to experienced engineers, but also to students, architects who wish to become more involved in bridge design, and the general public interested in the mechanics of bridges.

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