What Is Post Tensioning?

Post tensioning is a method that is commonly employed to reinforce and strengthen concrete. Post tensioning uses high strength cable known in the industry as “tendons.”

Post tensioned cables in Houston, TX are used in high rise office buildings and apartments, parking garages, bridges as well as on-ground slabs and other applications where construction would literally be impossible due to site constraints and engineering considerations.

The benefits of post tensioning:

To fully appreciate the benefits of post tensioning it is important to first understand about concrete as a building material. In compression, concrete is extremely strong, however in tension, it is relatively weak. In conventional concrete construction, assume for this example a multi-level parking garage. When cars are parked (the load), the weight is applied to the slab or beam, this results in a sag of the slab. Even the smallest deflection, measured in thousands of an inch will cause the underside of the beam, opposite the load, to elongate; this in turn results in cracking.

Steel “rebar” is often imbedded into the concrete as it is placed in forms as a way to limit cracks, rebar is considered to be “passive” reinforcement as it will not carry a load until such time as the concrete cracks.

Post tensioned cables in Houston, TX on the other hand are seen as “active” reinforcement. Because the cables are under tension, they are effective reinforcement without having to allow the concrete to crack. Post tensioning allows buildings and other structures to have minimal deflection under load.


Post tensioning has numerous benefits, among them is the fact that designers can engineer buildings with longer clear spans, thinner concrete slabs and fewer cross beams. A combination of the design features often results in a more slender, better looking building. Thinner slabs means the overall height of the building is reduced without interfering with the clear floor to ceiling height as well as a lighter building which in turn reduces the foundation load.

Suncoast Post-Tension is the leading supplier of post tensioned cables in Houston, TX and across the country. With nine plants from coast to coast, Suncoast Post-Tension is an a position to serve contractors everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine − two =