Prior to the 1950s, one of the biggest recurring costs in the construction industry was replacing concrete forms that had cracks and fissures brought on by the ravages of age and stress. Time consuming and costly, it was a continual headaches that most companies and their clients dreaded. Pretty soon an experimental method of using concrete in the construction of bridges and buildings arrived in the form of prestressed concrete, in hopes of reducing this costly and constant maintenance. Experimentation leads to product development, and one of the most popular innovation survives to this day, the Hercules Single Strand Tensioning Systems.
The Advantages of Using Prestressed Concrete
The science behind producing prestressed concrete forms for construction purposes overcomes the material’s natural stress points and allows for using it in construction without the need for reinforcement. It also allows for more flexibility in the use of concrete, enabling construction companies to pour and create longer spans of bridges, floors or beams that would ordinarily not be possible without first utilizing a costly network of reinforcing rebars and bars to act as load bearers over time. Its success in use has made it the preferred choice for use in high rises and nuclear reactors everywhere, thanks to its stress reducing nature.
Tendons made out of high tensile steel cables or rods are strung throughout concrete forms made out of steel. By pouring the concrete into the forms, it forms around these tendons and their adjustable clamping devices to create a longer and thinner slab. Without all the joints associated with using bars and rebars, the finished product is just as strong, easier to use due to its reduced weight, and has its weight bearing load points evenly spread throughout. When weak points develop in reinforced concrete, it generally begins at the joints of the pipes. With strung cables being stressed through the slabs, there are no joints and no potential for future problems in weak points developing.
Hercules Single Strand Stressing Systems
While the technology rejuvenated the construction industry, especially when it came to building infrastructure sites like bridges, it was not completely flawless. Early stressing methods either manually drew the cables through the hardening concrete or the cables were laid first and the concrete carefully manipulated around and over them, adding a lot of manpower and labor hours to every project. What they were initially saving in repair and replacement costs started to be eaten away in payroll hours.
Prestress Supply Incorporated developed one of the first automated concrete stressing systems in the early 1960s, and with only a handful of companies in practice that were devoted to developing this new technology, they soon became industry leaders and would remain dominant in the market to this day. Their Hercules Single Strand Stressing Systems, as well as later innovations, operate on a design that utilizes low pressure hydraulics with jacks and chucks that distribute the tension cables faster and without the shock gaps that can form through the manual pulling.
Known for decades as the stressing system with the gentle touch, the latest systems Hercules B and Hercules C are still very easy to use and guarantee the safety of all employees using it by allowing them to set the exact pressure needed on the cables and chucks to create the stress network, eliminating tension snapping and damage to the delicate workings.
Built around an open-face draw system, the newer models make it easier than ever to change out cable, jacks, chucks and pulling jaws. They also feature the ability to switch strand diameters throughout the forming, without having to completely restart the process, should your designs call for it. One hundred percent mechanical in nature, with no electronics to short out, Hercules Single Strand Tensioning Systems are ideal to use in any environment or terrain. Even replacing forms on bridges are now easier, since the systems allow workers to pull, form and install on site with ease.