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- Since precast is manufactured in a controlled casting environment it is easier to control the mix, placement, and curing
- Quality can be controlled and monitored much more easily
- Since a precaster can buy materials for multiple projects, quantity discounts can lower costs
- Weather is eliminated as a factor-you can cast in any weather and get the same results, which allows you to perfect mixes and methods
- Less labor is required and that labor can be less skilled
- On site, precast can be installed immediately, there is no waiting for it to gain strength and the modularity of precast products makes installation go quickly
- Repeatability-it's easy to make many copies of the same precast product; by maximizing repetition, you can get plenty of value from a mold and a set-up
- Accelerated curing, by heating the precast parts, greatly increases strength gain, reducing the time between casting the part and putting it into service
- With the ability to so tightly control the process, from materials to consolidation to curing, you can get extremely durable concrete
Post tensioning is a technique for reinforcing concrete. Post-tensioning tendons, which are prestressing steel cables inside plastic ducts or sleeves, are positioned in the forms before the concrete is placed. Afterwards, once the concrete has gained strength but before the service loads are applied, the cables are pulled tight, or tensioned, and anchored against the outer edges of the concrete.
Post-tensioning is a form of prestressing. Prestressing simply means that the steel is stressed (pulled or tensioned) before the concrete has to support the service loads. Most precast, prestressed concrete is actually pre-tensioned-the steel is pulled before the concrete is poured. Post-tensioned concrete means that the concrete is poured and then the tension is applied-but it is still stressed before the loads are applied so it is still prestressed.