Statics: Prestress


Prestress is a technique that generates stresses in structural elements before they are loaded. This can be used to reduce particular unwanted stresses and/or displacements which would develop due to external loads, or for generating particular shapes of tension structures.

Prestressing techniques can be used to achieve:

  • A redistribution of internal forces: reduction of the maximum internal forces will permit the design of lighter structures.
  • Avoidance of cracks: keeping a member in constant compression means that there will be no cracks.
  • Stiffening a structure or a structural element.