Externally post-tensioned carbon FRP bar system for deflection control

Fabio Matta, Antonio Nanni, Ahmad Abdelrazaq, Doug Gremel, Ryan Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Externally post-tensioned steel tendons have long been an attractive option for increasing the design loads or correcting strength and serviceability problems in bridge and building structures. More recently, alternative solutions have been developed and implemented that use straight post-tensioned carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) tendons, ideally enlisting their high-strength to failure, small relaxation, corrosion resistance, and light weight. In this paper, a novel CFRP system for external post-tensioning is presented. The solution consists of unbonded CFRP bars connected to dead- and live-end steel anchors by means of couplers that allow the bar to develop the full tensile strength. Intermediate deviators can be extended vertically to impart additional post-tensioning (PT) force and achieve a profiled bar configuration. The required uplift forces for deflection control of a flexural member are provided by modifying the number, position and extended height of the deviators, similarly to commercially available systems that use steel wire strands. The structural efficiency of such approach in controlling deflection is analyzed and discussed for single-span one-way members on the basis of a parametric study that considers the influence of member geometry, flexural stiffness, boundary conditions, and PT system layout. A design example is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1628-1639
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Bars
  • Carbon
  • Deflection
  • External post-tensioning
  • Fiber reinforced polymers
  • Serviceability
  • Tendons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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