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External Tendons for Bridges

No. 97. External Tendons for Bridges. State-of-the-art-report (108 pages, ISBN 978-2-88394-145-8, December 2020)
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Title: External Tendons for Bridges.


Year: 2020

Pages: 108

Format approx. DIN A4 (210x297 mm)

ISBN: 978-2-88394-145-8



The concept of post-tensioning has been recognized for over a century. Interestingly, early developments started with external tendons, but failed to be recognized as a major construction technique for two main reasons:

  • Low tensile performance of early steels in combination with a poor knowledge of concrete creep and shrinkage properties,
  • Lack of a durable corrosion protection.

With the technological progress, external tendons became increasingly popular in the 1980’s, as a post-tensioning method enabling inspection and, if necessary, replacement of tendons without demolition of structural members. Towards the end of the last century, more than 50 bridges have been built with external tendons, first in France and soon gaining traction in other countries.

FIP published a state-of the-art report in May 1996 to provide a review of the application of external tendons, describing specific material problems and methods for dealing with them. 25 years have passed and, while the engineering principles covered by the FIP report remain unchanged, the context has evolved:

  • External tendons and construction methods have kept evolving with better materials, ever longer spans, and tighter schedules.
  • Normalization frame in Europe changed,
  • Severe durability issues have occurred in some countries from which the industry can extract good knowledge of the causes and how to avoid similar problems in the future.

This new fib bulletin has been prepared with the aim to reflect the current state of the art and encompass the knowledge amassed in the last quarter of century with chapters covering from the design and approval of systems and materials to installation, quality control and monitoring. The last chapter is a compilation of structures worldwide covering all sorts of materials, typologies and construction methods, which might be a source of inspiration for owners and designers alike.


Download the copyright page (= list of authors) as a PDF file. 

Download the table of contents as a PDF file.


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