UofC prestressed flooring

Case study .

Big test? Short timeframe? No worries.

Our great friends at the University of Canterbury (UC) were in a bind. They needed to test some large cassette-sections of structural floor, but their lab was fully booked. They also needed the testing in a hurry and knowing this is one of our specialities, they came to us for help.

The UC do a lot of work in innovative timber structures, experimenting with incorporating prestressing and post-tensioning to create more resilient buildings. One of these innovations is the 3PT prestressed flooring system – a panellised system with timber box beams sandwiched by two reinforced concrete end sections. The entire panel is then prestressed to create a positive camber. The idea is to develop a stiff, strong floor panel that allows greater spans than with timber alone.

They needed to test this innovative system before it could be used in the real world. Unfortunately, the university’s test laboratory was fully booked for months. Commercial demand for the system meant they needed urgent testing. Knowing our reputation for completing projects quickly, they gave us a call. Ten days later they had their results – cyclic testing at the serviceability limit state of five panels in four-point bending, and cyclic testing of one panel in shear.

With spans of up to 9.2m, large loads and all specimens tested to failure, this was four-point bending at its best.


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