On September 8, 2020

Comparing Post-Tension Concrete to Normal Concrete

For those looking into a new tennis court, basketball court, pickleball court or any other multipurpose court, material quality is a vital factor. The material used for your court is important not only for the long-term durability of the court, but also variables like cost, performance and long-term maintenance needs.

At Courts Unlimited, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of residential and commercial multi-sport game courts utilizing post-tension concrete. This is a form of high-quality concrete that requires a specialized process, and we’re one of the only local court contractors able to carry out such work in Utah. Let’s take a few moments to give you a primer on post-tensioning concrete – how and why it’s done, plus some of the advantages of this material over traditional concrete.

Post-Tensioning Basics

Post-tension concrete is created through the post-tensioning process, which is a form of prestressing – there are other such forms for concrete as well, though they are not commonly used for courts. The process involves adding pressure and strength to the concrete for several reasons.

Now, post-tensioning isn’t only done for multipurpose game courts. It’s also commonly utilized by architects, engineers and general contractors for durable, high-efficiency production of many concrete surfaces or structures.

How it Works

During the post-tensioning process, items known as post-tensioning tendons will be installed into a parabolic profile before the concrete is placed. Later on, these tendons will be stressed to a specific concrete strength that’s desired for the slab.

As this is carried out, two forces are introduced to the concrete: Compressive forces to strengthen it, plus stress forces that counterbalance service loads. Our next section will dig into how this benefits the final product.

Advantages Over Standard Concrete

There are several distinct benefits to post-tension concrete that make it the material of choice in several circumstances, including many multipurpose courts, and often highly preferable to traditional concrete. These benefits include:

  • Cost savings: Post-tension concrete requires thinner concrete members, plus has lower requirements for rebar, building cladding, service elements and shear walls. Rebar in floor elements, in particular, is often reduced by up to 75%.
  • Improved performance: Post-tension concrete courts have less deflection and vibration than traditional concrete, plus better crack control and waterproofing capabilities. As such, they have longer lifespans. They also have better seismic protection.
  • Construction time: The pour cycle for post-tension concrete is only three or four days in most cases. In addition, it comes with lesser re-shoring requirements than other forms of concrete.
  • Maintenance: Finally, post-tension concrete requires limited maintenance, plus often brings energy savings due to reduced material usage.

For more on the benefits of post-tension courts compared to traditional concrete, or to learn about any of our tennis courts, basketball courts or other options, speak to the staff at Courts Unlimited today.