Image icon  Concrete from a commercial paving slab

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Description: Concrete is 8 times stronger in compression than tension, so is usually designed for compressive rather than tensile loading. Tensile strength can be increased by pre-stressing the concrete using steel wires that are held in tension during setting. When the stress on the wires is removed, they contract forcing the concrete into compression. When the concrete is then subjected to a tensile stress, the internal compressive stress has to be exceeded before the concrete goes into tension
Keywords: aggregate • cement • ceramic • concrete • water
Categories: Science approaches > Microstructure
Materials > Ceramics & glasses > Cement & concrete > Concrete
Testing, analysis & experimentation > Metallography
Scale > Micro
Created by: Dr K M Knowles, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
Published by: DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge
License: This resource is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license (2.0 UK: England & Wales).
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Date created: 09 August 2002
Date added: 21 August 2009
Resource ID: 1213