External post-tensioned responsive structures

External post-tensioning has proven to be an effective solution to introduce intermediate supports in structures in order to decrease their spans and to allow a more efficient distribution of bending moments. This leads to important savings in terms of material. However, this increase of effectiveness is achieved only for a specific loading, which generally corresponds to the permanent load distribution.

This research introduces the possibility of extending the benefits of this technique to situations where relevant live loads act through the use of a responsive external under-deck post-tensioning system. As a first approach, a simple structure is studied, where the adaptive behavior is materialized through a linear actuator located between the deck and the under-deck post-tensioning system, which elongates as the live load increases.



This research aims to design an externally post-tensioned responsive structure, studying both its structural behavior and the different technological aspects involved in this new type of structures.

A complete overview of the system is described in this short video https://vimeo.com/726758617