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Concrete In Australia : December 2013
22 Concrete in Australia Vol 39 No 4 COVER STORY be. They could only supply 2ft coils and nobody could straighten them! “It was at that time I met John and told him about prestressed concrete. John said ‘What’s that?’ But he responded with his usual great understanding and enthusiasm, and promised to carry a stock of about 5t on large coils, which would allow any job to start, if not finish. By this time Concrete Industries, Humes and others were becoming interested and the history since proves how right John was. Without his presence at that time, prestressed concrete would have taken several more years to get going in Australia.” Reid commenced supplying wire to PSC, Monier and Humes as prestressing was quickly adopted in Australia. In 1954, the Swan Narrows Bridge, the longest prestressed bridge in the world at the time, was built in Perth. It was designed by Maunsell with prestressing designed by Edwin Gifford, who soon afterwards developed the CCL Gifford- Udall system. Harris returned to London in 1957 to join his brother Alan in Harris and Sutherland Consulting Engineers. AHR lost the business they started as prestressing wire became a commodity due to the rapidly growing demand and a price war. Bridon could no longer compete. Although prestressing held great promise, Reid realised that the supply of wire was not his future. He needed something new. Bridon learned that Cable Covers (CCL) in the UK wanted a partner in Australia. Reid immediately realised that the CCL Gifford-Udall strand prestressing system was the winner he needed to change the market. In 1960, they began a joint venture, CCL Australia. Initially engineers were cautious about changing to CCL strand systems. However, one innovative Sydney engineer, John Ferris, saw the potential for post-tensioned floors. Reid’s innovation reached the construction of the Sydney Opera House, being led by Arup structural engineers and builder Hornibrook. Hornibrook project engineer John Kuner, recalled that while working on the erection of the Opera House roof, his engineers had come to an impasse with a technical problem that threatened to halt construction. Discussing the issue during one of his site visits, Reid offered an inventive solution that provided the key to solving the problem. In 1962, after prototype anchor explosions, Reid had invented a flat anchorage to take 4 or 6 x 12.7mm prestressed concrete (PC) strands. This solved problems and simplified the post tensioning of slabs. It has been widely copied and is the same type of anchorage in common use today. Arup and Hornibrook specified CCL systems for post-tensioning the Sydney Opera House roof because they found a versatile way of varying the levels of John Reid, founder of CCL in Australia and wife Judy inspecting the CCL strand anchor points with Glen Thompson (l) and Managing Director John Bond of Ancon (CCL). 20-25 - Cover.indd 22 20-25 - Cover.indd 22 25/11/13 2:41 PM 25/11/13 2:41 PM