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Until recently a double-curved surface was the accepted form of tension structure: fabric is stiffened to resist down- and uploads by being tensioned in two directions, but the opposing direction of forces reduces its efficiency and creates greater geometrical volume.
For example, the use of post tensioned reinforcement to construct slabs results in thinner concrete sections and/or longer spans and thinner decks between supports, as in bridges.
The post-tensioning method sees cables embedded within the slabs of concrete, which are then tensioned after they are cured.