Freyssinet, Eugène(özhĕn` frāsēnā`), 1879–1962, French engineer. Freyssinet was noted as a designer of bridges and industrial buildings. He was the inventor of the internationally used prestressing technique devised to overcome difficulties in executing curved shapes in reinforced concrete. An austere, highly functional beauty characterizes his designs for airship hangars at Orly Airport, Paris, for harbor construction at Brest and Le Havre, and for runways, roads, and bridges on several continents.
Born July 13, 1879, in Objat, Corrèze Department; died June 8, 1962, in St.-Martin-Vésubie, Alpes-Maritimes Department. French engineer and scientist specializing in reinforced-concrete structures; one of the developers of prestressed concrete.
Freyssinet graduated from the National School of Bridges and Highways in 1904. From 1905 to 1928 he supervised the construction of a number of unique reinforced-concrete structures, all of his own design. Among them were the arch bridge in St.-Pierre-du-Vauvray (span, 130 m), the Plougastel Bridge (three spans, each 186.4 m), and thin-walled roofs of hangars at Orly. During this period Freyssinet first studied creep in concrete and the effect of creep on losses of prestress. In 1928 he began devising methods of fabricating prestressed structures from concrete and high-strength steel, and by 1932 he had set up the first plant for manufacturing prestressed towers, piles, and ties. Freyssinet’s designs for prestressed-concrete bridges, hydraulic-engineering structures, and large-span roofs are used in many countries.