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History of VSL (1956 Present)

The VSL of today and its reputation worldwide can be traced back to the time of European turmoil in 1943 when the major Swiss builder Losinger saw potential applications for the innovative technique of prestressing. The company acquired nonexclusive rights to use the process throughout Switzerland as a means of increasing production capacity and introducing new solutions to the Swiss market. Losinger founded the company Prcontrainte SA in Lausanne in 1954 with the aim of developing and applying the licensed system across Switzerland. Losingers management faced many obstacles in the pursuit of its objectives and so decided to undertake an intensive programme to research and develop its own customized system. The result was the VSL (Vorspann System Losinger) wire-based system, which was patented in 1954-55 and first employed in 1956 on the Pont des Cygnes Bridge at Yverdon, Switzerland. The technical advantages offered by the new system were so attractive that it very quickly became the solution of choice on many civil engineering projects throughout Switzerland. At the same time, licences were being awarded to representatives in other countries - a move that promoted rapid adoption of the system and created a prominent international profile.

The Pont des Cygnes Bridge

The trademark was launched in 1958 and the logo soon became recognized throughout the world. corporate symbol was subsequently revamped in 1989 to create a new design, which is still in use today. The

By 1965, Losinger had several years of operational experience and wanted to meet the increasing demand for higher-capacity cables. The decision was made to develop the VSL strand system to take advantage of an emerging trend for prestressing that used hard steel strands. The novel system was unveiled to the public in Paris at the 1966 International Federation of Prestressing (fib) Congress. Successful completion of the development enabled VSL to introduce a revolutionary system onto the world market. It was based on a purely mechanical approach, characterized by the simultaneous tensioning of cable strands, each individually anchored using wedges held in place solely by friction with the strand. This innovation was highly influential, both in prestressing applications and more generally throughout the construction industry. VSL offered engineers, designers and contractors the flexibility of a system whose cables could accommodate unit forces that at the time spanned the full range from 15 tones to 1,200 tones, depending on the chosen anchorage. This enabled the company to provided construction engineers with a tool that was adaptable to meet the design constraints inherent in their structures. The versatility of the VSL system provided a wide array of potential solutions, regardless of the structure's size, shape, complexity or applied forces. The need to identify solutions for highly-diverse projects became apparent from the earliest VSL prestressing system applications, first using wires (1956) and then strands (1965). Requests that came via the network of users and design offices led VSL to innovate, enhance and consolidate its techniques, equipment, services and organizational structure to meet the growing expectations of engineers, clients and project owners. In-house staff worked to implement and master the solutions for all kinds of projects, whatever the level of VSLs involvement. Source: