Unplanned construction joints
These are jointsthat are forced upon the concrete-placing crewbecause of an interruption in supply of a durationlong enough for the concrete to take its initial set.There is no opportunity to plan their location.Principles to follow can be only indicated. As withplanned joints, the concrete should be cut back tobroadly approximately a single plane and the facemade vertical. Top ends should be used wherepossible and the concrete vibrated against these.After forming and clearing the excess concreteaway, the joint should be treated as for plannedconstruction joints.
Designers and specifiers of joints should have aclear understanding of the specific requirements forany joint on a specific project. These will range fromweathertightness to ease of maintenance and repair,and will be discussed under each specific joint type.However, there are a few aspects which warrantdiscussion before looking at the specific joint types:
Buildability and minimum size
Designersshould be confident that the chosen detail canbe easily fabricated and will permit easy andsafe construction. Proven details should bereused where appropriate; reinvention of thewheel should be avoided. Joints must be wideenough to accommodate the tolerances offabrication, construction and erection. Thisusually means a minimum width of 20 mm.
Maintenance and repair
As noted earlier, jointsare the focal point for wear and deterioration;aspects of maintenance and repair should beconsidered at the design stage. The choice of asuitable sealant is important as is the appropriatesealant cross-section. Although today’s sealantsare long-lasting, they eventually will needreplacement or repair; the process and ease ofthis should be part-and-parcel of joint design.There should be provision for inspection andmaintenance of face sealants. Locatingdownpipes in front of a face-sealed joint, whilstprotecting the sealant from UV light, impedesboth inspection and repair.
These are proprietary products and theadvice on particular products should be obtainedfrom the particular manufacturer/supplier,eg on cross-section dimensions for the sealantand precautions to be taken during installation.However, the ACI
Guide to Sealing Joints inConcrete Structures
provides sound adviceregarding the various types of sealant, how theyfunction, joint details, installation andperformance, repair and maintenance.It suggests that the required properties of a jointsealant are that it:
be impermeable material;
deform to accommodate the movement and rateof movement occurring at the joint;
sufficiently retain its original properties andshape if subjected to cyclical deformations;
adhere to concrete.In general, field-moulded sealants suitable forface sealing joints between precast wall claddingpanels will be either polysulphides, polyurethanesor silicone.To minimise the strain on the sealant as the joint opens or closes, a rectangular cross sectionwith a larger width than depth across the joint ispreferred. The use of backup materials to controlthe depth of sealant is therefore recommended.
PAVEMENT-ABUTTING STRUCTURE ISOLATIONJOINTDescription
A joint occurring where a pavement,(ground-supported floor) abutts a structure; itallows the pavement and adjacent structure tomove relative to each other
The joint should not impede anyrelative movement. This may be horizontal, verticalor both and may include rotation. Concrete dryingshrinkage in the pavement will mean the joint willusually open with time. However, temperaturechanges and prestressing forces may give rise to joint closing movements. The joints should besealed to prevent ingress of detritus which mayinhibit this movement. Ability to resist positive waterpressure is not usually required; if it is required,reference should be made to joints for water-retaining structures.
The filler material and sealant shouldbe capable of accepting the required expansion andoffer little resistance to any compression. The facesshould be well compacted during construction togive a smooth finish which offers little resistance tovertical movement.
Usually determined by the location of theadjacent structure. Where possible, other jointsshould be aligned in the same plane
. Avoidthe creation of re-entrant angles in the floor panelsas these function as crack initiators.
Joints in Concrete Buildings