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Construction Joints

Construction Joints

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Published by hansnito
Construction Joints
Construction Joints

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Published by: hansnito on Dec 03, 2012
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o n s t ruction joints arestopping places for con-c rete work. They’re neededbecause it’s not feasible toplace all the concrete for most jobsin one pour. Breaking the job intosmaller portions allows the contra c-tor to:Match pour size with concre t ed e l i ve ry capabilities
Choose the best crew size
Make best use of equipment
Reduce form w o rk costs byi n c reasing form re u s eVe rtical and hori zontal constru c-tion joints must be carefully locatedto produce these benefits withoutweakening the stru c t u re. And tofunction properly the joints must bebuilt corre c t l y.
Where to install construction joints
The architect or engineer oftenspecifies construction joint location
Construction joints formultistory structures
Where to locate them, how to form them
& M
, F
Figure 1.
The ACI Code requires construction joints in elevated slabs to belocated within the middle third of spans of slabs, beams, and girders. Jointsmust be located at least two beam widths away from beam-girder intersections.
in the contract documents. So m e-t i m e s, though, the contractor isasked to submit a construction jointplan after the bid letting. In eitherc a s e, the engineer or contra c t o rshould consider economy, appear-a n c e, strength, and durability whenchoosing joint location.Ec o n o m y. If the contractor has in-put on where to put constru c t i o n j o i n t s, he can match the pour size tohis cre w’s capabilities. Also, placinga construction joint in a pra c t i c a lspot, such as between footing andw a l l s, avoids complex, costly form-w o rk .Ap p e a ra n c e. Co n s t ruction jointscan influence how a stru c t u re looks.Often they are installed in an incon-spicuous position. So m e t i m e s,though, they are used as a feature of the stru c t u re. Some designers usereglets and rustication gro oves tohide the joints. Whatever scheme isused, the joints should fit the arc h i-t e c t u ral design.St rength. A construction joint in-t roduces a weak ve rtical or hori zo n-tal plane in an otherwise monolithicc o n c rete member. This obvious slipplane may reduce the strength of b e a m s, columns, and walls.Test results show that constru c-tion joints reduce a member’s shears t rength but not the flexural orbending strength. Tests conductedon simply supported beams with ave rtical construction joint at thecenter showed the same load-de-flection and ultimate moment char-a c t e ristics as an unjointed beam( Ref. 1). Me a s u rements of cra c widths also indicated similar perf o r-mance between jointed and un- jointed beams. These results heldt rue for a joint that was delibera t e l ydebonded between the two con-c rete pours. The construction jointin these tests was located in a re g i o nof negligible shear.In a region where the shear is sig-nificant, a construction joint with asmooth surface reduces the shears t rength of the member by 40%. Bu ta beam having a joint with a ro u g h-ened surface has a failure mode andultimate load similar to an unjoint-ed beam. A
1 6
-inch texture over thee n t i re face qualified as a ro u g h e n e ds u rface in these tests (Ref. 1).Du ra b i l i t y. The location of con-s t ruction joints also is affected bywhether or not water and salts caneasily enter the joint. Although con-c rete has low permeability to waterand salts, construction joints don’t .Water and salt leaking thro u g h joints may cause rusting of re b a r,p re s t ressing tendons, and anchor-age hard w a re in parking stru c t u re s.Locate construction joints at highpoints in the floor away from dra i n s.W h e re durability is critical, use few-er joints by allowing larger floorp o u r s. Consider using waterstop atsome or all joint locations.
ACI requirements forconstruction joint design
Because construction joints aremost likely to reduce shear stre n g t h ,they should be located where shearf o rces are low. Under uniformly dis-t ributed gravity loads, shear forc e sa re low in the middle of a flexura lmember span. Thus, the Ameri c a nCo n c rete Institute (ACI) Bu i l d i n gCode (Ref. 2, Section 6.4.4) re q u i re st h a t :“Co n s t ruction joints in floorsshall be located within the middlet h i rd of spans of slabs, beams, andg i rd e r s. Joints in girders shall be off-set a minimum distance of twotimes the width of intersectingb e a m s” (Fi g u re 1).T h e re may be high shear forc e se ven at midspan, for instance,w h e re a beam intersects a gird e r.T h a t’s why the code re q u i res jointsto be located at least two beamwidths away from a beam-girder in-tersection. It’s a good idea to keepc o n s t ruction joints away from pointloads (such as heavy equipment) forthe same reason.Locate construction joints inwalls and columns on the undersideof floor slabs, beams, or gird e r s, andat the tops of footings or floor slabs.
Figure 2.
Bulkheads form verticalconstruction joints for elevated slabs(above) and beams (below).Bulkheads are stiffened and braced toresist lateral concrete pressures.
Figure 3.
Keys are sometimes formedin bulkheads to increase joint shearresistance. This joint design alsoincludes a waterstop. Note that theplywood bulkheads aren’t notched.Plywood pieces are cut, positionedunder rebars, and nailed to 2x4vertical supports.
Plan View
To avoid cracking from settlement,pour concrete in columns and wallsat least 2 hours before placing con-c rete in slabs or beams framing intothem (Ref. 3).Designing concrete members forl a t e ral forces may re q u i re specialdesign treatment of constru c t i o n j o i n t s. Shear keys, diagonal dowe l s,or the shear transfer method (AC ICo d e, Section 11.7) may be used.
How to form construction joints
Deciding where to put constru c-tion joints is only half the job. Theother half is forming them corre c t l yand cleaning the joint surface be-f o re the next concrete placement.Bulkheads for construction jointsa re normally formed with wood, al-though expanded metal mesh hasalso been used (See Co n c rete Co n-s t ruction, July 1983, page 552; No-vember 1986, page 966; Fe b ru a ry1988, page 214). Fo rming costs arehigh because rebar has to passt h rough the bulkhead. Wood mem-bers are notched or a gap is left inthe plane of the re b a r. Leaving a gapa l l ows each bulkhead board to bepositioned and re m oved withoutputting pre s s u re on the bar. Exc e s-s i ve pre s s u re might cause gre e nc o n c rete to spall or crack. Be c a u s ethey are cut to fit and usually dam-aged when stripped, bulkheadsa re n’t re u s a b l e.Co n s t ruction joints in floor slabsusually are made of 2-by materi a l sor plywood (Fi g u re 2). Wall or beambulkheads are usually made of ply-wood. Shear keys, if re q u i red, can bemade by beveling 2x4 or 2x6 lumber( Fi g u re 3).Ho ri zontal construction joints inwalls and columns are genera l l yspaced one story apart. Use challines or nails dri ven on the inside of wall forms to mark the joint loca-tion. Or use a wood strip nailed tothe form s.For arc h i t e c t u ral concre t e, morec a re is needed to get straight andl e vel hori zontal joints (Ref. 4). Nail a1-inch wood strip to the inside faceof the forms near the top (Fi g u re 4).Put tie rods about 4 inches belowthe joint to support forms for thenext lift. Place concrete to a leve lslightly above the bottom of thes t ri p. Re m ove the strip after con-c rete has set enough to hold its posi-tion. When forms are set for the nextlift, locate another row of ties justa b ove the joint. Ties above and be-l ow the joint hold the form tightlyagainst concrete in the lower lift.D o n’t overlap sheathing more thanan inch over the lower lift. This alsohelps pre vent leakage.Gro oves or rustications are a goodway to hide hori zontal joints (Fi g u re5). Rustication strips are best at-tached with double-headed nailsd ri ven from the outside. After nailsa re pulled, the strips will pull loosef rom forms during stripping andcan be left in the concrete longer top rotect edges from spalling. Ma k es u re that rebars behind the ru s t i c a-tion strip have adequate cove r.
Construction joint surfacepreparation
After placing and curing the con-c rete and re m oving the bulkhead,the hardened concrete joint surf a c emust be pre p a red. ACI 318-83 re-q u i res that:“Su rface of concrete constru c t i o n joints shall be cleaned and laitancere m oved. Immediately before newc o n c rete is placed, all constru c t i o n joints shall be wetted and standingwater re m ove d .Use stiff wire bru s h e s, scabblers,w a t e r b l a s t e r s, or sandblasters toclean surfaces and re m ove laitance.Expanded metal mesh bulkheadsleft in place also provide a goodrough bonding surface (Ref. 5).The 1977 ACI Code re q u i red ap-plication of a neat cement paste tove rtical construction joint surf a c e s.This pro c e d u re was not alwaysp ractical and is no longer re q u i re d .
Team effort
Understanding the why, where,and how of construction joints form u l t i s t o ry stru c t u res invo l ves ateam approach. The architect wants joints that are consistent with the
Figure 4.
Detail shows how to forman inconspicuous horizontal construction joint without a rustication strip (Ref. 4).

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