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Published by dmehary

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Published by: dmehary on Jun 22, 2012
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In this example we introduce guidance on modelling a regular slab, in order to achieve a finiteelement solution which correlates with an empirical code design solution. While this guidancerelates to a specific code, and a particular simple regular grid layout, there is no reason why asimilar approach would notwork equally well for irregular slab layouts, and for different designcodes. The particular regular floor layout is shown below.
The beams shown above are for clarity only, they are not part of the model whichwe will be using.
In industry we see more and more emphasis being placed on modelling flat slabs using a finiteelement analysis. The reasons for this are many, including:· the need to provide reduced structural zones,
· the need to incorporate the potential that flat slabs provide for fast formwork erection andconstruction,· the need to provide unobstructed service zones,· the need (perhaps) to be able to handle irregular column layouts.BS 8110 and CP 65 provide guidance allowing you to idealize and analyze an orthogonal flatslab structure. If you are going to use this guidance you must:1. be able to identify column strips and middle strips,2. create and analyze a sub-frame (as you would for any other beam and column sub-framemodel),3. cater for pattern loads directly or apply moment re-distribution to theresultsbased on theanalysis of that load case where all the spans are fully loaded,4. proportion theresultingforces between the column strips and middle strips which youidentified earlier in an empirical fashion.For an orthogonal structure, such as that shown below, it is easy to visualize an arrangement of the two strip types.But for an irregular structure this is far less straightforward! In the example below there is noobvious orthogonal system of strips.
In fact, for this structure a system of triangular zones radiating from a core that combined thewalls and the column would be more rational. Codes give no way to deal with unusualarrangements such as this in a simplified fashion.These are the buildings about which we are asked regularly. To generalize:· virtually no-one shows us a nice regular layout,· theengineerhas usually tried and failed to apply the code's strip idealization in a way withwhich he is comfortable,· the engineer therefore wants to turn to a finite elementpackagein order to perform a moresophisticated analysis.However although a finite element analysis is more sophisticated it is not a design methodology.Any finite element analysis will yield results that need to be used carefully, but there appears tobe little authoritative guidance on this, and so theengineerswe speak to are hoping that we canprovide this. We can only offer as guidance the following summary of important aspects of which you need to be aware.So, where should we start?Many of the questions we face relate to highly irregular layouts where the results are not asexpected - typically the results show:· high hogging moments, and / or· small sagging moments.However in such cases there is no strong basis for suggesting what the correct results should be.So the best place to start has to be with a regular structure where we can compare the expectedresults based on long-standing and proven code idealisations with the results from our finiteelement analysis. We shall concentrate on the model shown below:

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