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Slab thickness

The slabs are spanned across the walls or the beams, as the case may be. For a span of about three to four meters the slab thickness is usually of the order of 11cm to 12 cm. RCC slabs have become the most commonly used technique for roofs/ floors wherein, a slab thickness of 125mm to 150 mm is the norm. For most engineered structures, the slab thickness is determined as per the building design by the structural engineer.In rural housing applications, which are mostly non-engineered, the skilled masons commonly cast slabs of 100mm/125mm thickness.

Concrete Mix

The concrete mix is an important aspect of RCC slab because it determines the compressive strength of concrete and also its durability in terms of weather resistance and water permeability. In engineering practice, the concrete mix is denoted by M15, M20, M25 (and more richer mixes as well). where the number denotes the strength of a cube in N/mm2 of concrete made using similar mix proportions. The mix proportions should are determined on the basis of the strength requirements of concrete and the grading and size of aggregates. However, ordinarily, the mix proportions are specified as 1:2:4 (M15), 1:1.5:3 (M20), 1:3:6 (M10) - for cement:sand:aggregates. For instance, 1:2:4 is commonly specified as mix for casting RCC slabs in rural areas, where as less stronger mixes such as 1:4:8 are specified for Plain Cement Concrete applications such as base concrete for footings.

As per IS 456:2000 Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete, the following grades of concrete are recommended for various exposure conditions which would affect its durability

Exposure condition grade of concrete Mild 300

Minimum cement content kg/m3

Maximum water cement ratio Min

0.55

M20

Moderate 300

0.50

M25

Severe 320

0.45

M30

Very severe 340

0.45

M35

Extreme 360

0.40

M40

Reinforcement

The reinforcement steel for slabs is normally Tor steel (cold-twisted deformed bars) or TMT (Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars which have recently become more common on account of their better resistance to corrosion. The bars are available in standard diameters ranging from 6mm to 40mm. The actual specification for reinforcement is calculated on the basis of structural requirements. However, for most rural applications, where spans normally donot exceed 3.5 metres, 8 and 10 mm dia steel bars are used, the bigger dimater used as main reinforcemment along the span of the slab. As a general guide, minimum reinforcement in RCC slabs in either direction should not be less than 0.15% of the gross crosssectional area of concrete and the maximum diameter of main reinforcement should be 1/8th-1/10th of the slab thickness. Slab being a crucial element of construction of the house, the advice of non professionals should not be followed by the owner.

Minimum lap length should be 50 times the diameter of bar- 50d Development length should be at least sixty times the diameter of bar- 60d Steel should be bent at 45 degree Cover blocks should be used to maintain covers to steel bars. The following covers should be maintained Column- 40 mm

Beam- 25 mm Slab- 20 mm Footing- 50mm

CONSTRUCTION

Shuttering

The process of constructing the RCC slab commences by erecting the centering and shuttering. Wooden shuttering is usually provided for the purpose although steel shuttering is recommended for getting a good under surface of the slab. Once the shuttering has been laid in a level, it has to be cleaned properly.

Shuttering oil is applied on the top of shuttering plates to ensure thatconcrete, which has to be laid, does not stick to the surface of the shuttering while it is removed

Reinforcement

The reinforcement bars are then laid as per design in both directions and tied properly with binding wire.

Mixing concrete

All raw materials, cement, sand, coarse aggregates and water should be measured as per requirement of mix design

The raw materials are then mixed uniformly, while ensuring that a proper water-cement ratio is maintained which is just enough to impart sufficient workability needed to pour concrete. Ideally, the mixing should be done in a mechanical mixer. The concete mixer should be allowed to rotate for at least 2 minutes.

Pouring Concrete

The concrete is then laid continuously to the required thickness and compacted using a needle vibrator to ensure that the cement slurry adequately fills the gaps between aggregates. vibrated effectively such that no air gaps are left in the concrete After the concrete has been poured, it should be finished with a steel float to ensure that the top surface is finished smooth and to make fine adjustments for uniform slab thickness.

Curing

Curing is critical for a good quality concrete slab and is is commonly done by flooding the slab with water after dividing the slab into smaller portions with cement mortar partitions. The curing of slab should begin the next day of casting and continue for at least 14 days for adequate concrete strength. Inadequate curing will result in poor quality concrete and can undo the benefit of an appropriate mix and good quality mixing and compaction

De-shuttering

The side shuttering of the slab can be removed after 48 hours. The bottom shuttering should not be removed before 14 days. The under surface of the concrete should be cleaned with steel brushes such that no impuSlab thickness The slabs are spanned across the walls or the beams, as the case may be. For a span of about three to four meters the slab thickness is usually of the order of 11cm to 12 cm. RCC slabs have become the most commonly used technique for roofs/ floors wherein, a slab thickness of 125mm to 150 mm is the norm. For most engineered structures, the slab thickness is determined as per the building design by the structural engineer.In rural housing applications, which are mostly non-engineered, the skilled masons commonly cast slabs of 100mm/125mm thickness. Concrete Mix The concrete mix is an important aspect of RCC slab because it determines the compressive strength of concrete and also its durability in terms of weather resistance and water permeability. In engineering practice, the concrete mix is denoted by M15, M20, M25 (and more richer mixes as well). where the number denotes the strength of a cube in N/mm2 of concrete made using similar mix proportions. The mix proportions should are determined on the basis of the strength requirements of concrete and the grading and size of aggregates. However, ordinarily, the mix proportions are specified as 1:2:4 (M15), 1:1.5:3 (M20), 1:3:6 (M10) - for cement:sand:aggregates. For instance, 1:2:4 is commonly specified as mix for casting RCC slabs in rural areas, where as less stronger mixes such as 1:4:8 are specified for Plain Cement Concrete applications such as base concrete for footings. As per IS 456:2000 Code of Practice for Plain and Reinforced Concrete, the following grades of concrete are recommended for various exposure conditions which would affect its durability Exposure condition Mild Moderate Severe Very severe Extreme Minimum cement content kg/m3 300 300 320 340 360 Maximum water cement ratio 0.55 0.50 0.45 0.45 0.40 Min grade of concrete M20 M25 M30 M35 M40

Reinforcement

The reinforcement steel for slabs is normally Tor steel (cold-twisted deformed bars) or TMT (Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars which have recently become more common on account of their better resistance to corrosion. The bars are available in standard diameters ranging from 6mm to 40mm. The actual specification for reinforcement is calculated on the basis of structural requirements. However, for most rural applications, where spans normally do not exceed 3.5 meters, 8 and 10 mm die steel bars are used, the bigger diameter used as main reinforcement along the span of the slab. As a general guide, minimum reinforcement in RCC slabs in either direction should not be less than 0.15% of the gross crosssectional area of concrete and the maximum diameter of main reinforcement should be 1/8th-1/10th of the slab thickness. Slab being a crucial element of construction of the house, the advice of nonprofessionals should not be followed by the owner.

Minimum lap length should be 50 times the diameter of bar- 50d Development length should be at least sixty times the diameter of bar- 60d Steel should be bent at 45 degree Cover blocks should be used to maintain covers to steel bars. The following covers should be maintained

Column- 40 mm Beam- 25 mm Slab- 20 mm Footing- 50mm

CONSTRUCTION Shuttering The process of constructing the RCC slab commences by erecting the centering and shuttering. Wooden shuttering is usually provided for the purpose although steel shuttering is recommended for getting a good under surface of the slab. Once the shuttering has been laid in a level, it has to be cleaned properly.

Shuttering oil is applied on the top of shuttering plates to ensure that concrete, which has to be laid, does not stick to the surface of the shuttering while it is removed Reinforcement The reinforcement bars are then laid as per design in both directions and tied properly with binding wire. Mixing concrete All raw materials, cement, sand, coarse aggregates and water should be measured as per requirement of mix design The raw materials are then mixed uniformly, while ensuring that a proper water-cement ratio is maintained which is just enough to impart sufficient workability needed to pour concrete. Ideally, the mixing should be done in a mechanical mixer. The concete mixer should be allowed to rotate for at least 2 minutes.

Pouring Concrete The concrete is then laid continuously to the required thickness and compacted using a needle vibrator to ensure that the cement slurry adequately fills the gaps between aggregates. vibrated effectively such that no air gaps are left in the concrete After the concrete has been poured, it should be finished with a

steel float to ensure that the top surface is finished smooth and to make fine adjustments for uniform slab thickness.

Curing Curing is critical for a good quality concrete slab and is is commonly done by flooding the slab with water after dividing the slab into smaller portions with cement mortar partitions. The curing of slab should begin the next day of casting and continue for at least 14 days for adequate concrete strength. Inadequate curing will result in poor quality concrete and can undo the benefit of an appropriate mix and good quality mixing and compaction

De-shuttering The side shuttering of the slab can be removed after 48 hours. The bottom shuttering should not be removed before 14 days. The under surface of the concrete should be cleaned with steel brushes such that no impurities are left on the surface. Although the slab should be constructed under the supervision of a professional, the owner should oversee that all the precautions are being taken during construction

reties are left on the surface.

Although the slab should be constructed under the supervision of a professional, the owner should oversee that all the precautions are being taken during construction