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1he function of any noor is to provide a level surface that is capable of supporting

all the live and dead loads imposed. Reinforced concrete, with its nexibility in
design, good nre resistance and sound-insulating properties, is widely used for the
construction of suspended noors for all types of building. 1he disadvantages of
ia-situ concrete are:
² the need for formwork,
² the time taken for the concrete to cure before the formwork can be released for
reuse and the noor made available as a working area,
² the very small contribution by a large proportion of the concrete to the strength
of the noor.
Iloors composed of reinforced precast concrete units have been developed
over the years to overcome some or all of the disadvantages of ia-situ reinforced
concrete slab. 1o realise the full economy of any one particular precast nooring
system the design of the noors should be within the span, width, loading and
layout limitations of the units under consideration, coupled with the advantages
of repetition.
Before any system of precast concrete nooring can be considered in detail the
following factors must be taken into account:
² maximum span,
² nature of support,
² weight of units,
² thickness of units,
² thermal insulation properties,
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² sound insulation properties,
² nre resistance of units,
² speed of construction,
² amount of temporary support required.
1he systems available can be considered as either precast hollow noors or
composite noors, further subdivision is possible by taking into account the amount
of temporary support required during the construction period.
Precast hollow noor units are available in a variety of sections such as box planks
or beams, tee sections, I beam sections and channel sections (see Iig. +.5.1). 1he
economies that can reasonably be expected over the ia-situ noor are:
² 50' reduction in the volume of concrete,
² 25' reduction in the weight of reinforcement,
² 10' reduction in size of foundations.
1he units are cast in precision moulds, around innatable formers or foamed
plastic cores. 1he units are laid side by side, with the edge joints being grouted
together, a structural topping is not required, but the upper surface of the
units is usually screeded to provide the correct surface for the applied nnishes
(see Iig. +.5.1). Iittle or no propping is required during the construction period,
but usually some means of mechanical lifting is required to ofnoad and position
the units. Hollow units are normally the cheapest form of precast concrete
suspended noor for simple straight spans with beam or wall supports up to a
maximum span of 20.000 m. 1hey are not considered suitable where heavy point
loads are encountered unless a structural topping is used to spread the load over
a suitable area.
1he hollow beams or planks give a nat sofnt, which can be left in its natural
state or be given a skim coat of plaster, the voids in the units can be used to house
the services that are normally incorporated in the depth of the noor. 1he ribbed
sofnt of the channel and tee units can be masked by a suspended ceiling, again, the
voids created can be utilised to house the services. Special units are available with
nxing inserts for suspended ceilings, service outlets and edges to openings.
1hese noors are a combination of precast units and ia-situ concrete. 1he precast
units, which are usually prestressed or reinforced with high-yield steel bars, are
used to provide the strength of the noor with the smallest depth practicable and
at the same time act as permanent formwork to the ia-situ topping, which provides
the compressive strength required. It is essential that an adequate bond is achieved
between the two components. In most cases this is provided by the upper surface
texture of the precast units, alternatively a mild steel fabric can be nxed over the
units before the ia-situ topping is laid.
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Figure +.5.1 Precast concrete hollow noors.
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Composite noors generally take one of two forms:
² thin prestressed planks with a side key and covered with an ia-situ topping
(see Iig. +.5.2).
² reinforced or prestressed narrow beams, which are placed at 600 mm centres and
are bridged by concrete nller blocks known as pots. 1he whole combination is
covered with ia-situ structural concrete topping. Most of the beams used in this
method have a shear reinforcing cage projecting from the precast beam section
(see Iig. +.5.3).
In both forms temporary support should be given to the precast units by props at
1.800-2.+00 m centres until the ia-situ topping has cured.
Precast hollow noors are generally cheaper than composite, ia-situ concrete is
not required, and therefore the need for mixing plant and storage of materials
is eliminated. 1he units are self-centring, therefore temporary support is not
required, the construction period is considerably shorter, and generally the overall
weight is less.
Composite noors will act in the same manner as an ia-situ noor and can therefore
be designed for more complex loadings. 1he formation of cantilevers is easier
with this system, and support beams can be designed within the depth of the noor,
giving a nat sofnt. Services can be housed within the structural ia-situ topping, or
within the voids of the nller blocks. Iike the precast hollow noor, composite noors
are generally cheaper than a comparable ia-situ noor, within the limitations of the
system employed.
Figure +.5.2 Composite noors - prestressed plank.
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Figure +.5.3 Composite noors - beam or pot.