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Lecture #14

The Design of Reinforced Concrete Slabs

Via the Direct Method as per ACI 318-05

© L. A. Prieto-Portar - 2008

**Reinforced concrete floor systems provide an economical solution for virtually any span and
**

loading condition.

The reinforcing steel has the lowest influence on overall cost (15%). Of these three. Selecting the most effective floor system can be vital to achieving overall economy.Introduction. formwork comprises about 55 percent of the total cost and has the greatest influence on the overall cost of the floor system. 2) Repeat sizes and shapes of the concrete members wherever possible. economy is rarely achieved by reducing quantities of materials. To achieve overall economy. unless they are required in a quantity that allows for mass production. typically accounts for about 30 percent of the overall cost. and formwork are the three primary expenses in cast-in-place concrete floor construction to consider throughout the design process. reinforcement. In cast-in-place concrete construction. . Repetition allows reuse of forms from bay-to-bay and from floor-to-floor. The cost of the concrete. especially for low. but especially during the initial planning stages. including placing and finishing. 3) Strive for simple formwork. Rarely will custom forms be economical. Concrete. designers should satisfy the following three basic principles of formwork economy: 1) Specify readily available standard form sizes.and mid-rise buildings and for buildings subjected to relatively low lateral forces where the cost of the lateral-force-resisting system is minimal.

resulting in a more expensive structure. and 2) Long-Span Concrete Floor Systems (SP339). In general. resulting in a building that can be occupied sooner. Detailed information on how to select economical concrete floor systems for a wide variety of situations can be found in the following Portland Cement Association (PCA) publications: 1) Concrete Floor Systems . . Additional parameters must be considered when selecting an economical floor system.Guide to Estimating and Economizing (SP041). span lengths. varying the depth of a beam with the loading and span variations would give a moderate savings in materials. Simple formwork can make construction time shorter. floor loads.For example. but would create substantial additional costs in formwork. and geometry of a floor panel all play a key role in the selection process. The simplest and most cost-effective solution would be providing a constant beam depth and varying the reinforcement along the span.

5(a) may be used to determine minimum thickness h. even when linear elastic behavior is assumed. which are illustrated in the figure on the next slide for Grade 60 reinforcement. where l is the span length in inches. The preliminary thickness of a solid one-way slab with normal weight concrete and Grade 60 reinforcement is l / 24. for beams.3. Before analyzing the floor system. two-way slabs. For continuous one-way slabs and beams. Deflections need not be computed when a thickness at least equal to the minimum is provided.Preliminary sizing of the slab. . minimum thickness requirements are given in Section 9. since this thickness will satisfy deflection criteria for all spans.1. ln is the clear span length in the long direction measured face-to-face of supports. In the figure f is the ratio of the flexural stiffness of a beam section to the flexural stiffness of a width of slab bounded laterally by centerlines of adjacent panels (Section 13.5. Table 9. and fm is the average value of f for all beams on the edges of a panel. one-way slabs and beams that are not supporting or attached to partitions or other construction likely to be damaged by large deflections. determine h based on one-end continuous.5 are satisfied. By satisfying these minimum requirements. minimum h is l / 18. For two-way construction. deflections need not be computed.5. designers must assume preliminary member sizes. For solid.6).6. Typically. Deflection calculations for two-way slabs are complex. For non-prestressed. Section 9. Similarly. the slab and/or beam thickness is determined first to ensure that the deflection requirements of ACI 318-05.

.

Mu is the largest factored moment along the span (in foot-kips) and d is the required effective depth of the beam (inches). the beam width bw can be determined based on moment strength. while for joists and slabs. For beams with one layer of reinforcement. . which is derived in the PCA’s Simplified Design (EB104) Handbook can be used to determine bw for the typical case when f ’c = 4 ksi and f y = 60 ksi: 20M u bw = d2 In this equation. shear around the columns is critically important.25 inches.When two-way slab systems are supported directly on columns. based on deflection criteria.5 inches. especially at exterior slab-column connections where the total exterior slab moment must be transferred directly to the column. Minimum slab thickness for flat plates often is governed by this condition. The following equation. d can be taken equal to h – 2. Once the depth of a beam has been computed. d can be taken as h – 1. Similar sizing equations can be derived for other concrete strengths and grades of reinforcement.

7.In the preliminary design stage. based on the type of aggregate used in the concrete mix. the local building code governing the specific project must be consulted to ensure that minimum fire resistance requirements are met. In general. Table 721. Cover thicknesses for reinforced concrete floor slabs and beams are given in IBC Tables 721. Adequate cover to the reinforcing steel is required to protect it from the effects of fire.1 of ACI 318-05 will provide at least a two-hour fire resistance rating.2.1 in the International Code Council’s 2003 International Building Code (IBC) contains minimum reinforced concrete slab thickness for fire-resistance ratings of one to four hours. it is important for the engineer to consider fire resistance.2. .2.3(1) and 721. concrete member thickness required for structural purposes is usually adequate to provide at least a two-hour fire-resistance rating.3(3) respectively. In all cases. Building codes regulate the fire resistance of the various elements and assemblies of a building structure.2. Fire resistance must be considered when choosing a slab thickness. The minimum cover requirements in Section 7.

Even though numerous computer programs exist that can accomplish this task (eg.3 can be used to determine moments and shear forces.The Direct Design Method of Slabs.. These coefficients. CSI’s SAFE). which are given in the figure on the next slide. Wu . per Section 9. all members of frames or continuous construction must be designed for the maximum effects of factored loads.3 contains criteria for analyzing continuous beams and one-way slabs. and can be used to check output from a computer program.2. using an elastic analysis. Section 8.3. provided the limitations in the figure below satisfied. the set of approximate coefficients in Section 8. provide a quick and conservative way of determining design forces for beams and one-way slabs. In general.

.

and 13. .6.4. 13.1 are met (see the figure below).6.7 can be used to obtain design moments for two-way slab systems.3. the Direct Design Method of Section 13.In lieu of an analysis procedure satisfying equilibrium and geometric compatibility.6.6 or the Equivalent Frame Method of Section 13. If the limitations of the Direct Design Method in Section 13. then the total factored static moment Mo for a span can be distributed as negative and positive moments in the column and middle strips in accordance with Sections 13.6.6.

2. l2 = length of span.The total factored static moment Mo is given by.6. in the direction moments are being determined (Section 13. qu l2ln2 Mo = 8 where qu = factored load per unit area.5). measured center-to-center of supports in the direction perpendicular to the direction moments are being determined. respectively. measured face-to-face of supports. and ln = length of clear span. . The figures on the next two slides summarize the moments in the column and middle strips along the span of flat plates or flat slabs supported directly on columns and flat plates or flat slabs with spandrel beams.

.

.

In such cases. and two-way slabs will be tension controlled sections. beams.3. this equation yields slightly conservative results. In typical cases. which is derived in PCA’s Simplified Design for f ’c = 4 ksi and f y = 60 ksi: Mu As = 4d where Mu is the factored bending moment at the section (foot-kips) and d is the distance from the extreme compression fiber to the centroid of the longitudinal tension reinforcement (inches). the required amount of flexural reinforcement As at a section can be determined from the following equation.Design for Flexural Reinforcement.3.9 in accordance with Section 9. For greater concrete strengths.2 and the general principles and requirements of Section 10. The required As must be greater than or equal to the minimum area of steel and less than or equal to the maximum area of steel. one-way slabs. so that the strength reduction factor is equal to 0. The required amount of flexural reinforcement is calculated using the design assumptions of Section 10. based on the factored moments from the analysis. .

the maximum spacing is 2h or 18 inches. A maximum reinforcement ratio for beams and slabs is not directly given in ACI 318-05.5.5 requires that non-prestressed flexural members must be designed such that the net tensile strain in the extreme layer of longitudinal tension steel at nominal strength t is greater than or equal to 0.1: 3 f c' 200bw d As = bw d ≥ fy fy The equation for As. min need not be satisfied where the provided As at every section is greater than one-third that required by analysis. Instead. min in the direction of the span is the same as the minimum area of steel for shrinkage and temperature reinforcement.0216)h per foot width of slab for Grade 60 reinforcement (Section 10. whichever is less. the minimum area of steel As. Section 10.5.0206.0018 for Grade 60 reinforcement (Section 13. which is (0. Using a strain compatibility analysis for 4 ksi concrete and Grade 60 reinforcement.For beams. The maximum spacing of the reinforcement is 3h or 18 inches. For two-way slabs. this requirement limits the amount of flexural reinforcement that can be provided at a section. In this case. min is given in Section 10. As. the maximum reinforcement ratio is 0. the minimum reinforcement ratio in each direction is 0.004. In essence.3. For one-way slabs.4).3). .

When selecting bar sizes.2 (minimum spacing for concrete placement). • Section 7.6.6.7. it is important to consider the minimum and maximum number of reinforcing bars that are permitted in a cross-section. The following equation can be used to determine the minimum number of bars nmin required in a single layer: bw − 2(cc + 0. The maximum spacing of reinforcing bars is limited to the value given by Equation (10-4) in Section 10.3.1 (minimum cover for protection of reinforcement). and • Section 10.5db ) nmin = +1 s The bar spacing s is given by Equation (10-4): 40. 000 s = 15( ) − 2.5cc ≤ 12( ) fs fs . The limits are a function of the following requirements for cover and spacing: • Sections 7.1 and 3. 000 40.6 (maximum spacing for control of flexural cracking).4.

which can be taken equal to 2 fy / 3. or 1. The maximum number of bars nmax permitted in a section can be computed from the following equation: bw − 2(cs + d s + r ) nmax = +1 (minimum clear space) + db where cs = clear cover to the stirrups. r = 0. . and fs is the calculated tensile stress in the reinforcement at service loads. db . 4 stirrups. cc is the least distance from the surface of the reinforcement to the tension face of the section. ds = diameter of stirrup reinforcing bar.0 inch for No. The values obtained from the above equation for nmin should be rounded up to the next whole number. The computed values of nmax from this equation should be rounded down to the next whole number. 3 stirrups. and clear space is the largest of 1 inch. db is the nominal diameter of the reinforcing bar.33 (maximum aggregate size).75 inch for No. or 1.In these equations.

The strength reduction factor = 0. These provisions are applicable to normal-weight concrete members subjected to shear and flexure only with Grade 60 shear reinforcement.3.Design for Shear Reinforcement. A summary of the one-way shear provi- sions is given on the Table 1 below. .75 per Section 9.2 and Vu ≤ 2φ f c'ld per Equation (11-3). Design provisions for shear are given in Chapter 11.

consists of checking that the following equation is satisfied at critical sections located a distance d from the face of the support (as seen in the figure below): V u ≤ 2 φ f c ' l d where l is equal to l1 or l2 and Vu is the corresponding shear force at the critical section. One-way shear — Design for one-way shear. Two-way shear or punching shear. Wide beam shear or one-way shear. which rarely governs.Both one-way shear and two-way shear must be investigated in two-way floor systems. .

the following must be satisfied (Section 11. As shown in the figure.12. two-way or punching shear usually is more critical than one-way shear in slab systems supported directly on columns.Two-way shear — As noted previously. concentrated loads. . reaction areas.2): 4 vu ≤ φ vc = the smallest of φ (2 + ) f c' β αsd {φ ( + 2) f c' bo {φ 4 f c' where vu is the maximum factored shear stress at the critical section and all other variables are defined in Chapter 2. For non-prestressed slabs of normal-weight concrete without shear reinforcement. the critical section for two-way action is at a distance of d/2 from edges or corners of columns. and changes in slab thickness. such as edges of column capitals or drop panels.

The portion of Mu transferred by eccentricity of shear is vMu = (1 .2): Vu γ v M u c AB vu ( AB ) = + Ac Jc Vu γ v M u cCD vu (CD) = − Ac Jc where Ac is the area of the critical section and Jc / cAB and Jc / cCD are the section modulii of the critical section.3.12.12.6. The portion of total unbalanced moment Mu transferred by flexure is f Mu.6. where f is defined in Equation (13-1) as a function of the critical section dimensions b1 and b2.f )Mu (Sections 13.Moment transfer.3. the gravity load moment Mu to be transferred between slab and edge column must be 0.5 (slab or drop panel thickness on each side of the column or capital). Jc / cAB .6).6). Reinforcement is concentrated in the effective slab width such that Mn f Mu .12. The transfer of moment in the slab-column connections takes place by a combination of flexure (Section 13.5.5. and Jc / cCD .6).3) and eccentricity of shear (Section 11. When the Direct Design Method is used. including PCA’s Simplified Design. It is assumed that fMu is transferred within an effective slab width equal to c2 + 1. Numerous resources are available that give equations for Ac .3Mo (Section 13.1 and 11. The factored shear forces on the faces of the critical section AB and CD are as follows (Section 11. .

It is important to note that once the required flexure and shear reinforcement have been determined. The above discussion summarized the design requirements of concrete floor systems with non- prestressed reinforcement according to ACI 318-05. The structural integrity requirements of Section 7. the reinforcing bars must be developed properly in accordance with the provisions in Chapters 12 and 13.13 must be satisfied as well.Summary. .

“The Design of Concrete Floor Systems”. . 1. Alsamsam. 2005. ACI 318-05 Code and Commentary. Fanella. I. 2.References. D. PCA Professional Development Series.

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