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Struct Multidisc Optim 30, 76–88 (2005) DOI 10.1007/s00158-004-0470-4

**Design optimization of simply supported concrete slabs by ﬁnite element modelling
**

K.M.A. Hossain, O.O. Olufemi

Abstract This paper outlines the ﬁnite element prediction process for the development of charts for accurate peak load determination of simply supported, reinforced concrete slabs under uniformly distributed loading. Through a series of parametric studies using a simple concrete model, the simulation of tests on four simply supported slabs was used as a basis for establishing a set of optimum parameter values and computational conditions, which guarantees acceptable solution. The reliability of the established parameter values for prediction purposes was veriﬁed by the direct simulation of 11 other slabs. Following the successful reliability check, the ﬁnite element model was used for analysing 270 “computer model” slabs, from which charts were developed. These charts serve for quick and reliable peak load determination of arbitrary simply supported slabs. A comparative study of the direct ﬁnite element and chart predictions, with values from analytical and design methods, reveals the superiority of the charts over the latter methods, with accuracy comparable to that of the optimised ﬁnite element model. The chart prediction is noted to be accurate to within 4% of test results. A strategy for displacement determination is also established, with the same degree of success and the paper discusses possible practical applications of the developed ﬁnite element system.

1 Introduction The use of the ﬁnite element method for the stress analysis of structures whose materials range from glass, metals, soils to reinforced concrete, is dependent on the choice of appropriate material models to characterise observed behaviour, (accounting for material nonlinearity), and on the inclusion of geometric nonlinearity, accounting for large deformation. The increased sophistication of material models being developed demands that these ﬁnite element programs be used, not only for the analysis of existing structures, but also for predicting the behaviour of proposed ones, especially in the peak load and corresponding deﬂection determination. Work along this line has been done for reinforced concrete slabs (Famiyesin et al. 1995; Famiyesin and Hossain 1998a,b). Other methods of peak load determination of reinforced concrete slabs include analytical methods such as the yield line method, and design based methods. These methods have a tendency to grossly under-predict the peak load of reinforced concrete slabs, mainly because of the nonlinear membrane action mobilised at the support due to in-plane forces, which are not accounted for in these methods (Famiyesin and Hossain 1998a,b). The eﬀect of membrane action has been recognized since the ﬁrst half of the 20th century. However, it wasn’t until 1955 when Ockleston (1955) published the results from load tests on a reinforced concrete building in South Africa that researchers became fully aware of its possible beneﬁts. Ockleston (1955) conducted tests on interior ﬂoor slabs in the building and found the ultimate load was signiﬁcantly greater than both design based methods and yield line predictions. He attributed this enhancement to compressive membrane action. Many researchers have looked into compressive membrane action since 1955. Some of the more notable work was done by Park in the 1960s (Park 1964a,b, 1965), while Braestrup (1980) summarizes much of the work done in this area. Experimental studies by Powell (1956), Wood (1961), Park (1964b), Kirkpatrick et al. (1984) and Rankin et al. (1991) have shown that slabs in buildings

**Key words mathematical modelling, concrete structure, structure and design
**

Received: 27 August 2003 Revised manuscript received: 6 July 2004 Published online: 26 January 2005 Springer-Verlag 2005 K.M.A. Hossain1, u , O.O. Olufemi2 Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St., Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canada e-mail: ahossain@ryerson.ca 2 Department of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK e-mail: o.o.olufemi@eng.abdn.ac.uk

1

The equations derived by these methods are generally unsuitable for design engineers to use and as a result. which can be used for the determination of the peak strength and . square slabs with clamped condition as well as supported on three sides and slabs with rectangular openings. the tensile surface of the slabs was observed continuously for the development of cracks. For the class of simply supported concrete slabs. Rozvany and Charrett 1971). optimised slabs exhibited membrane action to a lesser extent than isotropic slab and (c) the ultimate load of both isotopic and optimised slabs were higher than the theoretical load predicted by yield line theory. varying geometric and strength properties. Even for simply supported slabs. In all cases the development of membrane actions is demonstrated. Work done by Famiyesin and Hossain (1998a. and the ﬂoor loads above the ﬁre compartment are carried largely by tensile membrane forces developed mainly in the steel anti-cracking mesh or reinforcing bars. to identify a set of conditions and model parameter values. tests carried out by Taylor et al. it was found that (a) slabs with conventional isotropic reinforcement required about 80% more steel than those with an optimum reinforcement for the same ultimate load. Rozvany 1976). Huang et al. (and displacement). The ﬁnite element method is capable of analysing membrane action in slabs due to its ability to incorporate both geometric and material nonlinearities in its formulation as opposed to yield line theory or code based design procedures.g. For the simply supported condition. The data generated are used as a basis for developing charts for arbitrary simply supported slabs. (b) after the development of the collapse mechanism. Testing of slabs was facilitated by an eﬃcient experimental method which involved bolting a heavy frame to a 500-ton point load capacity reaction ﬂoor. This research was concentrated on solid reinforced concrete slabs with simply supported edges at ambient temperature under uniform loading. The reliability of the identiﬁed values and computational conditions for prediction purposes is further veriﬁed by the direct simulation of 11 other simply supported slabs tested by Taylor et al. and the structural behaviour diﬀers compared with the geometrically linear case. Following this. have ultimate strengths far in excess of those predicted by analytical methods based on yield line theory. Over the years. the beneﬁts of membrane action are usually not taken into account in design or assessment methods (Alan et al. Other tests carried out at Monash University were concentrated on simply supported circular slabs including circular footing slabs. Salami (1994) has applied this principle for fully clamped slabs and used the subsequent predictions to develop equations for strength determination for similar slabs. While the existence of membrane action is commonly acknowledged. (where membrane forces should be relatively low). 1996. Brotchie and Holley 1971. (1996) on four slabs are used as a basis for the basic simulation process and parametric studies. The two types of membrane actions that could be identiﬁed from a typical load-deﬂection curve are the compressive membrane action at small deﬂections and tensile membrane at large deﬂections. Das 2001). These studies provide evidence that at very high temperatures the ﬂoor slab becomes the main load-bearing element. The ﬁnite element method has been used to model the membrane action in reinforced concrete slabs (Huang et al. This was followed by a simulation of a full-scale ﬁre test on a solid reinforced concrete slab ﬂoor at the Cardington Laboratory in the UK. Salami 1994.. The slabs were subjected to upward uniformly distributed load by pumping compressed air into the air bags placed underneath the slabs. Simply supported square reinforced concrete slabs with isotropic (uniformly distributed) as well as with optimised reinforcements (with various types of reinforcement layouts) were tested experimentally by Rozvany (1967) and his research group at Monash University (Rozvany and Adidam 1971. results from tests showed higher strengths than those obtained from yield line theory (Taylor et al. Implicit in ﬁnite element material models are the model parameters whose values control the simulation process and hence the ability to use the model for prediction purposes. Optimisation of the model parameters for a class of structural problem is therefore essential in the use of the ﬁnite element method for accurate peak load. its use in practical situations is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the stiﬀness of the horizontal restraints and how this eﬀects the development of membrane forces.77 and bridge decks. (1996) and Brotchie and Holley (1971). It is evident that the proposed model can predict structural behaviour of reinforced concrete slabs and their inﬂuence on composite steel-framed buildings in ﬁre with good accuracy.b) used the non-linear layered ﬁnite element procedure to model the membrane action of concrete slabs in composite buildings under ﬁre conditions. Famiyesin and Hossain 1998a. the theories developed by researchers have largely been based on plastic ﬂow theories and have required gross assumptions to be made (e. 2001. prediction within that class. The increase in strength has been attributed to membrane action.b) has focused on slabs with variable edge restraints. which is due to the inplane forces developed at the supports.b). 2003a.b. which are restrained against lateral displacements at the edges. Eyre (1997) has developed a method to directly assess the strength of reinforced concrete slabs under membrane action. Using this layout. The case of simply supported reinforced concrete slabs under uniformly distributed loading is focused on in this paper. The method requires knowledge of the surround stiﬀness that the slab is exposed to and determines a “safe load” that is always less than the ultimate load. (2003a. This surround stiﬀness is critical to the development of membrane action. assuming the concrete to be a rigid-plastic material). a series numerical predictions are carried out on a total of 270 “numerical model slabs”.

and as in this case. Loading of the structure continues until a “crushing surface”.3f c. This is expressed in terms of the strain components as: 1. and parametric studies are carried out with reduced.355 σx + σy − σx σy + 3 τxy + τxz + τyz Fig. 2. and is expressed in terms of stress components as: 2 2 2 2 2 f (σ) = 2 1.355σo σx + σy 0. layered shell element formulation. 1b) with a curved meridian. selective and full integration schemes. experimental tests. ﬂow and hardening rules.2 Modelling of tensile behaviour of concrete The response of concrete under tensile stresses is assumed to be linear elastic until the fracture surface is reached and is governed by a maximum tensile stress criterion (tension cut-oﬀ). Further loading causes an elastoplastic response with increasing plastic deformation and a corresponding expansion of the loading surface according to the ﬂow and hardening rules.355εcu(εx + εy ) = ε2 .5 = σo . 1 Representation of the concrete model is reached. 1969) test results. crushing condition.75 γxy + γxz + γyz x y + (2) 0. and for a strain hardening model.78 corresponding displacement. as soon as this reaches the speciﬁed concrete + (1) 0. Plasticity formulation incorporates concepts such as yield criterion. without recourse to expensive.355 2 2 2 ε2 + ε2 − εxεy + 0. 2 Finite element modelling The 3D degenerated. which. Unloading follows the initial elastic modulus E0 and an elastic response occurs for subsequent loading until the corresponding loading surface is reached. Cracks are assumed to form in planes perpendicular to the direction of maximum principal tensile stress. Reinforcing steel is represented with a layer of equivalent thickness. 1a.1 Material Modelling A plasticity formulation based concrete material model. The avenues for practical applications of reliable ﬁnite element analysis of concrete slabs through optimisation of concrete model parameters and numerical conditions are very vast. which relates the experimental displacement to predicted values. where for the perfectly plastic model. having ﬁve degrees of freedom at each node is used in the ﬁnite element discretization (Owen and Figueiras 1984). Geometric nonlinearity is taken into account using the total Lagrangian approach. having its parameters determined from Kupfer’s (Kupfer et al. The parameter optimisation process also involves the establishment of a “deﬂection factor” df . The perfectly plastic or strain hardening plasticity model for concrete is given a one-dimensional representation as shown in Fig. when reached signiﬁes the loss of all the strength and rigidity of the material. Use of this factor to process all ﬁnite element predicted displacements is shown to yield values of acceptable level of accuracy. and upon this database charts could be developed that would serve as quick strength and corresponding displacement determination of arbitrary slabs in building and bridge structures. in terms of stresses and strains respectively. 2. deﬁned in strain space. Literally hundreds of ﬁnite element model slabs could be analysed. with nonlinear uniaxial strength and rigidity properties. varying material and geometric values. the equivalent effective stress σo is taken as the ultimate uniaxial compressive strength of concrete f c. having a dual criterion for yielding and crushing. The yield function is assumed to be a modiﬁed Drucker Prager surface (Fig. σo is 0. . cu where εcu is a speciﬁed ultimate compressive strain. and sometimes labour intensive. is adopted (Owen and Figueiras 1984).

2.5 27.9 26. ∗∗∗ Strip method .8 “ “ 1830 × 1830 × 76. is adopted. the problem of strain localisation that such assumption may cause in a ﬁne mesh situation does not arise. 2 Tension stiﬀening in cracked concrete tensile strength ft . where cracks are distributed across a region of the ﬁnite element. (3) 3 Basic ﬁnite element simulations Four of the ten slabs tested by Taylor et al.5 375. where α and εm . All the slabs were simply supported along their edges and a uniformly distributed load was applied on the surface. Fig. square. under uniformly distributed loading. simply supported reinforced concrete slabs. (1996) carried out tests on ten two-way spanning.9 25.3 375. although the arrangement of reinforcements was varied. As the overall structural behaviour is of primary concern in this study and the size of elements used for analysis are relatively large.62(fc)0.1 Slab details Taylor et al. where ε1 is the current tensile strain in material direction 1.043 (144) 0.2 Ly /Lx Lx /h fy # fc #∗ Design load. S1 S4 S5 S10 ∗ Dimensions Ly × Lx × h (mm) 1830 × 1830 × 50.8 26. This allows for shear transfer across the rough surface of the cracked concrete. The normal stress σ1 is obtained by the expressions: σ1 = αft (1 − ε1/εm ) . which is a function of the current tensile strain. To take account of the eﬀect of tension stiﬀening due to the presence of reinforcement.79 proach of Cedolin and Deipoli (1977). which would guarantees reliable predictions in subsequent analyses. fr of the concrete and can be related to the uniaxial compression strength (in MPa) by : fr = 0.038 (128) 1. The value of ft is taken as the modulus of rupture. σ1 = σi ε1 /εi εt ≤ ε1 ≤ εm or by: (4) 3. Unloading and reloading of cracked concrete is assumed to be linear. 2. with the Von Mises yield criterion deﬁning the yield surface (Owen and Hinton 1980). (1996) are used as basis for the preliminary ﬁnite element simulation and subsequent parametric studies.042 (141) 0. Design based on: ∗∗ Yield line theory. kN 80∗∗ 80∗∗∗ 77 ∗∗ Test load N/mm2 (kN) 0. Four of the if ε1 < εi . The method of design used for proportioning the reinforcement was either Johansen’s yield-line theory (Johansen 1962) or Hillerborg’s strip method (Hillerborg 1960). with a ﬁctitious elasticity modulus Ei deﬁned as: Ei = αft (1 − εi/εm ) /εi εt ≤ εi ≤ εm .00 “ “ 1. An appropriate value of cracked shear modulus based on the ap- Table 1 Details of Taylor’s simply supported slabs (Taylor et al. All slabs were designed for the same ultimate load of 80 kN on the assumption of a uniformly distributed load. 1996) Slab no.3 Modelling of steel behaviour The reinforcement bars are modelled as layers of equivalent thickness (Owen and Figueiras 1984) and follows an elastoplastic material behaviour. A smeared representation for cracked concrete is assumed. The successful simulation of the behaviour of these slabs in the parametric studies.00 36 “ “ 24 375. is employed to account for aggregate interlock and dowel action in the smeared crack model.35 80∗∗∗ Mean value of dry and wet strengths of concrete. a gradual release of the concrete stress component normal to the cracked plane and shown in Fig.036 (120) 0.5 . # Unit in N/mm2 . would lead to the identiﬁcation of a set of optimised parameter values and computational conditions. are tension stiﬀening parameters and εi is the maximum value of tensile strain at the point considered.5 420.

In most of the cases. (S1. 5. The concrete depth is discretized into 10 layers of equal thickness as shown in Fig. uniformly distributed loads are directly applied to the slabs in increments. ﬁnite element simulation can be taken as the load associated with a sudden large displacement. dexp = dfe × df . A symmetric quarter of the slab is discretized into nine elements as shown in Fig. 6. 3.2 Finite element idealisation The slabs are idealised with the 3D degenerated. S5 and S10). have been selected for the basic ﬁnite element simulations and parametric studies.3 Load control strategy The ﬁnite element simulations are carried out based on the load control (LC) strategy. 9-noded Heterosis elements. For slabs with irregular reinforcement spacing. 3 Reinforcement details in Taylor’s slabs (Taylor et al. 4 Typical ﬁnite element mesh . For the LC simulation. A typical ﬁnite element load-deﬂection response under LC is superimposed to that from a typical experiment in Fig.b). A relationship can be established between the ﬁnite element peak deﬂection (dfe ) and experimental peak deﬂection (dexp ). Details of the slabs are summarised in Table 1 and the reinforcement patterns are as shown in Fig. S4. 3. 3. although in some cases a negative pivot may indicate the ultimate load. via a displacement factor (df ) such that. the averaged spacing is used to calculate the idealised amount of reinforcement in the elements. 1996) slabs. The suitability of LC simulation has been discussed (Hossain and Famiyesin 1998a. with each node having ﬁve degrees of freedom.80 Fig. the peak load from the Fig. 4.

002) and the elastoplastic modulus for steel. non-linear solution techniques. (α : 0. where Es is the steel Young’s modulus. 1996). Es is taken as Es /15. modiﬁed Newton–Raphson method (MNR). (b) Eﬀect of εcu on the load-deﬂection response of slab S4 (Taylor et al. Actual test values were chosen for material properties such as the Young’s moduli for steel and concrete. for tension stiﬀening. for various values of εcu are superimposed on those from experiments as shown in Fig. tension stiﬀening parameters (α and εm ). ultimate compressive strain of concrete (εcu ).81 Fig. 6 Qualitative load-deﬂection responses 3. The Poisson ratios for concrete and steel are chosen as 0. while the values chosen for other parameters are. εm : 0. The uniaxial tensile strength of concrete is assumed to be one tenth of the compressive strength. and can be adjusted to achieve accurate simulation while the other parameters are ﬁxed. modulus of elasticity of concrete (Ec ) and the elastoplastic modulus of steel (Es ). 7 (a) Eﬀect of εcu on the load-deﬂection response of slab S1 (Taylor et al. fc and the yield strength of steel fy . integration rules.25. These are the convergence criteria. 1996) . (c) Eﬀect of εcu on the load-deﬂection response of slab S5 (Taylor et al.5. 1996). The single parameter to which the slab simulation was most sensitive.4 Parametric studies A series of comprehensive parametric studies have been carried out to establish the sensitivity of various parameters and computational conditions involved in the ﬁnite element modelling.18 and 0. The other computational conditions established from the parametric studies and are adopted for the simulation are the selective integration scheme (SI). 5 Dicretization of steel and concrete layers Fig. respectively. cylinder strength of concrete. and convergence criterion based on displacement norm (DN). (Es & Ec ). Typical load-deﬂection responses from the ﬁnite element simulations. is the ultimate concrete crushing strain (εcu ).

00 1.41 ρx 20 20 10 10 5 5 1. 7a–c.00 1.25 Test load N/mm2 (kN) 0. (in comparison with experiment). From the table it is noted that the ratios of experimental to ﬁnite element predicted loads and deﬂections are averaged at 0.036 0.039 (131) 0.1 “ 381 × 381 × 76. The results obtained by using this εcu value in the simulation of the four slabs.10 1. kN 80∗∗ 77∗∗ 80∗∗ 80∗∗∗ 80∗∗ 1.040 (133) 0. are compared with experimental results and summarised in Table 2. The details of the slabs are presented in Tables 3 & 4.00 64.00 82.3 375.00 3. 4 Direct simulation of previous tests To test the reliability of the parameter values and computational conditions established from the basic ﬁnite element simulation for prediction purposes. with ﬁxed conditions and parameter values indicated earlier. This direct simulation process is based on load control strategy and adopts an εcu value of 0.005.5 420. while those of Brotchie and Holley (1971) have uniform reinforcement (Table 4). showing a reasonably good agreement. Ratio∗ mm 1.044 0. ﬁve slabs tested by Taylor et al.95 and 1.15 28. Slab 8 Slab 9 Slab 12 Slab 15 Slab 19 Slab 23 Dimensions Ly × Lx × h (mm) 381 × 381 × 19.4 379.05 Average ratio values df = 1.00 3.05 “ 381 × 381 × 38.00 1. N/mm2 mm 0.05.039 (131) 0. 1996) simply supported slabs Slab no.5 375. deﬂ. S1 S4 S5 S10 Pred.41 27.93 1. suggests that predictions carried out for similarly simply supported slabs with the established parameters will yield reliable and accurate results.5 Mean value of dry and wet strengths of concrete.82 Table 2 Comparison of experimental and numerical simulations (Taylor’s Slabs) Experiments Pred. (1996) and six slabs tested by Brotchie and Holley (1971).036 0.70 66.8 “ 1830 × 1830 × 44. obtained by the use of the identiﬁed parameter values and computational conditions.00 75.0 365. # Unit N/mm2 . (1996) (Table 3) have variable spacing as shown in Fig.00 3.10 1.00 . the direct ﬁnite element simulation of eleven other simply supported slabs are carried out.00 3.22 14.84 30.07 0. The ﬁve slabs of Taylor et al. respectively.050 Ratio∗ 65.00 “ 1.00 36 “ 41 “ 24 375.0 365. S2 S6 S7 S8 S9 ∗ Dimensions Ly × Lx × h (mm) 1830 × 1830 × 50.043 0.22 31 31 65.5 375.955 1. 8. load Pred. From these ﬁgures it can be concluded that the behaviour of the slabs can be closely simulated by using an εcu value of 0.00 “ 1. in the simulation of the four slabs.4 413.0 379.040 (134) 0.18 0.0 fc 30.97 0.10 64.55 Finite element LC simulation Pred.86 29.32 64. The consistency of the ﬁnite element results.4 27.8 30.00 1.10 23.038 (128) Design load.00 3. Table 3 Details of Taylor’s (Taylor et al.93 20.005.05 Experimental to ﬁnite element values Fig.005 ∗ Slab no.042 0. This should be the case for both the peak load and peak displacement predictions.00 fy N/mm2 413.95 ε cu = 0.0 ) Slab no. deﬂ.040 0.00 3.00 0. ∗∗∗ Strip method Table 4 Slabs tested by Brotchie and Holley (1971) (Aspect ratio Ly /Lx=1.0385 77. as identiﬁed from the basic simulation of four of Taylor’s slabs.2 Ly /Lx Lx /h fy # fc ∗# 29.62 25.2 “ Lx /h d mm 14.45 “ 1830 × 1830 × 76. load N/mm2 0. Design based on: ∗∗ Yield line theory.8 % of steel ρy 1.77 0.8 65.

which is consistent with the value identiﬁed from the basic simulations in Table 2 (averaging 1. N/mm2 Taylor et al. (1996).93 0.03 0.2 Comparison of central deﬂections The experimental and direct ﬁnite element predicted values of the central deﬂections for typical slabs are summarised in Table 6.85 Mean: 0.87 0. The average ratio of the experimental to predicted deﬂections is found to be 1.91 for Taylor et al.08 2.039 0.93 0. The average values of the ratios of experimental to ﬁnite element predicted loads.03 4.24 4.88 0. 4. (1996) S2 S6 S7 S8 S9 0. with the 0.83 Fig. are found to be 0.92 Ratio of experimental to predicted load .99 0. 1996) The ﬁnite element idealisation is similar to that of basic simulation shown in Fig.05 = df ).86 1.91 0.0385 0.289 0.042 0. 4.28 0. thus showing a reasonably good agreement 4. 8 Layout of reinforcement in Taylor’s slabs (Taylor et al.07 2.92 for Brotchie and Holley (1971).040 0.05 0.06.046 0.039 0.1 Comparison of peak loads Table 5 compares the peak loads obtained from the experiments with those obtained from direct ﬁnite element predictions.042 0.038 0. Table 5 Comparison of experimental and direct FE predicted loads Slab no.95 ratio value established from the basic simulation.91 Brotchie and Holley (1971) Slab 8 Slab 9 Slab 12 Slab 15 Slab 19 Slab 23 0.050 0.040 0.78 Mean: 0.12 0.14 0.87 1. and 0.503 1. N/mm2 Direct ﬁnite element predicted load.58 1. Experimental load.13 0.

00 Ratio of experimental to predicted deﬂection (df ) 0.40 65. using varying aspect ratios.24 1. 5. The load is uniformly distributed over the surface of the slabs and applied in increments and the percentage of steel is calculated on the basis of the mean eﬀective depth of the slab.10 1.5 1. (with a polynomial curve ﬁt of 3rd degree). The charts may also be used for design purposes. ρ 250 460 0.20 69.20 76. A possible practical application of such a system is the development of load and displacement charts. concrete strengths. to generate the database from which the charts are developed. The ﬁnite element discretization is similar to those described in the basic and direct ﬁnite element simulations process. from the ﬁnite element analysis of many computer “model slabs”.92 1. 10 Design charts showing best ﬁt equations . Table 7 shows a summary of the geometric and material parameters considered in the prediction process. Each slab is assumed to be isotropically reinforced at the bottom (the percentages of steel in x and y directions are equal) and cover to reinforcement is assumed to be 20% of the slab thickness.00 81. breadth to depth ratios.0 15 20 25 30 30 25 40 60 fy % of N/mm2 steel. design charts.1 Design charts From the results of the ﬁnite element predictions.06 5 Development of charts by ﬁnite element predictions Establishing a ﬁnite element system that generates reliable solutions for a class of problem has many implications. without the need for extensive ﬁnite element analysis when such information is required.5 0.84 Table 6 Comparison of experimental and predicted deﬂections Slab no. Experimental Taylor et al.00 76. varying geometric and strength properties. have Fig.88 Mean: 1.2 0.1 slabs which will be time consuming (noting that the slab requires at least 28 days before testing).8 FE predicted deﬂection (mm) 55.20 83. Such charts may serve as quick and accurate strength and displacement determination of arbitrary slabs.16 0.80 95.0 1. 9 Comparison of loads from diﬀerent predictions Fig. This involves a total of 270 computer model slabs.55 65. (1996) central deﬂection (mm) S2 S6 S7 S8 S9 51. reinforcement ratios (in %) and strengths. or the physical testing of sample Table 7 Parameters of theoretical computer-model slabs Aspect ratio Breadth to depth fc Ly /Lx ratio Lx /h N/mm2 2.

0395 0.955 1. The best ﬁt chart equations can also be used for prediction purposes (see Fig. which is consistent with earlier results.12 0.77∗ 0.54 Taylor et al. (1996) S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 0.00 1.138 N/mm2 . 6 Predictions based on analytical and design approach Peak load predictions from the yield line method of analysis and design calculations based on BS8110 (1985) are compared in this section with experimental results.test/fy.04 0. taking into account the steel strength properties used in the chart development (460 N/mm2 ) and the actual reinforcement yield strength of test Slab 8 (which is 413. As most of the slabs tested by Brotchie and Holley (1971) have either their width to depth ratios or reinforcement ratios outside the range of values speciﬁed in Table 7 used for chart development. 9. and is as shown in Table 8.85 Table 8 Comparison of chart loads with experiments and direct FE predictions Slabs Expt.942. 10).0385 0. average at 1.0% should be adopted. the performance of the chart is comparable.053 0.157 N/mm2 obtained directly from the chart is corrected by multiplying it with a factor (i.86 0.039 0..043 0. for all 15 slabs considered in this paper. The chart-predicted values are compared to results obtained from experiments and direct ﬁnite element simulation.99 1. The corrected chart-predicted load is 0. On balance therefore.0343 0. chart-predicted load ×fy.0385 0.050 0. but whose breadth to depth ratio is out of range in the prediction process (e.042 0. in Fig..g.0365 0.chart ). which shows a general tendency to under predict the peak load (4% error).04 0.050 0.942)# 1. 5.042 0.87 0. Slabs S7 and S8 from Taylor’s tests having a breadth to depth ratio of 41.04 0. if not better than the direct ﬁnite element system.93 # Average ratio when values with (∗) are not included been produced and a typical one is as shown in Fig.93 0.58 0.042 0. the equations of best ﬁt identiﬁed for the curves (e.04. Fig.14 0.0346 Mean 1.04 0. The estimation of peak load for the slab having a typical breadth to depth ratios of 20 and percentage reinforcement of 1. see Table 4).8 0. load N/mm2 Direct FE prediction N/mm2 Chart pred.036 0. a linear interpolation between 0. and is compared with those from direct ﬁnite element prediction and experiments.4 N/mm2 .046 0.09 1.035 0. The value of 0. The average value of the ratios of the experimental to direct ﬁnite element prediction is found from Table 8 to be 0. There is therefore a general tendency for the direct ﬁnite element system to over-predict the peak load (average of 6% error).0 1.911 (0. steel yield strength (fy ) and aspect ratio of the slab. (1996) and Brotchie and Holley (1971) whose reinforcement ratios fall within the range of computer model predictions carried out.040 0.93 0. and for percentage of reinforcement varying from 0. The design loads are expressed as a function of Breadth/depth ratios (varying from 15 to 35).041 0.138 0. 9. and Slab 12 of Brotchie and Holley having a value of 10).12 1.08 1.e.. 9. could be used for such slabs where direct chart predictions are not possible.2 Comparative study The developed charts are used to predict peak load values for representative slabs from Taylor et al.036 0.075 0.0% is shown by lines with arrows in Fig.0%. from which it was developed. The prediction of strength for Slab 8 of Brotchie and Holley (1971) using the design chart is shown in Fig. For slabs of the same aspect ratio.02 0.5 and 1.503 0.044 0.2 to 1. the chart predicted load values that could be ob- .867 0. (when unreliable results are not taken into consideration).g.11 1.036 0.77∗ 0. 10).039 0. loads N/mm2 Expt/direct FE ratio Expt/Chart ratio Brotchie & Holley (1971) Slab 8 Slab 12 0. For a slab with percentage reinforcement of 0.0365 0.038 0. This chart has been established for a particular concrete cylinder strength (fc ).096 1. or 0. The experimental to chart-predicted load ratios on the other hand. 9.911.75%.11 1.

04 0.204 3.0238 0. (1996) are within the speciﬁed range.30 2.038 0. or close enough for results to be extrapolated.59ρfy /fc ) (5) the peak loads. calculated from the equation ﬁrst proposed by Whitney (1937) and used in Leet et al.135 4.683 to 1. 15.419 2.28.041 0.33 0.3 2.807.0074 Average: # ∗ 1. 23: 3% reinforcement ratio.662 1.13 0.315 Loads in (N/mm2 ) Width to depth ratio or reinforcement ratio outside the values used for chart predictions (Slabs 9. This is expressed as: m = ρfy d2 (1 − 0.823 0.717 2.00643 0.242 3.541 3. loads (N/mm2 ) Chart predicted loads# Yield line loads# BS8110 based predicted loads# Ratio of expt.040 0. The ratios of the experimental to yield line calculated loads vary from 0. the material strengths are appropriately factored by the relevant partial factors of safety and the calculated factored loads are listed as the predicted peak load which is used for comparison.807 1. This is because the in-plane forces causing membrane action is not as signiﬁcant in simply supported situation in comparison to where ρ is the reinforcement ratio.0239 0.036 0.945 0.54 ∗ ∗ ∗ 0.879 3. the predictions carried out using the yield line method for simply supported slabs have lower ratios of experiment to predicted loads. where the width to depth ratio is low (ranging from 5 to 20).948 6.206 4.939 3.008 0.554 3.565 1.791 Taylor et al.007365 0.503 1.0239 0.556 1.32 3. with higher width to depth ratios (ranging from 24 to 41).945 0.936 3. 11 Comparison of FE chart with yield line method. In the BS8110-based calculations.674 1.12 0.010 0.87 0. the method generally under-predicts Fig.043 0.86 Table 9 Comparison of yield line and BS8110-based load predictions with experiments Slabs Expt.548 3.038 0.039 0.596 0.00951 0.59 3. conforming to 1995 ACI code.04 0.525 3.0239 0. for typical values .0239 0.59 1. which also shows the ratios between the experimental values and values obtained by yield line and design methods.230 3.632 1.0358 0.33 2.120 3.757 1.00766 0.127 0. to yield line Ratio of expt.0346 0.0788 0.0239 0.05 0.739 1. while for Taylor’s slabs.245 3.3335 6.295 4. The yield line analysis is based on the use of a moment per unit width (m).961 5. As would be expected.28 5.632 1.157 0. All slabs tested by Taylor et al.07 2.0365 0.683 3.006725 0.03944 0. The direct ﬁnite element predicted values for all Brotchie and Holley (1971) slabs have been shown in Table 5.067 2.975 3. compared to slabs with fully restrained support conditions.6 4.039 0.036 0. averaging at 1.67 3.791 5.375 5.0343 0. (1996) S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 0.03 4.138 ∗ 0. For Brotchie’s slabs. (1996). the yield line method over-predicts the load.532 3.04224 0. slabs 19 & 23: width/depth ratio = 5) tained for only two of them is considered here.042 0.289 0. The peak load values obtained from the diﬀerent methods are listed in Table 9.905 0.3057 0. to BS8110 Ratio of yield line to BS8110 Brotchie and Holley (1971) Slab 8 Slab 9 Slab 12 Slab 15 Slab 19 Slab 23 0.0239 0. fy is the steel yield strength and fc is the concrete uniaxial compressive strength.00814 0.023 0.035 0.023 0. where ratio values as high as 8 have been recorded (Famiyesin and Hossain 1998b).59 1.

showing that the actual peak loads are far in excess of those calculated from design methods. This has been demonstrated (Table 6) to give displacement values with an acceptable level of accuracy. The use of ﬁnite element simulation every time such information is required can be time consuming and the physical testing of sample slabs is also not a viable option. the developed charts proved to be more accurate than the analytical and design methods of prediction. thus saving on cost. and averaging at 4.e. in which previous test results of simply supported concrete slabs under uniformly distributed . Design based on BS8110 adopts partial factors of safety which to a large extent limit the structural performance under service load to within the elastic range. with appropriate safety factors for design purposes. which may be used for developing a computer-aided design package or the development of a knowledge based system. for typical values of material strengths. A deﬂection factor df has also been established. ﬁnite element predicted displacements multiplied by the deﬂection factor). The charts though (within its range of applicability). Fig. An average ratio value of 4. before actual construction takes place. A set of optimal computational conditions and parameter values were obtained from the study. Figures 11–13 compare the performance of the prediction methods. another practical application of achieving reliable ﬁnite element prediction could be in its use to generate a database of peak loads and displacements. whose accuracy was compared with predictions from the yield line method and BS8110-based design calculations.87 loading. Charts and equations for strength determination were developed from the predictions. 12 Comparison of FE chart with BS8110-based calculations Fig. will result in a safe design and optimise the materials used for construction. have the advantage of providing easy and quick peak load determination for proposed slabs. Results show a good level of accuracy. reinforcement ratios and aspect ratio. can be used to develop charts for displacement determination. yield line and BS8110-based calculations for typical values fully clamped condition and membrane action is not accounted for by the yield line method. Apart from the development of charts. The ﬁnite element system thus established was used to carry out peak load (and corresponding displacement) predictions. by the analysis of a total of 270 computer model slabs. The charts may also be used for design purposes (with an appropriate choice of factor of safety).59 to 6. to lead to a more accurate peak strength determination. are used as a basis for ﬁnite element simulation and parametric study. Predictions based on direct ﬁnite element analysis and the developed charts have been shown in Tables 2. with varying geometric and material-strength values.33 of experimental to BS8110-based loads has been recorded in Table 9. with ratios of experiment to design loads varying from 2. As with the load charts. could provide another basis for ultimate and serviceability limit states design approach.33. the processed displacement values (i. Calculations with BS8110-based method results in a general under-prediction of the peak loads. 5 and 8. relating the experimental to ﬁnite element predicted displacements. and are noted to be at least as accurate as the direct ﬁnite element system from which it was developed. and can thus be used for reliably predicting displacements at peak load.. which was further veriﬁed for prediction purposes. say 2 on the developed charts. as the slabs will be required to have achieved 28-day strength before testing. by the direct ﬁnite element analysis of other simply supported slabs. 13 Comparison of chart.532. Application to neural networks is also a possibility. From the tests considered. Use of such charts and the corresponding load charts. The use of a safety factor of. 7 Conclusions A process of model parameter optimisation has been undertaken.

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Non Linear Static Pushover Analysis of Irregular Space Frame Structure With and Without t Shaped Columns

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