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DESIGN OF SLABS

Reinforced concrete slabs are large flat plates that are supported by reinforced concrete
beams, walls, or columns, by masonry walls, by structural steel beams or columns, or
by the ground.

Types of Slabs
If they are supported on two opposite sides only, they are referred to as one-way slabs
since the bending is in one direction only, that is, perpendicular to the supported edges.
Should the slab be supported by beams on all four edges, it is referred to as a two-way
slab since the bending is in both directions. Actually, if a rectangular slab is supported
on all four sides, but the long side is two or more times as long as the short side, the
slab will, for all practical purposes, act as a one-way slab, with bending primarily
occurring in the short direction. Such slabs are designed as one-way slabs.
Lb
2 (One-way slab)
La
Design of One-Way Slabs
A one-way slab is assumed to be a rectangular beam with a large ratio of width to
depth. Normally, a 1-meter-wide piece of such a slab is designed as a beam (see Figure
6.1), the slab being assumed to consist of a series of such beams side by side. The
method of analysis used is somewhat conservative due to the lateral restraint provided
by the adjacent parts of the slab. Normally, a beam will tend to expand laterally
somewhat as it bends, but this tendency to expand by each of the 1-m strips is resisted
by the adjacent 1-m-wide strips, which tend to expand also. In other words, Poisson’s
ratio is assumed to be zero.

La

Lb

1m
Temperature/Shrinkage
Reinforcement

Main Reinforcement

Figure 6.1. Unit Strip Basis for Flexural Design

The load supported by the one-way slab including its own weight is transferred to
the members supporting the edges of the slab. Obviously, the reinforcing for flexure is
placed perpendicular to these supports, that is, parallel to the long direction of the 1-
meter beams. This flexural reinforcing may not be spaced farther apart than 3 times the

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slab thickness, or farther than 450 mm according to Section 407.7.5 of the NSCP. Of
course, there will be some reinforcing placed in the other direction to resist shrinkage
and temperature stresses (Section 407.13 of the NSCP).
1. 3t
s (1)
2. 450 mm
The thickness required for a particular one-way slab depends on the bending,
deflection, and shear requirements. Section 409.6.2.1 of the NSCP provides minimum
permissible beam and slab depths (see Table 409.1). The purpose of such limitations is
to prevent deflections of such magnitudes as would interfere with the use of or cause
injury to the structure.

Table 409.1 – Minimum Thickness of Nonprestressed Beams or


One-Way Slabs Unless Deflections are Computed.
Minimum Thickness, h
Simply One end Both ends
Member Cantilever
Supported continuous continuous
Members not supporting or attached to partitions or other
construction likely to be damaged by large deflections
Solid one-way
L/20 L/24 L/28 L/10
slabs
Beams or
ribbed one way L/16 L/18.5 L/21 L/8
slabs
*Span length L is in millimetes
Members given shall be used directly for members with normal weight concrete (w c=2,300
kg/m3) and Grade 415 reinforcement. For other conditions, the values shall be modified as
follows.
a) For structural lightweight concrete having unit weight in the range 1,500-
2,000 kg/m3, the values shall be multiplied by (1.65 - 0.0003wc) but not
less than 1.09, where wc is the unit weight in kg/m3.
b) For fy other than 415 MPa, the values shall be multiplied by (0.4 + f y / 700)

As concrete hardens, it shrinks. In addition, temperature changes occur that


cause expansion and contraction of the concrete. Section 407.13.1 of the NSCP states
that shrinkage and temperature reinforcement must be provided in a direction normal to
the main reinforcement for one-way slabs. The NSCP (Section 407.13.2.1) states that
the minimum area of shrinkage and temperature reinforcement is equal to:
A st  0.0020bt for Grade 230 and Grade 275 deformed bars
A st  0.0018bt for Grade 415 deformed bars or welded wire fabric
Where: b = 1000 mm
t = thickness of the slab
Section 407.13.2.2 of the NSCP states that shrinkage and temperature
reinforcement may not be spaced farther apart than five times the slab thickness, or 450
mm.
1. 5t
s st   (2)
2. 450 mm
The NSCP (Section 407.8.1) states that the minimum concrete cover for
reinforcement in slabs (36 mm  and smaller bars) is 20 mm clear when the slab is not

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exposed to weather or in contact with ground. For concrete cast against and
permanently exposed to earth a minimum cover of 75 mm is required.

Design of One-Way Slabs

Example 6.1.
Design a one-way slab (located inside a building) with a simple span of 3.0 m. The slab
carries a floor liveload of 7.20 kPa. Use fc'  27.6 MPa, fy  276 MPa and n = 8.

Solution: wtotal (kN/m)

1. Determine the slab thickness, t :


(Based on the minimum thickness
provided on Section 409.6.2.1 of L=3m

the NSCP)
L  fy  3000  276 
t min   0.4    0.4   119 mm
20  700  20  700 
Say, use 125 mm slab thickness

2. Compute slab loads,


Note: Consider only a 1-meter-wide strip of the slab.
wDL  23.5 1.00  0.125   2.94 kN/m
wLL  7.20 1.00   7.20 kN/m
w total  2.94  7.20  10.14 kN/m
3. Compute Design Moment,
w L2 10.14  3
2

M  total   11.41 kN.m


8 8
4. Determine Allowable Stresses,
fc  0.45fc'  0.45(27.6)  12.42 MPa
fs  140 MPa (for Grade 275)
5. Compute Design Constants,
fc 12.42
k   0.415
fc   fs / n  12.42  140 / 8 
k 0.415
j 1 1  0.862
3 3
6. Check if effective depth is safe for bending,
Note: d  t  25  125  25  100 mm
2M 2(11.41x106 )
dreq' d  
fckjb 12.42(0.415)(0.862)(1000)

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dreq' d  71.68 mm < 100 mm Ok!
7. Compute As,
M 11.41x106
As    946 mm2
fs jd 140(0.862)(100)
8. Select bar size and compute the required spacing,
Using 12mm bars (Ab = 113 mm2)
1000Ab 1000(113)
s   120 mm
As 946
9. Check for maximum spacing,
1. 3t  3(125)  375mm
smax  
2. 450mm
Therefore, use 12 mm  main bars at 100 mm O.C.

10. Design of Shrinkage and Temperature Steel,


A st  0.002bt  0.002 1000 125   250 mm2
Using 10mm bars (Ab = 78.5 mm2)
1000Ab 1000(78.5)
s st    314 mm
A st 250
Check for maximum spacing of shrinkage and temperature bars,
 1. 5t  5(125)  625mm
s st / max  
2. 450mm
Therefore, use 10mm shrinkage and temp. bars at 300 mm O.C.

NSCP Coefficients for Continuous Beams and Slabs


(Approximate Analysis)
A very common method used for the design of continuous reinforced concrete
structures involves the use of the NSCP coefficients given in Section 408.4.3 of the
NSCP. These coefficients, which are reproduced in Table 1, provide estimated
maximum shear and moments for buildings of normal proportions. The values
calculated in this manner will usually be somewhat larger than those that would be
obtained with an exact analysis.
According to the NSCP, this method serves as an alternative to the more exact
analysis provided:
1. there are two or more spans,
2. spans are approximately equal, with larger of two adjacent spans not greater
than the shorter by more than 20 percent,
3. loads are uniformly distributed,
4. unit live load does not exceed three times unit dead load, and
5. members are prismatic

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Table 1. NSCP Coefficients

POSITIVE MOMENT:

End Spans
1 2
Discontinuous end unrestrained - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wL n
11
1 2
Discontinuous end integral with support - - - - - - - - wL n
14
1 2
Interior spans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wLn
16

NEGATIVE MOMENT:

At exterior face of first interior support


1 2
wLn
Two spans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9
1 2
More than two spans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wLn
10
1 2
At other faces of interior supports - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wL n
11

At face of all supports for: slabs with spans not


Exceeding 3 meters; and beams where ratio of
sum of column stiffnesses to beam stiffness exceeds
1 2
eight at each end of the span - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wL n
12

At interior face of exterior support for


members built integrally with supports:
1 2
where support is a spandrel beam - - - - - - - - - - - - wL n
24
1 2
where support is a column - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wLn
16

SHEAR:

1.15 2
At first of first interior support - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wL n
2
1
At first of all other supports - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - wLn2
2

Where: w = total service load per unit length of beam or per unit area of slab
L n = clear span for positive moment or shear and average of
adjacent clear spans for negative moment

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Example 2.
Design the continuous slab of Figure 6.2 for moments calculated with the NSCP
coefficients. The slab is to support a service live load of 7.20 kPa in addition to its own
weight. Use fc'  20.7 MPa, fy  276 MPa and n = 9.

4.00 m 4.60 m 4.30 m

Figure 6.2. Example 2 (One-way Slab Design)

Solution:
1. Check if the NSCP coefficients are applicable,
a. There are two or more spans - - - Ok! There are three spans.
b. Spans are approximately equal, with larger of two adjacent spans not
greater than the shorter by more than 20 percent
4.60  4.00
4.00
100   15 % < 20% Therefore, Ok!
c. Loads are uniformly distributed - - - Ok!
d. Unit live load does not exceed three times unit dead load
assume t = 150 mm
wDL  23.5 1.00  0.150   3.53 kN/m
wLL  7.20 1.00   7.20 kN/m
wLL 7.20
  2.04  3 Therefore, Ok!
wDL 3.53
e. Members are prismatic - - - Ok!

Therefore, the NSCP coefficients are applicable!

2. Determine slab thickness,


(Based on the minimum thickness provided on Section 409.6.2.1 of the
NSCP)
For end span:
L  fy  4300  276 
t min   0.4    0.4   142.3 mm
24  700  24  700 
For interior span:
L  fy  4600  276 
t min   0.4    0.4   130.5 mm
28  700  28  700 
Say, use 150 mm slab thickness.

Then, d = 150 – 25 = 125 mm

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3. Calculate slab loads,
Note: Consider only a 1-meter-wide strip of the slab.
wDL  23.5 1.00  0.150   3.53 kN/m
wLL  7.20 1.00   7.20 kN/m
w total  3.53  7.20  10.73 kN/m
4. Determine Allowable Stresses,
fc  0.45fc'  0.45(20.7)  9.315 MPa
fs  140 MPa (for Grade 275)
5. Compute Design Constants,
fc 9.315
k   0.375
fc   fs / n  9.315  140 / 9 
k 0.375
1 j 1  0.875
3 3
6. Compute Moments, A s requirements, and spacing, as shown in Figure 6.3

1 2 1 2 1 2
(+) M =  wL n  wLn  wL n
14 16 14

4.00 m 4.60 m 4.30 m

1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
(-) M =  wL n  wLn  wLn  wL n
24 10 10 24
M (kN.m) = -7.15 +12.26 -19.84 +14.19 -21.25 +14.17 -8.27

As (mm2) = 467 801 1295 927 1388 925 540

Req’d. s (mm) = 242 141 87 122 82 122 209

Use s (mm) = 225 125 75 100 75 100 200

Figure 6.3. M from NSCP Coefficients , As requirements and spacing s

Note: Maximum spacing,


1. 3t  3(150)  450mm
smax  
2. 450mm
7. Design of Shrinkage and Temperature Steel,
A st  0.002bt  0.002 1000 150   300 mm2
Using 10mm bars (Ab = 78.5 mm2)
1000Ab 1000(78.5)
s st    261 mm
A st 300
Check for minimum spacing of shrinkage and temperature bars,

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 1. 5t  5(150)  750mm
s st / max  
2. 450mm
Therefore, use 10 mm  shrinkage and temp. bars at 250 mm O.C.

8. Draw Section Details,


L1/4 L1/3 L2/3 L2/3 L3/3 L3/4

“d” “e” “f” “g”

“a” “b” “c”

L1/8 L1/8 L2/8 L2/8 L3/8 L3/8


L1 L2 L3

“a” = 12mm  bottom bars @ 125 mm O.C. “d” = 12mm  top bars @ 225 mm O.C.
“b” = 12mm  bottom bars @ 100 mm O.C. “e” = 12mm  top bars @ 75 mm O.C.
“c” = 12mm  bottom bars @ 100 mm O.C. “f” = 12mm  top bars @ 75 mm O.C.
Note: Extend 1 of every 3 bars for bottom bars “g” = 12mm  top bars @ 200 mm O.C.

Figure 6.4 Recommended Bar Details (Cut-off points) for continuous beams and slabs

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