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Title no. 106-S57


Span-Depth Ratios for One-Way Members Based on ACI 318 Deflection Limits
by Peter H. Bischoff and Andrew Scanlon
Span-depth ratio (l/ h) expressions are developed for steel-reinforced concrete one-way slabs and beams to satisfy deflection control and flexural strength requirements. The expressions are presented as functions of reinforcement ratio and specified deflection-to-span limit. A comparative study is performed to evaluate the effects of effective moment of inertia, shrinkage restraint, construction loads, sustained live load, long-time deflection multiplier, support conditions, and deflection limits on the resulting span-depth ratios. A comparison is also made with minimum thickness values prescribed by ACI 318 that are a function of span and support conditions only. Effects of various input parameters are considered in examples involving a simply supported rectangular beam and an interior span of a continuous one-way slab. The results of the study indicate some of the limitations associated with the ACI 318 minimum thickness requirements.
Keywords: beams; concrete; deflection; slabs; span-depth ratio.

Table 1Restraint factor K and moment Ma at critical section for different support conditions (uniformly distributed load)
Member type Cantilever (fixed end) Simple span One end continuous with discontinuous end unrestrained (K = 1.20 0.20Mo /Mm)

K* 2.4 1.0 0.925

C = M a /M o 4.0 1.0 0.73

One end continuous with discontinuous end integral 0.8 to 0.85 0.5 to 0.57 with the end support (K = 1.20 0.20Mo /Mm) Fixed-hinged (midspan value) 0.80 0.5 0.4 to 0.5 0.33 Both ends continuous (K = 1.20 0.20Mo /Mm) 0.7 to 0.8 Fixed-fixed


INTRODUCTION Concrete structures are designed to satisfy strength requirements and serviceability requirements related to deflection and crack control. Many codes and standards such as ACI 318-08 (ACI Committee 318 2008) and CSA A23.3 (2004) include provisions for deflection control by either requiring a minimum member thickness based on a limiting span-depth ratio (l/h) or ensuring that computed values of deflection do not exceed permissible deflection limits under specified service loads. Satisfying appropriate span-depth ratios is the simplest approach to ensure the member has sufficient stiffness to avoid deflection problems and implies deflection limits are satisfied. Minimum member thickness requirements using the spandepth ratios specified in Table 9.5(a) of ACI 318 are intended for nonprestressed beams and one-way slabs not supporting or attached to partitions or other construction likely to be damaged by large deflections. In other words, the span-depth ratio limits can be used when damage to attached nonstructural elements is not a concern. Deflection must be calculated for members with a thickness less than the minimum required value or when supporting nonstructural elements that are likely to be damaged by large deflections. Computed values of deflection, in this instance, are required to satisfy the deflection limits specified in Table 9.5(b) of ACI 318. These include limits for immediate deflection under live load (l/180 for flat roofs and l/360 for floors) and incremental deflection after installation of nonstructural elements (l/480 when supporting nonstructural elements susceptible to damage and l/240 when damage is not a concern). Other deflection criteria may also need to be considered depending on the intended use of the structure (ACI Committee 435 1968) but are not considered in this paper, although the proposed expressions can be easily extended to cover other deflection control criteria. ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

= K(5/48)Mal2/EcIe. Deflection from rotation at support of cantilever must be included. M = wl2/8 and M is midspan moment for continuous member. M is midspan moment o m a Mm except for cantilevers where it is moment at support face.

Immediate deflection i is computed using a generalized elastic equation Ma l 5- ---------- i = K ----48 E c I e



for a given span l. Deflection is calculated for the service load moment Ma at the critical section which is taken at the support face for a cantilever and at midspan for simple and continuous members. The restraint factor K is determined by equating Eq. (1) with the elastic deflection equation corresponding to the type of loading and support conditions being considered. Appropriate values are given in Table 1 for a member under uniform load w with different support conditions. Effects of cracking and reinforcement on member stiffness are taken into consideration with an effective moment of inertia Ie. The elastic modulus of normalweight concrete Ec = 57,000 f c psi (4730 f c MPa), where fc is the specified compressive strength of concrete. Additional long-term deflection lt from creep and shrinkage is typically computed by taking a multiple of the immediate deflection i,sus caused by the sustained load. This gives lt = i,sus with = /(1 + 50) and = As / bd for a given amount of compression steel As , width b of the
ACI Structural Journal, V. 106, No. 5, September-October 2009. MS No. S-2008-104 received March 24, 2008, and reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright 2009, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion including authors closure, if any, will be published in the July-August 2010 ACI Structural Journal if the discussion is received by March 1, 2010.


Peter H. Bischoff, FACI, is a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada. He is a member of ACI Committees 224, Cracking; 360, Design of Slabs on Ground; 435, Deflection of Concrete Building Structures; 544, Fiber Reinforced Concrete; and Joint ACI-ASCE Committee 408, Development and Splicing of Deformed Bars. His research interests include serviceability behavior of concrete structures. Andrew Scanlon, FACI, is a Professor of civil engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. He is Chair of ACI Committee 435, Deflection of Concrete Building Structures, and is a member of ACI Committees 224, Cracking; 342, Evaluation of Concrete Bridges and Bridge Elements; and 348, Structural Safety; and His research interests include safety and serviceability of concrete structures.

member, and effective depth d of the tension steel. Values of the time-dependent factor prescribed by ACI 318 are 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, and 2.0 for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years or more, respectively. The deflection multiplier has a maximum value of 2.0 for the worst case (assuming no compression steel) when loads are sustained over a period of 5 years or more. This paper uses ACI-prescribed deflection limits to evaluate maximum span-depth ratios for one-way flexural members and compares these to the ACI 318 minimum thickness values. Requirements for incremental deflection incr , which occurs after attachment of the nonstructural elements, typically govern such that incr = lt + i,L(add) l/240 or l/480 (2)

where Ie is computed for the service load moment Ma at the critical section, and the cracking moment Mcr (relative to the applied moment Ma) controls the amount of tension stiffening in the member response. Equation (3) was adopted by ACI 318 in 1971 and continues to be used for calculating deflection with the exception of slender (tilt-up) wall panels (ACI Committee 318 2008). Bransons equation works well for moderately to heavily reinforced members with a steel reinforcing ratio greater than approximately 1%, but consistently overestimates member stiffness for lightly reinforced members and fiberreinforced polymer (FRP) reinforced concrete members (Bischoff 2007; Bischoff and Scanlon 2007). Hence, deflection is underestimated as a consequence. An alternative expression proposed by Bischoff (2005) for use in ACI 318 is given by Eq. (4) and used in this paper to evaluate the span-depth relationship limits, as this expression works equally well for steel- and FRP-reinforced concrete members over a wide range of reinforcing ratio. I cr I e = --------------------------------------- I g with = 1 I cr I g 2 1 ( M cr M a ) (4)

where lt is the long-term deflection under sustained loads that occurs after installation of the nonstructural elements and i,L(add) equals the immediate deflection from the remaining live load that is not part of the sustained load. In other words, i,L(add) = i,D+L i,D+L(sus). When used in conjunction with Eq. (1), Eq. (2) can be rearranged to give span-depth ratios as a function of the reinforcing ratio for a given deflection limit (l/240 or l/480). Comparison is made for rectangular and T-shaped sections as outlined later in the paper. RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE Design of reinforced concrete structures requires evaluation of serviceability conditions related to deflection which is controlled by either choosing a member that meets minimum thickness requirements or limiting computed values of deflection to some fraction of the member span. Maximum span-depth ratios (l /h) are developed using the incremental deflection limits given in ACI 318 and compared to the ACI minimum thickness values for one-way members. Results show that, for the most part, members satisfying the ACI minimum thickness requirements do not necessarily satisfy the deflection limits prescribed by the ACI 318 Building Code. EFFECTIVE MOMENT OF INERTIA Cracking is taken into consideration using an effective moment of inertia Ie that accounts for nonlinear behavior arising from a gradual reduction in flexural stiffness as the member cracks and loses tension stiffening under increasing load. Branson (1965) introduced the concept of an effective moment of inertia using the following expression to model the transition from a gross (uncracked) moment of inertia Ig to the cracked transformed moment of inertia Icr. M cr3 M cr 3 - I g + 1 -------- I I I e = ------- Ma M a cr g 618 (3)

SUPPORT CONDITIONS End restraint conditions at the supports are taken into account with the restraint factor K used in Eq. (1) to compute elastic deflection. Values given in Table 1 are based on the deflection equation corresponding to uniform loading for the support conditions indicated. For a continuous member with either one or both ends continuous, the restraint factor depends on the assumed value of the end support moments and does not account for redistribution of moments as the members crack. Table 1 also gives the moment Ma at the critical section expressed as a ratio of the total static moment Mo = w l2/8, and is directly related to the restraint factor K = 1.2 0.2/C (except for cantilevers) given that C = Ma /Mo. For a member with both ends continuous, the value of K is assumed to vary from 0.8 using the ACI moment coefficient for an interior span (based on a positive midspan moment Mm of wl2/16 or 0.5Mo) down to 0.7 using Rangans (1982) assumption that the average moment at the end supports equals 0.6Mo. For a member with one end continuous, the value of K varies from 0.85 using the ACI moment coefficient for an end span with the discontinuous end integral with the support (based on a positive midspan moment Mm of wl2/14 or 0.57Mo) down to 0.8 using Rangans assumption that Mm equals 0.5Mo. A member with the discontinuous end unrestrained (Mm = wl2/11 = 0.73Mo) gives a value of 0.925 for K. Equation (1) implies that deflection of continuous members depends on the stiffness of member at the critical midspan section with no consideration given to the stiffness at the end supports (unless a weighted average is taken of stiffness at the midspan and end supports). Using the stiffness at midspan alone gives reasonable results and, in most practical cases, gives a better approximation than deflection computed with a weighted average of member stiffness (Bischoff 2007). SHRINKAGE RESTRAINT CRACKING AND CONSTRUCTION LOADS Restraint to shrinkage induces tensile stresses in the concrete that decrease the cracking moment and reduce the flexural stiffness of the member. Recent work by Scanlon and Bischoff (2008) suggests using Eq. (4) for Ie along with ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

a reduced cracking moment equal to two-thirds the value of Mcr computed with the rupture modulus fr = 7.5 f c psi (0.62 f c MPa) prescribed by ACI 318-08 and this corresponds to a reduced rupture modulus fr = 5 f c psi (0.42 f c MPa). Decreasing the cracking moment has a significant effect on computed values of deflection for lightly reinforced members such as slabs, while deflection of moderately to more heavily reinforced members is not greatly affected at full service load because the effective moment of inertia Ie is closely approximated by Icr at these load levels (Scanlon and Bischoff 2008). Long-term deflections computed with the long-term multiplier usually depend on calculation of the immediate deflection under sustained load using an effective moment of inertia Ie,sus corresponding to the sustained load moment only. Preloading from construction loads prior to installation of the nonstructural elements often causes additional cracking that reduces the member stiffness and increases deflection arising from the sustained portion of loading. Scanlon and Bischoff (2008) recommend computing the immediate deflection under sustained loads with an effective moment of inertia (Ie,D+L) corresponding to the full (dead plus live) service load moment to account for the reduced stiffness; this simplifies the calculation procedure considerably. SPAN-DEPTH RATIO RELATIONSHIP Relationships for the span-depth ratio developed in this paper depend on deflection limits for incremental deflection and allow for a portion of the live load to be sustained. A general expression for the limiting span-depth ratio (l/h) is obtained by equating the incremental deflection from Eq. (2) to a deflection limit all. E c ( d h ) ( I e, D + L I g ) ( I g bd ) l -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------h K ( 5 48 ) ( D + L ) R n

Fig. 1Typical span-depth ratios (l/h) for slabs and beams. cracked-to-gross stiffness ratio Icr /Ig = 12(d/h)3[k3cr /3 + n(1 kcr )2] for a rectangular section with kcr = ( ) 2 + 2 n, = As /bd, and n = Es /Ec. The incremental deflection limit all /l is equal to either 1/480 or 1/240 depending on whether or not the nonstructural elements are likely to be damaged by large deflections. Equations (5) and (6) essentially express the span-depth limit needed for deflection control as a function of the reinforcing ratio needed to satisfy strength requirements at the critical section and take implicit account of the loading magnitude w. STRENGTH-CONTROLLED LIMIT Given that the moment at the critical section Ma = (/D+L)Mn, Mn = Rnbd 2, Mo = w l 2/8, and Ma = CMo (refer to Table 1) leads to the following expressions relating the l/h needed for strength control l -- = h 8 ( D + L ) Rn ( d h ) ---------------------------------------------------C(w b)

all -------l

(5) (7)

Full details of the derivation and explanation of variables are found in the Appendix. This expression is subsequently simplified for a rectangular section to give 0.8 E c ( I e, D + L I g ) l -- ---------------------------------------------------------2 h K ( D + L ) ( d h ) Rn all -------l (6)

for a slab strip with width b subjected to a uniformly distributed load w, and l -- = h 8 ( D + L ) Rn ( d h ) ---------------------------------------------------C(d b)(w l)

where the factor = [1 + ( 1)(Ie,D+L/Ie,sus)] accounts for long-term effects with the deflection multiplier , the ratio of sustained load to full service load, and the difference between the member stiffness at a sustained and full service load when preloading is not taken into account. Setting Ie,D+L/Ie,sus = 1 takes account of preloading from construction loads such that Msus + ML,add = MD+L. Using a reduced cracking moment 0.67Mcr to account for shrinkage restraint has the effect of decreasing the effective moment of inertia Ie. The strength reduction factor for flexure is taken equal to 0.9 for tension-controlled sections, and D+L is an averaged load factor depending on the ratio of dead to live load. The flexural resistance factor Rn = Mn/bd 2 = fs[1 fs / (21 fc)] for a rectangular section with bar stress fs = fy when the section is under-reinforced, 1 is a rectangular stress block factor equal to 0.85, and I e / I g = ( Mcr /M a) 3 + [1 ( Mcr / M a) 3]( I cr /Ig) using Bransons (1965) Eq. (3) or (Icr /Ig)/ [1 (Mcr /Ma)2] using Bischoffs (2005) Eq. (4). The ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009


for beams with a d/b aspect ratio and distributed load-to-span length ratio w/l. ALLOWABLE SPAN-DEPTH RATIOS Figure 1 shows a typical plot of the maximum span-depth ratio (l/h) for deflection control (Eq. (6)) together with plots of the limiting l/h controlled by strength for slabs (Eq. (7)) and beams (Eq. (8)). Intersection of the deflection and strength-controlled curves defines the l /h requirement for a flexural member, with the location of the intersection point depending on the loading conditions and aspect ratio of the member cross section. Loading for the slabs ranges between 100 lb/ft2 (4.8 kPa) for Slab S1 (corresponding to a 4 in. [100 mm] thick slab with a live load of 50 lb/ft2 [2.4 kPa]), 200 lb/ft2 (9.6 kPa) for Slab S2, and 500 lb/ft2 (24 kPa) for Slab S3 (representing a much heavier 2 ft [600 mm] thick slab with a 200 lb/ft2 [9.6 kPa] live load). Different combinations 619

with C = Ma /Mo (Table 1) and w = wsus + wL,add when Ie,D+L/Ie,sus = 1. This version of the expression also depends on the reinforcing ratio unless simplifying assumptions are made to express Ie as a fixed ratio of Ig (see, for example, Scanlon and Choi 1999). Equation (9) works well for slabs as dependence on the width b of the member is accommodated by using a slab strip of unit width, and the equation is easily rearranged to give an expression more appropriate for beams with a specific d/b aspect ratio for the member cross section. l -- h Fig. 2Comparison of l/h limits at full Mcr and no preload. 6.4 E c ( I e, D + L I g ) ( d h ) all --------------------------------------------------------- -------KC ( w l ) ( d b ) l


Fig. 3Effect of construction loads and reduced cracking moment. of slab thickness and live load are possible for each slab loading case that depends, of course, on the member span. Beam B1 has an assumed d/b aspect ratio of 1.0 for the member cross section and w/l equal to 75 lb/ft2 (3.6 kPa), while Beam B2 has a higher aspect ratio of 2.0 and a larger w/l of 300 lb/ft2 (14.4 kPa). The maximum l/h limit drops as the reinforcing ratio increases (particularly for lightly reinforced members typical of slabs) and is heavily dependent on the proportion of sustained loading. The l/h limit for slabs is greater than that for beams as expected. The l/h limit for deflection given by Eq. (6) may also not govern under certain conditions for beams with high d/b and w/l ratios and, in this instance, the member thickness is controlled by strength requirements only as observed for Beam B2 in Fig. 1. The solution to the l/h expression given by Eq. (6) is iterative (depending on , which is unknown until the member thickness h is chosen). While not suitable for design because of its complexity, the developed expression is useful for understanding the effect of parameters such as , I e, and Mcr ; preloading from construction loads; dead-to-live load ratio; fc; and fy , on the required member thickness needed to satisfy deflection requirements. Similar types of formulation have expressed the spandepth ratio as a function of the distributed load w (Rangan 1982; Gilbert 1985; Scanlon and Choi 1999; Scanlon and Lee 2006). This approach can be expressed as l -- h 620 6.4 E c b ( I e, D + L I g ) all --------------------------------------------- -------KC w l

COMPARATIVE STUDY A comparative study is performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of calculated l/h values to various parameters as discussed in this section. The general trend is shown in Fig. 1 as discussed previously. In the results presented further in the paper, the l/h limit is plotted against the reinforcing ratio for a rectangular section using 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete and Grade 60 (414 MPa) reinforcing steel. All members are assumed to have an effective depth-to-height ratio (d/h) of 0.85. Unless otherwise noted, comparisons are made for a simply supported member with dead-to-live load ratio ranging from 0.5 to 2.0, and are based on the l/240 incremental deflection requirement using a long-term deflection multiplier of 2.0. Calculations, for the most part, use Bischoffs expression for Ie (Eq. (4)), take account of preload from construction loads, and use two-thirds of Mcr. The effect of concrete strength, steel grade, support conditions, and use of T-shaped sections is also considered. Effective moment of inertia Figure 2 compares the l/h limit for deflection computed with both Bransons (Eq. (3)) and Bischoffs (Eq. (4)) expressions for Ie. Results are presented for a simply supported member with a deflection limit of l/240. Calculation of incremental deflection, in this instance, is based on the full cracking moment Mcr with no account taken of preloading. Member thickness is heavily dependent on the proportion of sustained loading characterized by the dead-to-live load ratio (D/L), and differences between the two approaches are evident for lightly reinforced members with a reinforcing ratio less than approximately 0.85%, as expected (Bischoff and Scanlon 2007). At higher reinforcing ratios, the effective moment of inertia Ie quickly approaches Icr using either approach. Deflection requirements are satisfied for most slabs using the ACI minimum thickness value (with the exception of heavily loaded slabs having a dead-to-live load ratio [D/L] of 2.0) but not for beams. Span-depth ratio requirements for beams need to be as low as 9 depending on the loading conditions and are even more severe as the incremental deflection limit decreases from l/240 to l/480. Shrinkage restraint and construction loads Figure 3 shows that preloading from construction loads and use of a lower cracking moment to account for shrinkage restraint have a significant effect on computed values of deflection and corresponding l/h limit for reinforcing ratios less than approximately 1%. Deflection of slabs using the ACI l/h limit of 20 is only satisfied in this instance for slabs with a service load less than approximately 200 lb/ft2 (9.6 kPa) when the D/L equals 2. The l/h limit for more heavily reinACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009


Fig. 4Effect of sustained live load.

Fig. 6Effect of concrete strength.

Fig. 7Effect of steel reinforcing grade. shoring. Adding 1% compression steel decreases the longterm deflection multiplier to give = /(1 + 50 ) = 2.0/(1 + 50 0.01) = 1.33 when partitions are installed immediately upon removal of the shoring, while a 3-month delay in installation of the partitions gives = (2.0 1.0)/(1 + 50 0.01) = 0.67 to allow for long-term deflection that occurs during the first 3 months before the partitions are installed. None of the live load is assumed to be sustained in this example. In both cases, the addition of compression steel and delay in installation of the partitions increases the l/h limit needed to satisfy ACI incremental deflection requirements. Even though changes to the l/h limit can be significant, beams using the existing ACI minimum thickness values still do not satisfy deflection requirements in many cases except when the deflection multiplier = 0.67. Concrete strength and fy Figures 6 and 7 indicate that flexural members with lowerstrength concrete and higher-strength steel require greater minimum thickness values as expected (with a larger influence for lower D/L ratios). While the l/h limit for the lower, 4 ksi (27.6 MPa) strength concrete, is less than the 10 ksi (69 MPa) concrete at reinforcing ratios up to approximately 2%, the limit for the 10 ksi (69 MPa) concrete eventually drops off to a value lower than the 4 ksi (27.6 MPa) concrete at higher reinforcing ratios. Recent work by Tang and Lubell (2008) provides more detailed information on the effect of reinforcing grade on deflection and minimum thickness requirements for slabs. 621

Fig. 5 Effect of compression steel ( =1.33) and delay in partition installation ( = 0.67) for: (a) D/L = 2.0; and (b) D /L = 0.5. forced beams is controlled by Icr and remains at 9 (D/L = 2) and 13 (D/L = 0.5) compared to the present requirement of 16 for beams. Sustained live load Figure 4 shows the effect of having part of the live load sustained. Increasing the sustained load increases incremental deflection and leads to a decrease in the l/h limit with a subsequent increase in the minimum member thickness when deflection governs. Long-term deflection multiplier Figure 5 shows the effect of first adding compression steel and then installing partitions 3 months after removal of the ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

Fig. 8l/ h limits for T-beam sections.

Fig. 9Effect of incremental deflection limit (l/240 versus l/480). T-shaped sections Figure 8 plots l/h requirements for T-shaped sections with the reinforcing ratio expressed relative to the web width (w = As /bwd). Although the minimum thickness required to satisfy the incremental deflection limit decreases as the flange to web width (bf /bw) increases, incremental deflection requirements are still not satisfied using ACI 318 minimum thickness values for beams (with = 2.0). l/240 versus l/480 Figure 9 shows the effect of decreasing the allowable value of incremental deflection from l/240 down to l/480 when damage to attached nonstructural elements needs to be considered. Minimum thickness requirements can double with a corresponding 50% decrease in the l/h limit. For the simply supported case shown, heavily reinforced beams would require an l/h of 4.5 (D/L = 2) and 6 (D/L = 0.5), whereas the l/h for slabs can be as low as 12.5. Deflection requirements, however, are not as severe as they first appear in Fig. 9 because any required increase in member thickness is accompanied by a decrease in reinforcing ratio needed to maintain the same member capacity, and this, in turn, has the effect of increasing the limit for the l/h. Hence, the increase in member thickness will most often be less than twice the value required to satisfy the l/240 deflection limit (particularly for lightly reinforced members such as slabs where the l/h limit changes rapidly with reinforcing ratio) and this is demonstrated in deflection examples presented later in the paper. Changes in member thickness also have a 622

Fig. 10l/h limit for: (a) one end continuous; (b) both ends continuous; and (c) cantilever. significant effect on the magnitude of service load for slabs where the self-weight comprises a significant portion of the loading. Support conditions Minimum thickness requirements in Eq. (6) are directly proportional to the restraint factor K taken from Table 1 to reflect support conditions of a uniformly loaded member. Once again, any changes to the minimum thickness required for a member are tempered by changes in the reinforcing ratio required to satisfy strength for a given span and loading condition. Requirements for l/h are plotted in Fig. 10 for a member with one end continuous (K = 0.85), both ends continuous (K = 0.8), and for a cantilever (K = 2.4). Figures 3 and 4 give the case for a simply supported member (K = 1.0). In all cases, the ACI minimum thickness requirement for beams does not satisfy incremental deflection requirements when using a long-term deflection multiplier of 2.0, whereas incremental ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

Table 2(a)Simply supported beam example: 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete and 60 ksi (414 MPa) steel*
l /h ACI 318 minimum thickness Strength at 0.5 max

, % 1.0 0.84 0.71 1.8 0.425 0.84 0.31

Ma/Mcr 3.4 2.9 3.7 8.4 2.8 2.85 1.7

Beam height h, in. (mm) 15 (381) 20.3 (515.0) 21.4 (543.3) 22.5 (572.6) 17.1 (435.4) 24.7 (626.2) 21.1 (535.1) 29.4 (746.9)

Beam width b, in. (mm) Deflection, in. (mm) 11.5 (292.0) 12.1 (307.9) 12.8 (324.5) 9.7 (246.7) 14.0 (354.9) 11.9 (303.2) 16.7 (423.3) 1.13 (28.8) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 0.945 (24.0) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 0.5 (12.7)

16 11.8 11.2 10.6 14.0 9.7 11.4 8.2

Bischoff Ie with no preload, Mcr and = 2 Bischoff Ie with preload, 0.67 Mcr and = 2 =1 fy = 75 ksi and = 2 fc = 10,000 psi and = 2 = l/480 and = 2

= 20 ft (6096 mm), d/h = 0.85, K = 1.0, D/L = 2.0, and w = 2.1 k/ft (30.6 kN/m). l/240 = 1 in. (25.4 mm) for control of deflection. reinforcing ratio max 0.72b. Strength-controlled. Note: 1 ksi = 1000 psi; 1 psi = 0.00690 MPa.

(l/240) deflection requirements for slabs using the ACI minimum thickness values are mostly satisfied with the exception of those that are heavily loaded with service loads greater than approximately 200 to 250 lb/ft2 (9.6 to 12 kPa). Satisfying l/h requirements is important for slabs, as design often begins by choosing a slab thickness based on minimum thickness requirements. Hence, adequate flexural stiffness of slabs is ensured by specifying the correct l/h limits. Design of beams, on the other hand, begins by satisfying strength requirements where the member cross section is proportioned for strength. Choosing a relatively low reinforcing ratio in the range of 0.25b to 0.40b will often result in a member thickness greater than the minimum thickness needed to satisfy deflection requirements (ACI Committee 435 1995), depending on the w/l ratio, aspect ratio of the member cross section, long-term deflection multiplier, and dead-to-live load ratio. DEFLECTION EXAMPLES Deflection examples are worked out for: 1) a simply supported rectangular beam; and 2) an interior span of a continuous one-way slab. Calculations for both examples use 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete and Grade 60 (414 MPa) reinforcement to give fr = 474 psi (3.26 MPa), Ec = 3605 ksi (24.39 GPa), and n = 8.04. The d/h is assumed to remain constant at 0.85 and = 2.0. Note that dimensions are not rounded off in these examples for ease of checking. Example 1Rectangular beam A simply supported beam with a 20 ft (6096 mm) span is designed to support a uniformly distributed dead load of 1.4 k/ft (20.4 kN/m) and a live load of 0.7 k/ft (10.2 kN/m). This gives a w/l of 105 lb/ft2 (5 kPa), D/L of 2.0, service load moment at midspan of Ma = 105 k-ft (142.4 kN-m), and factored moment Mu = 140 k-ft (189.8 kN-m). Results for this example are summarized in Table 2(a) and plotted in Fig. 11. Designing the beam for strength based on an assumed reinforcing ratio = 1% (0.5max) and d/b of 1.5 gives a beam cross section with width b = 11.5 in. (292 mm) and height h = 20.3 in. (515 mm). The corresponding l/h of 11.8 is less than the ACI 318 limit of 16 for beams, implying that deflection limits should be easily satisfied. The computed value of incremental deflection, however, (using either Eq. (3) or (4)) equals 1.13 in. (28.8 mm), which is greater than the l/240 limit of 1 in. (25.4 mm). Hence, the member thickness needs to be increased to satisfy ACI 318 requirements for incremental deflection. ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

Fig. 11Minimum thickness requirements for beam deflection example. Using Bischoffs expression at full Mcr and with no preload (Fig. 11) requires a beam with an l/h limit of 11.2 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.84%. The width and height of this beam equals 12.1 in. (307.9 mm) and 21.4 in. (543.3 mm), respectively. Accounting for preload and using 0.67Mcr decreases the l/h limit from 11.2 to 10.6 at a lower reinforcing ratio of 0.71% to account for the increased member thickness. The width and height of the beam, in this case, is 12.8 in. (324.5 mm) and 22.5 in. (572.6 mm), respectively. In both cases, the member deflection equals the limiting value of l/240 equal to 1 in. (25.4 mm). Delaying partition installation by 3 months decreases the long-term deflection multiplier to = 1. The l/h deflection curve no longer intersects the strength curve in this instance (Fig. 11) and the l/h limit increases to 14.0 based on strength requirements at a reinforcing ratio of 1.8%. The corresponding width and height of the beam equals 9.7 in. (246.7 mm) and 17.1 in. (435.4 mm), respectively, and the midspan deflection of 0.94 in. (24.0 mm) is less than the maximum value of 1 in. (25.4 mm) as deflection no longer governs. Using reinforcing steel with 75 ksi (517 MPa) yield strength decreases the l/h to 9.7 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.425% for a beam with width of 14.0 in. (354.9 mm) and height of 24.7 in. (626.2 mm). The increase in member thickness, compared to a beam with Grade 60 steel, is approximately 10% in this case. A beam with 10,000 psi (69 MPa) concrete and 60 ksi (414 MPa) steel has a limiting l/h of 11.4 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.84%, giving a beam with a width of 11.9 in. (303.2 mm) and height of 21.1 in. (535.1 mm) that is 623

Table 2(b)Continuous slab example: 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete and 60 ksi (414 MPa) steel*
l /h ACI 318 minimum thickness Bischoff Ie with no preload, Mcr and = 2 Bischoff Ie with preload, 0.67 Mcr and = 2 =1 fy = 75 ksi and = 2 fc = 10,000 psi and = 2 = l/480 and = 2

, % 0.2 0.367 0.243 0.301 0.185 0.361 0.205

Ma /Mcr 0.72 (uncracked) 1.27 1.31 1.58 1.23 1.20 1.12

D /L 1.8 1.19 1.55 1.35 1.62 1.20 1.74

h, in. (mm) 8.6 (218) 5.73 (145.5) 7.45 (189) 6.5 (165.5) 7.8 (198) 5.74 (145.7) 8.32 (211.5)

Deflection, in. (mm) 0.174 (4.4) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 1.0 (25.4) 0.5 (12.7)

28 41.9 32.2 36.8 30.8 41.8 28.8

l = 20 ft (6096 mm), d/h = 0.85, K = 0.8, C = 0.5; and live load = 60 lb/ft2 (2.9 kPa). Note: 1 ksi = 1000 psi; 1 psi = 0.00690 MPa.

Fig. 12Minimum thickness requirements for slab deflection example. approximately 6% less than the thickness of a beam using 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete. Decreasing the allowable deflection value to 0.5 in. (12.7 mm) corresponding to the l/480 incremental deflection limit decreases the l/h limit to 8.2 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.31%. The beam has a height of 29.4 in. (746.9 mm) that is 30% greater than the required thickness for the l/240 deflection limit. Example 2One-way slab Deflection requirements are considered for an interior span of a continuous one-way slab with a 20 ft (6096 mm) span. The slab supports its own self-weight plus a live load of 60 lb/ft2 (2.9 kPa). None of the live load is sustained and proportioning is carried out for an allowable deflection of l/240. Moments are based on the ACI design moment coefficient at midspan giving C = 0.5 and a restraint factor K = 0.8 (Table 1). Design of the support sections is not considered in this example. Design begins by assuming l/h = 28 based on existing ACI 318 minimum thickness requirements to give h = 8.6 in. (218 mm) and corresponding dead load of 108 lb/ft2 (5.2 kPa). A reinforcing ratio of 0.2% satisfies strength requirements with the 8.6 in. (218 mm) thick slab and this gives an uncracked slab under service loads (at full Mcr) with a computed deflection of 0.174 in. (4.4 mm) that is considerably less than the allowable value of l/240 = 1 in. (25.4 mm). Using Bischoffs (2005) expression for Ie at full Mcr and with no preload gives an l/h limit of 41.9 and a corresponding slab thickness of 5.7 in. (145.5 mm) with = 0.37%. Recall that the reinforcing ratio needs to be increased as the member thickness decreases to maintain the same strength. The slab is now cracked (Ma/Mcr = 1.27) and has a computed value of deflection equal to the deflection limit of l/240 = 1 in. (25.4 mm). Bransons (1965) expression (Eq. (3)) overestimates member 624

stiffness at this low reinforcement ratio and gives a much smaller deflection of 0.65 in. (16.4 mm). Results are summarized in Table 2(b) and plotted in Fig. 12. Accounting for preload and using 0.67Mcr with Bischoffs expression for Ie decreases the l/h to 32.2 with a corresponding reinforcing ratio of 0.24%. A slab thickness of 7.45 in. (189 mm) is needed to maintain the computed value of deflection at 1 in. (25.4 mm), and is used as the basis for other comparisons that include a delay in partition installation, increase in concrete strength, higher grade steel, and allowable deflection of l/480 when damage to partitions is of concern. Delaying partition installation by 3 months decreases the long-term multiplier to = 1 and this gives a thinner 6.5 in. (165.5 mm) slab based on l/h = 36.8 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.3%. Increasing the compressive strength of concrete to 10,000 psi (69 MPa) decreases the slab thickness considerably to 5.75 in. (145.7 mm) for l/h = 41.8 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.36%, while using Grade 75 (517 MPa) steel gives a slightly thicker, 7.8 in. (198 mm) thick slab with l/h = 30.8 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.185%. The higher grade steel results in a 5% increase in slab thickness, which is less than the 15% increase computed using the ACI 318 assumption that minimum thickness values for fy other than 60,000 psi (414 MPa) shall be multiplied by 0.4 + fy /100,000. Similar observations were made by Tang and Lubell (2008). Note also the change in dead load and corresponding D/L as the slab thickness changes. Finally, decreasing the allowable deflection value to l/480 = 0.5 in. (12.7 mm) gives a thicker, 8.3 in. (211.5 mm) slab with l/h = 28.8 at a reinforcing ratio of 0.205%. In this instance, the slab is barely cracked with Ma /Mcr = 1.12. While Eq. (6) suggests that the slab thickness doubles when the allowable deflection drops by one half, increasing the slab thickness also results in a lower value of and, hence, the corresponding increase in slab thickness is only approximately 12% in this case. Assumptions made regarding tension stiffening have a considerable effect on computed values of deflection when service loads are close to the cracking value, as is the case for the slab in this example, with Ma/Mcr ranging between 1 and 1.5. For beams with a reinforcing ratio greater than 1%, the Ma/Mcr ratio is typically greater than 3 and the effective moment of inertia is then closely approximated with Icr. In closing, it should be noted that deflection requirements are satisfied in all cases for the slab in this example when using the ACI 318 minimum thickness value, whereas this is not the case for the beam in Example 1. The slab was subjected to a service load of approximately 150 lb/ft2 (7.2 kPa), and a slab supporting a heavier live load of 125 lb/ft2 (6 kPa) or more corresponding to a full service load of at least 230 lb/ft2 (11 kPa) would not have satisfied deflection ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009

requirements with a slab thickness based on the ACI (l/28) minimum value. CONCLUSIONS Span-depth ratio expressions for one-way members have been developed based on deflection calculation equations in terms of the reinforcement ratio required to meet flexural strength requirements and deflection control for specified deflection limits. Results of a comparative study show that the span-depth ratio is highly sensitive to reinforcement ratio (and hence, loading) for lightly reinforced members typically associated with one-way slabs (less than approximately 0.5% reinforcement). Slabs designed using the ACI minimum thickness requirement do not always satisfy the l/240 incremental deflection requirement for heavier loaded slabs. Values obtained for moderate to high reinforcement ratios typical for beams indicate that the ACI 318 minimum thickness values for these members often do not satisfy the span/240 deflection limit for additional deflection that occurs after installation of nonstructural elements. Despite the fact that beams satisfying the ACI minimum thickness requirement may not satisfy the l/240 requirement for incremental deflection, strength will often govern in many cases (particularly for beams with high w/l and d/b) to give a beam with a deflection less than l/240. Although the developed expressions are not intended for hand calculation as a design tool, they can be used to check design equations for span-depth limits intended for deflection control because no simplifying assumptions have been made other than those implicit in ACI 318 calculation procedures. Results of the study indicate limitations inherent in the current ACI 318 span-depth ratios for one-way members, particularly for beams. The results suggest that changes are required to account for these limitations so that the minimum thicknesses specified are consistent with the span/240 limitation for members not supporting or attached to nonstructural elements likely to be damaged by large deflections. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Financial support was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and is gratefully appreciated.

kcr = l = = Ma Mcr = = MD MD+L = = ML = ML,add ML,sus = = Mm Mn = = Mo Msus = Mu = n = Rn = w = = wL,add wsus = = 1 D+L = = all = i = i,D+L i,D+L(sus) = i,L(add) = incr i,sus lt b max w = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

2 ( n ) + 2 n n span length service load moment (at critical section) cracking moment dead load moment full (dead + live) service load moment live load moment part of live load moment that is not sustained sustained part of live load moment midspan moment nominal moment capacity static moment capacity (wl 2/8) sustained (dead + sustained live) moment factored moment modular ratio (Es/Ec) nominal flexural resistance factor (Mn/bd2) uniformly distributed load portion of live load not sustained sustained load rectangular stress block factor (0.85) average load factor permissible (allowable) deflection (l/240 or l/480) immediate deflection immediate deflection from full (dead + live) service load immediate deflection from sustained (dead + sustained live) load immediate deflection from remaining part of live load not sustained incremental deflection (i,sus + i,L(add)) immediate deflection from sustained load long term deflection (i,sus) strength reduction factor ratio of sustained to full service load (Msus/MD+L) 1 Icr /Ig long term (deflection) multiplier /(1 + 50) reinforcing ratio (As /bd) compression reinforcing ratio (As /bd) balanced reinforcing ratio (bar strain of fy /Es at nominal strength) maximum reinforcing ratio (bar strain of 0.004 at nominal strength) web reinforcing ratio (As /bwd) time-dependent factor 1 + ( 1)(Ie,D+L/Ie,sus)

ACI Committee 318, 2008, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete (ACI 318-08) and Commentary, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, 465 pp. ACI Committee 435, 1995, Control of Deflection in Concrete Structures (ACI 435R-95), American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, 88 pp. ACI Committee 435 (Subcommittee 1), 1968, Allowable Deflections, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 65, No. 8, Aug., pp. 433-444. Bischoff, P. H., 2005, Re-Evaluation of Deflection Prediction for Concrete Beams Reinforced with Steel and Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Bars, Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, V. 131, No. 5, pp. 752-767. Bischoff, P. H., 2007, Rational Model for Calculating Deflection of Reinforced Concrete Beams and Slabs, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, V. 34, No. 8, pp. 992-1002. Bischoff, P. H., and Scanlon, A., 2007, Effective Moment of Inertia for Calculating Deflections of Concrete Members Containing Steel Reinforcement and Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Reinforcement, ACI Structural Journal, V. 104, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., pp. 68-75. Branson, D. E., 1965, Instantaneous and Time-Dependent Deflections of Simple and Continuous Reinforced Concrete Beams, HPR Report No. 7, Part 1, Alabama Highway Department, Bureau of Public Roads, Alabama, 78 pp. CSA A23.3, 2004, Design of Concrete Structures, CSA Standard A23.3-04, Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Rexdale (Toronto), ON, Canada, 214 pp. Gilbert, R. I., 1985, Deflection Control of Slabs Using Allowable Span to Depth Ratios, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 82, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., pp. 67-72. Rangan, B.V., 1982, Control of Beam Deflections by Allowable Span-Depth Ratios, ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 79, No. 5, Sept.Oct., pp. 372-377. Scanlon, A., and Bischoff, P. H., 2008, Shrinkage Restraint and Loading History Effects on Deflection of Flexural Members, ACI Structural

As As b bf bw C d Ec Es FD/L FS fc fr fs fy h Icr Ie Ie,D+L Ie,sus Ig K = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = tension steel area compression steel area width of member flange width web width M a /M o effective depth of tension steel elastic modulus of concrete elastic modulus of reinforcing steel dead-to-live load (D/L) ratio (MD /ML) sustained live load ratio (ML,sus/ML) specified compressive strength of concrete rupture modulus of concrete bar stress yield strength of reinforcing steel height or depth of member cracked transformed moment of inertia effective moment of inertia effective moment of inertia corresponding to full (dead + live) service load effective moment of inertia corresponding to sustained load moment gross (uncracked) moment of inertia end restraint factor

ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009


Journal, V. 105, No. 4, July-Aug., pp. 498-506. Scanlon, A., and Choi, B.-S., 1999, Evaluation of ACI 318 Minimum Thickness Requirements for One-Way Slabs, ACI Structural Journal, V. 96, No. 4, July-Aug., pp. 616-621. Scanlon, A., and Lee, Y. H., 2006, Unified Span-to-Depth Ratio Equation for Nonprestressed Concrete Beams and Slabs, ACI Structural Journal, V. 103, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., pp. 142-148. Tang, J., and Lubell, A. S., 2008, Influence of Longitudinal Reinforcement Strength on One-Way Slab Deflection, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, V. 35, No. 10, pp. 1076-1087.

Msus = MD + ML,sus = MD+L


with = Msus/MD+L = (FD/L + FS)/(1 + FD/L). Substitution of Eq. (A-2) to (A-4) into (A-1) then gives
2 5 MD + L l incr = K ----- ------------------- ---- all 48 I e, D + L E c


APPENDIX: DERIVATION OF SPAN-DEPTH LIMIT Combining Eq. (1) and (2) gives a general expression for incremental deflection. incr = i, sus + i, L ( add ) all M sus l 5- ---------------- i, sus = K ----48 E c I e, sus 5 MD + L l 5 M sus l i, L ( add ) = K ----- --------------------- K ----- ----------------48 E c I e, D + L 48 E c I e, sus
2 2 2


with = [1 + ( 1)(Ie,D+L/Ie,sus)]. MD+L = Msus + ML,add when Ie,sus = Ie,D+L. Equation (A-5) also gives the immediate deflection from live load for the case where = 0 and the sustained load equals the dead load alone (F s = 0 giving = F D/L/(1 + FD/L)). Rearranging Eq. (A-5) in terms of I e,D+L/I g, with M D+L = ( / D+L) M n and Mn = R nbd2 leads to ( D + L ) Rn l 5 incr = K ----- ----------------------------------------------------------- all 3 48 E d ( I c e, D + L I g ) ( I g bd )

(A-2) (A-6)

(A-3) in which is the strength reduction factor for flexure and D+L is an averaged load factor equal to (1.2FD/L + 1.6)/ (FD/L + 1) for a dead load factor of 1.2 and live load factor of 1.6. Rearranging Eq. (A-6) in terms of the span-depth ratio (l/h) gives E c ( d h ) ( I e, D + L I g ) ( I g bd ) l -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------h K ( 5 48 ) ( D + L ) R n

with i,L(add) = i,D+L i,D+L(sus) and all = l/240 or l/480. Equation (A-3) accounts for the case where there is no preloading from construction loads (Ie,sus > Ie,D+L). A dead-to-live load (D/L) ratio FD/L = MD/ML and sustained live load ratio FS = ML,sus/ML are used to define the sustained moment Msus (arising from the dead plus sustained part of the live load) in terms of the full service load moment MD+L.

all -------l



ACI Structural Journal/September-October 2009