A look at Prestressed Transfer Plate Design and Construction

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Prestressed Transfer Plate Design and Construction

A look at Prestressed Transfer Plate Design and Construction

© All Rights Reserved

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DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

George D. Nasser

Detroit, Michigan

for medium and high rise buildings.

It is estimated that in 1969 flat plate

structures accounted for $5 billion

in construction. This is on the order

of 7 percent of all construction dollars spent in the United States during 1969. The advantages of this

method of construction are as follows:

1. The design is simple and it

saves construction time.

2. It is easy to install the electrical

and mechanical equipment.

3. Repetitive formwork is used.

(This is a major factor since

formwork costs generally range

between 35 to 60 percent of the

cost of the concrete structure.)

4. The slabs can be precast on the

ground and lifted mechanically

(although this lift slab technique is seldom used today).

5. The flat surfaces provide

smooth ceilings and floors.

6. The concrete slabs provide

good fire resistive properties.

7. The system provides for minimum floor to floor height with

*Flat slabs without drop panels around the

columns.

62

and electrical ducts, plumbing

risers, walls, and partitions.

However, when spans extend beyond 18 ft. two major disadvantages

develop in reinforced flat plate systems:

1. Larger thickness slabs are required resulting in heavier

dead loads and corresponding

increases in column sizes and

foundations.

2. Slab deflections not only produce cracking in the slab itself

but may also crack the room

partitions above and below the

floors.

Prestressing can be used effectively

to overcome these two difficulties.

PRESTRESSED FLAT PLATES

had its real beginning in California

around 1955. This was about the

time when prestressing and lift slab

techniques first became popular in

the United States. An excellent description of one of the earliest prestressed multi-story buildings constructed using the lift slab method is

given by Minges and Wild('). Typical bays were 26 x 26 ft. and the

slab thickness was 81/a in.

PCI Journal

plates. After reviewing pertinent literature of the last 15 years,

the author presents the advantages and potential of prestressed

flat plate construction and discusses all the current considerations

in design. Several examples of prestressed flat plate structures

are briefly described.

construction has had a steady upward growth. It is estimated that the

total volume of post-tensioned flat

plate construction in the United

States amounted to 5, 8 and 10 million square feet in 1965, 1966 and

1967, respectively. Seven major factors have been responsible for this

accelerated growth:

1. Simplification of design techniques.

2. The development of economical post-tensioning techniques

and improved hardware.

The

increasing demand for

3.

longer spans, thereby creating

more functional interior space

without obstructing columns.

4. Population growth and high

land values have induced a

trend towards high rise buildings.

5. The commercial availability of

high strength lightweight concrete.

6. An increasing demand for lowcost housing, hospitals, parking

garages, apartment complexes,

and commercial and institutional buildings.

7. The realization that prestressDecember 1969

control deflections and thereby

minimize the chances of cracking.

LITERATURE REVIEW

plates are highly indeterminate. Until the advent of simplified design

techniques developed in the last decade, design methods evolved chiefly

from experience in the field and intuition rather than on established

theory. Possibly, Guyon( 2 '3 ) (in the

early 1950's) was the first to realize

that slabs prestressed in two directions behaved analogously to the

two-way arch action of thin shell

structures. In the late 1950's several

prestressed slab research projects

were undertaken in the United

States( 4 - 6 ). Scordelis, et al 4 >, studied

the ultimate strength of continuous

prestressed slabs and proposed several design recommendations. In another project, Scordelis, et a1( 5 ), investigated the load distribution

between column and middle strips.

Later, Rice and Kulka( s) emphasized

the need for deflection as an important criterion in the design of prestressed lift slabs. In 1962, Green(7)

summarized existing knowledge in

63

details of cable profiles, reversed

cable curvature, and prestress and

friction losses.

Possibly, the largest stride in the

design of prestressed slabs was the

publication in 1963 of a paper by

Lin( 8 ) on the load balancing method.

It was soon made apparent that the

tendon profiles could be designed so

that the upward cable force neutralized the vertical downward load.

This approach by-passed a rigorous

analysis of the highly redundant

stress system. Furthermore, the

method provided for deflection control for the dead load which is generally the major portion of the load.

Koons and Schlegel (9) extended the

load balancing approach and presented some practical aids for solving continuity and cable reversal.

In 1963, Saether( 10 ) published a

paper in which he applied a structural membrane theory to the solution of prestressed flat slabs. The

method, however, was not developed

far enough to be used in practical

design.

Rozvany and Hampson( 11 ) and

Brotchie and Russell 2 ) developed

an elastic approach for the optimum

design of prestressed flat plates. Both

investigators arrived at the same results, the principal difference being

that Rozvany and Hampson used

load balancing whereas Brotchie

and Russell used moment balancing.

Starting in the early 1960's extensive research on prestressed flat

plates was performed at the Division

of Building Research, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia. Both

draped and straight cables were

used. In addition, the thickness of

the slab was changed and varying

ratios of column strip to middle strip

moments in the different panels were

64

deformation rather than strength

was the important criterion in design(i3)

In 1964, Candy f14 ) developed a

procedure for designing flat plates

using the load balancing method

plus the ACI 318-63 ultimate

strength provisions. Candy advocated using a column strip of width

L/4 to L/3, rather than the customary L/2 width.

Meanwhile, Lift Slab Australasia

conducted extensive laboratory and

full-scale tests on post-tensioned flat

plates. From these tests Ellen ( " ) developed a rigorous ultimate load balancing method for designing prestressed flat slabs.

In 1966, Power( 16 > devised a practical design approach using load balancing in conjunction with yield line

theory. Since the percentage of steel

in solid slabs is relatively low, this

permits the formation of plastic

hinges. Power listed four design criteria that must be satisfied, namely,

1) strength based on an ultimate

load basis, 2) camber, 3) deflection,

and 4) crack resistance.

The trend towards high rise buildings and the commercial availability

of high strength, lightweight concrete re-focused attention on flat

plates in the United States.

In 1967, Grow and Vanderbilt(17)

conducted an investigation into the

shear strength of 10 post-tensioned

lightweight slabs using expanded

shale aggregate. From this study a

useful formula evolved for checking

the shear strength of lightweight

prestressed slabs at columns. Subsequent laboratory tests have shown

conclusively that structural lightweight concrete has adequate

strength and superior fire resistive

properties("').

In 1968, Wang( 19 > proposed a

PC I Journal

plates using working stresses. However, the method was unduly complicated and, furthermore, lacked

any mention of ultimate strength

checks.

Recently, Riley( 20 ) has shown that

secondary effects caused by reversed

tendon curvature can be eliminated

if the tendon can be located to proper profile. However, this technique

would involve using a mechanical

device to change the natural slope

of the tendon at its inflection point.

Tendon reversal was assumed to occur at one-tenth the length of the

span.

In late 1968, Parme( 21 > made a

rigorous elastic analysis of the distribution of moments and direct

forces induced by prestressing flat

plates. He also included a set of useful design tables for finding prestressing moments.

Meanwhile in Australia, Rozvany

and Woods ( 22 ) emphasized the need

for giving unbonded tendons a minimum level of average concrete prestress in the event of high live loads

or earthquake motions. However, in

a subsequent discussion, Bondy(23)

felt that introducing too high a level

of average prestress would cause excessive shortening and camber problems. He said that the better solution would be to add bonded

unprestressed reinforcement.

ACI-ASCE Committee 423( 24 ) has

given a comprehensive report on design recommendations for concrete

members prestressed with unbonded

tendons. Much of this report is directly applicable to post-tensioned

flat plates and its applicability will

be shown later in the paper.

Today, 1970, the majority of prestressed flat plate designs are based

on some form of load balancing plus

service load and ultimate strength

December 1969

9

R.C.

FLAT

Z

N

N

w

Z

SLAB

P. C.

FLAT

PLAT

Q/t=30

t/t=45

Y 7

C)

_

S

I-

00

J

N

to

20

30

SPAN, FT

P.C.SLAB

WITH

DROP

PANEL

40

50

Fig. 1. Slab thickness vs. span for reinforced concrete slabs, prestressed

flat plates, and prestressed flat slabs

with drop panels

strength provisions are not satisfied,

it is general practice to furnish unprestressed bonded reinforcement.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

up to 35 ft., a prestressed lightweight

concrete flat plate system provides

a functional and economical solution

for low-cost high rise buildings (see

Fig. 1). It should be noted that spans

as short as 12 ft. have proved economical depending on the situation.

For spans ranging between 35 and

45 ft., a prestressed flat plate system

can still be used but drop panels

around the columns must be provided to withstand the high bending

and shear stresses. A ribbed waffle

system has also worked well. When

spans exceed 45 ft., a prestressed

beam-girder system, ribbed waffle

system, or some other system is

found practical.

Span-thickness ratios. ACI-ASCE

Committee 423(24 ) recommends that

for "prestressed slabs continuous ov65

generally not exceed 42 for floors

and 48 for roofs. These limits may

be increased to 48 and 52, respectively, if calculations verify that both

short and long term deflection, camber and vibration frequency and amplitude are not objectionable " For

practical purposes a ratio of 45 has

been found to be very useful.

Slab thickness. Most designers use a

rule-of-thumb to determine the slab

thickness. For the usual live loads

and normal weight concrete the

thickness t (in inches) can be determined from:

_ 12 L

t

45

where L is the span length in feet.

Unfortunately, the above formula

does not hold in the case of very

high live loads and for variations in

the density of concrete.

Average compressive prestress. The

average compressive stress, F/A, is

a good "indicator" of how the design can proceed. The average stress

varies inversely with the slab thickness. It would seem, then, that to

obtain the minimum thickness of

slab, we should use the maximum

average prestress. This course, however, does not always produce an

economical design because a high

average prestress also means a larger

prestressing force (i.e., more prestressing steel and larger jacking

forces). In addition, for stresses over

500 psi, there is the danger of excessive elastic shortening, shrinkage,

and creep in the slabs. Again, we do

not want to have too little slab

thickness because in long spans

there is a sensation of "springiness"

when walking on the floors and also

a danger of undesirable vibrations.

On the other hand, the lower limit of

200 psi is required to minimize

66

surface. Thus, an average of about

200 to 350 psi seems ideal for most

practical situations.

Elastic shortening, shrinkage and

creep. A precise calculation of shortening effects is difficult. However, if

the average compressive stress is

kept low, the elastic shortening will

be very small with only shrinkage

and creep (in that order) becoming

important. The following approximate equations can be used to estimate the various shortening effects:

1. Elastic shortening

_ F

Ee AE

where F/A is the average compressive stress and the modulus of elasticity E is calculated from:

concrete and f ", is the compressive

strength of concrete.

2. Shrinkage

E S = 0.0003

For lightweight concrete,

E, = 0.0005

3. Creep

the elastic shortening.

The total shortening in a slab of

length L (in inches), is then given

by:

E,

A=L(E,+E,+E,)

For a typical normal weight concrete slab, with low average compressive stress (say about 250 psi)

the total elastic shortening can be

expected to be about 3/4 in. per 100

ft. (i.e., 3/s in. at each end). To minimize shrinkage cracks it is good

practice to provide a nominal

amount of unprestressed reinforcing

steel in the top part of the slab over

the columns.

PCI Journal

agree that the full design live load

should not be used to evaluate the

prestressing force because too large

a camber would be induced when

only dead load is acting. Some designers employ an arbitrary 25 to 30

percent of the live load plus the

dead load and then modify the design accordingly. For a typical live

load of 50 psf, a value of 10 psf is

often used.

Required prestressing force. In prestressed flat plates the tendon profile

is not usually concordant. The least

prestressing force will be given

when the available tendon drape is

a maximum in the controlling span'.

For an interior span the minimum

prestressing force F is given by:

2

F

8h

and for a cantilever:

F=

W1L2

2h

where L is the length of the span,

Wb is the balanced superimposed

load, and h is the tendon drape.

Since the prestressing force will

be the same throughout each slab

span, there will be one governing

span. The tendon profiles of the remaining spans will then be adjusted

accordingly (see later discussion on

tendon reversals).

Fire resistance and cover requirements. Adequate data exist that

properly designed post-tensioned

flat plates satisfy code fire requirements 115, es

For fire protection purposes and

for corrosion protection, building

"ACI Building Code (318-63) allows structures to be designed without analyzing the

effects of alternate span loading when the

live loads do not exceed 75 percent of the

dead loads. Prestressed slabs can be designed within the same limitations.

December 1969

bottom of the slab. The exact cover

requirement should be checked since

it will depend on the local building

code. Typically, for a 2-hour fire rating a cover requirement might be

1 in. cover at the top and 1 1/a in. at

the bottom of the slab. If we use a

/2 -in, diameter tendon, the distance

from the surface of the slab to tendon center line would be:

At support:

1 + 1/4 = 1 1/4 in.

At midspan: 11/z + Y4 = 13/4 in.

Consequently, the total available

tendon drape in inches would be

t(1Y4 +13/4) =t-3

where t is the total thickness of the

slab.

An economical design should use

the largest possible tendon drape in

order to minimize the prestressing

force.

For structural lightweight concrete, most codes allow some cover

reduction.

Allowable working stresses. The

stresses caused by the net unbalanced load (Wt Wb), where Wt is

the total superimposed load, must be

checked for service load conditions.

For compression .....0.45f

For tension:

Final .............3V f

Initial .............

3/f'.

..3^/f^ti

where f = design compressive

strength of concrete (usually at 28 days)

f = compressive strength of

concrete at time of initial prestress.

Two observations warrant mention: 1) the compressive stress rarely

governs; and 2) the actual allowable

tensile stress according to ACI 31863 is 6V f'. However, the factor 6

is allowed when there is an equal

67

Ultimate strength. It is imperative

that the design be checked to make

sure it satisfies ultimate strength requirements. More specifically, the

calculated ultimate moment should

satisfy Eq. (24-4) of ACI 318-63

where

M..=0A,fsu(d a/2)

(usually 0.9)

A, = area of prestressing tendons

f8u = calculated stress in prestressing steel at ultimate

load

d = distance from extreme

compression fiber to centroid of prestressing force

a =A,

f3 ,,/0.85f'b

(for example, over 50 psf), the furnished ultimate strength is often inadequate. Rather than increasing the

prestressing force it is general practice to provide unprestressed reinforcement at the critical sections.

This reinforcement should be provided over the columns in all cases.

A suggested minimum amount is

0.002 times the area of the column

strip each way for one-quarter the

span.

Shear strength. In contrast to unprestressed flat slabs, there is, in prestressed flat plates, a large reserve

strength to resist shear failure. However, to prevent any risk of punching

shear failure it is advisable to place

two or three of the tendons directly

over the columns. In addition, most

designers strengthen this critical

shear area, as well as avoid shrinkage cracks, by providing unprestressed reinforcement over the columns, say two No. 6 bars each way.

There are several methods for de6g

agreement. The critical section is usually taken one-half the slab thickness away from the face of the column.

For normal weight concrete, according to ACI 318-63, Eq. (26-13),

the shear force shall not be taken

less than

V,w=

where

b'd(3.5V+0.3ff,)+Vp

cracking due to all loads,

when such cracking is the

result of excessive principal tension stresses in the

web

b' = minimum width of web

of a flanged member

d = distance from extreme

compression fiber to centroid of the prestressing

force

f ' = compressive strength of

concrete

fps = compressive stress in the

concrete, after all prestress losses have occurred, at the centroid of

the cross section resisting

the applied loads, or at

the junction of the web

and flange when the centroid lies in the flange

V, = vertical component of the

effective prestress force at

the section considered

Note that Vp is usually neglected.

For lightweight concrete, according to ACI 318-63, Eq. (26-13A), the

shear force shall not be taken less

than

V

(0.2+

67)J

PCI Journal

of compressive strength. Again, V,

is usually neglected.

An alternative formula for lightweight concrete is given by Grow

and Vanderbilt(17>:

where

V, = ultimate shear force

fee = average effective concrete

prestress immediately after post-tensioning

b = perimeter of column

d = effective depth of slab

Choice of column strip width. It is

generally desirable to concentrate

the load balancing tendons into a

narrow column strip. However, it is

often difficult to place prestressing

tendons close together on column

lines. Consequently, there is a practical lower limit to the width of the

column strip. Ultimate strength requirements will place an upper limit on the width, because the greater

the width, the greater the spacing

and hence the smaller the ultimate

capacity. Candy( 14 ) suggests using a

column strip of width L/4 to L/3.

He also assumed that the point of

contraflexure (tendon reversal) occurred at these locations. In the

United States, the general practice

is to use the same column strip

width as for ordinary reinforced flat

slab design, i.e., L/2. In any case,

the choice of column strip width

does not appear to be a critical factor.

Tendon reversal. The equations given under "Required prestressing

force" are theoretically true only if

the prestressing tendons meet at a

point over the supports. In practice,

however, the tendons will gradually

bend over the supports, so that at

some point near the ends, the tendon

curvature will be reversed. Experience has shown that continuous preDecember 1969

unsupported span length. Koons and

Schlegel( 19> presented a discussion of

the tendon reversal and provided

charts to take account of this effect.

Riley( 20 ) suggested that if the

slopes of the intersecting curves at

the contraflexure point are assumed

equal, secondary effects will still occur. However, by locating the contraflexure point on a theoretical parabola of length L, and by assuming

a difference between the slopes of

the intersecting parabolic curves at

this point, secondary effects can be

shown to be eliminated.

Most designers take cognizance of

the fact that tendon reversal occurs,

but feel that in practice the effect

on design does not warrant the extra work. In any case, ultimate

strength is unaffected.

Tendon load distribution. As in conventional reinforced slab design, it is

now common practice to divide the

panel into equal column and middle strips. However, in contrast to

reinforced slab design, in prestressed

flat plate design it is necessary to

use the same moment or load

distribution percentage for both negative and positive moments. The percentage of load or moment distribution has been thoroughly researched

both in the United States( 4-7 > and in

Australia("). Probably, a 60 to 40

percent distribution, column strip to

middle strip, has been most widely

used, although a 65 to 35 percent

and a 75 to 25 percent distribution

have been employed.

Saether( 10 ) suggested that column

strips should have three times the

tendon concentration of middle

strips to satisfy the statical equation

according to the membrane theory.

It appears that a precise tendon

distribution is not critical. Tests in69

CRACK BETWEEN

/ EXTERNAL WALL OR

COLUMN AND

INTERNAL PARTIT.

INTERNAL

PARTITION

, CORRIDOR

%, `TILT OF WALL

DEFLECTION

flat plate

controlled primarily by the total

amount of tendons rather than by

the tendon distribution.

ACI-ASCE Committee 423, suggests the following: "For panels with

length/width ratios not exceeding

1.33, the following approximate distribution may be used: simple spans,

55 to 60 percent of the tendons are

placed in the column strip, with the

remainder in the middle strip; continuous spans, 60 to 70 percent of

the tendons are placed in the column

strip. When length/width ratio exceeds 1.33, a moment analysis should

be made to guide the distribution of

tendons. For high values of this

length/width ratio, only 50 percent

of the tendons along the long direction should be placed in the column

strip, while 100 percent of the tendons along the short direction may

be placed in the column strip. Some

tendons should be passed through

the columns or at least around their

edges."

Tendon spacing. There appears to

be no rational method for designing

70

suggest a uniform spacing of tendons

while one designer varied the spacing parabolically over the bay. If

uniform spacing is used a good ruleof-thumb is to make the tendon spacing six times the slab thickness.

Again, as for tendon force distribution, it appears that a precise tendon

spacing is noncritical so long as

there are enough tendons located in

the critical column areas.

ACI-ASCE Committee 423 suggests that: "The maximum spacing

of tendons in column strips should

not exceed four times the slab thickness, nor 36 in., whichever is less.

Maximum spacing of tendons in the

middle strips should not exceed six

times the thickness of the slab, nor

42 in., whichever is less."

Friction and construction joints. An

excellent summary of friction considerations is given in Reference 7. In

determining the tendon drape, the

value of the prestressing force used

should be that relevant to the bay

under consideration. This means

that the tendon drape should inPCI Journal

crease slightly with increasing distance from the jack. However, with

some modern systems this is generally not necessary.

In general, the maximum length of

a slab between construction joints is

limited to 100 or 150 ft. to minimize

the effect of slab shortening and to

avoid excessive friction loss of prestress.

Transfer of bending from slab to column. The flexural interaction between column and slab is usually

treated from the concept of effective

width, that is, the width of an imaginary beam of the same depth, span

and stiffness against rotation as that

of the column-slab under consideration. For moments from vertical

loads on the slab, the effective reduction in stiffness should apply to

the columns rather than to the slab.

Since prestressed flat plates have a

relatively high torsional rigidity, a

reasonable value of effective width

may be taken as one-third to onehalf the bay width (13

High live loads and earthquake motions. It is imperative that in the

event of high overloads adequate

provisions be made to ensure that

ultimate flexural capacity governs

rather than ultimate shear, as in the

latter case collapse would be sudden

and without warning( 16> . Thus, it

would appear essential that yielding

take place in the columns rather

than the slab.

To avoid sudden collapse in the

case of high overloads, Rozvany and

Woods( 22 ) suggested that the average concrete prestress be made

greater than the modulus of rupture

and presented supporting experimental evidence for their theory.

However, experience in the United

States indicates that it is preferable

to keep the average prestress low

and to add unprestressed bonded reDecember 1969

ultimate strength.

ACI-ASCE Committee 423 recommends that unbonded tendons

subject to earthquake loads be able

to withstand, without failure, a minimum of 50 cycles of loading corresponding to the following percentages of the minimum specified

ultimate strength:

2000

60L+100

where L is ,the length of the tendon

to be used in the structure, in feet.

Cracking patterns. Prestressing

should minimize any potential cracking in a flat slab. Fig. 2 shows one

common mechanism of crack formation in partitions supported on an

unprestressed flat plate. This type of

cracking occurs most often in flat

plate systems which have wedge-inplace partitions (see Fig. 3).

Cracking may also occur as a result of the elastic shortening of the

slab due to prestressing, causing the

columns to deflect inwards. Fig. 4

shows a typical cracking mechanism

due to rotation of the column head.

71

TOP CRACK

TOP

CRACKS

i 50TT0M

k CRACKS

^^^

QoS To M

GRPGKS

I'

FOR CRACK CONTROL

ROTATION

SECTION

PLAN

Fig. 4. Cracking mechanism due to rotation of column head

The

overwhelming majority of prestressed flat plates in the United

States are constructed using unbonded post-tensioning tendons.

Nevertheless, there has been, for

many years, dissenting opinion as to

the merits of bonded vs. unbonded

tendons. Early European practice

favored bonded tendons. Even today

some overseas codes (notably in New

Zealand) and a few highway agencies in the United States restrict the

use of unbonded tendons. The following are apparently the major

reasons:

1. Bonded tendons provide a

greater ultimate strength than

do the same amount of unbonded tendons.

2. Bonded tendons decrease the

chance of total collapse in the

event of a local failure.

Nevertheless, both the above objections can be overcome by the addition of calculated amounts of unprestressed bonded reinforcement to

supplement the unbonded tendon

design. The probability of corrosion occuring in either bonded or

unbonded tendons appears to be

statistically about equal and remote

under current practices allowable

72

protected, wrapped, and greased to

prevent corrosion.

Recently, a comprehensive investigation was conducted by Mattock,

et al( 25 ), on this precise subject of

bonded vs. unbonded tendons, with

the following major conclusion:

"Simple span and fully loaded continuous, unbonded, post-tensioned

beams, containing additional unprestressed bonded reinforcement and

designed according to the provisions

of ACI 318-63, will have serviceability characteristics, ductility and

strength, equal to or better than

those of comparable bonded posttensioned beams."

CONSTRUCTION

prestressed flat plates in the United

States are cast-in-place using posttensioned unbonded tendons. However, in Australia and New Zealand

the practice has been to use bonded

tendons. In high rise construction

lightweight concrete is being used

to an increasing degree.

Figs. 5 through 12 show some examples of prestressed flat plate

structures in the United States and

overseas.

PCI Journal

in Australia is jacked to the tops of the

columns. The slabs have maximum

cantilevers of 12 ft. and a central span

of 31 ft. Note the wide spacing of

transverse cables, up to 6 ft., and the

almost uniform cable spacing

longitudinally.

Fig. 6. The International Tower in Long

Beach, California, was built in 1964.

The floor system for this 34-story

structure uses an 8-in, thick lightweight

concrete flat plate with slabs spanning

radially between a central circular

concrete shaft and a circumferential

column strip located 10 ft. in from the

outer edge of the slab. The

maximum slab span is 30 ft.

Arlington, Virginia, is a $6,000,000,

13-story, post-tensioned flat plate

building. The typical bay size is 15 ft.

4 in. x 18 ft. with a 5-in, thick plate.

Lightweight concrete at 112 pcf was

used in the design to reduce the dead

load 25 percent. The final prestressing

force varied from 9.9 to 15.6 kips

per ft. of slab. The estimated live load

varied from 100 psf on the balcony to

40 psf on the apartment proper.

December 1969

73

Rosstrevor Building in

Wellington, New Zealand,

is a lift-slab warehouse

with 26 x 24-ft. bays. The

design load was 250 psf

on the lower two floors

and 150 psf on the upper

floors. Exterior cast-inplace spandrels were

dowelled to the floors and

post-tensioned longitudinally through the columns

for full frame action.

Note the exterior anchor

blocks on the corner

columns. For prestressing,

Freyssinet 12/0.276-in.

wire tendons were used in

a 2 x 1-in, flattened rigid

duct which was fully

grouted.

Fig. 9. The 14-story

Securities House in

Wellington, New Zealand,

has prestressed flat plates

that were post-tensioned

and grouted at ground

level and then lifted into

place. Note the shearwall.

California, has post-tensioned lightweight concrete

slabs, 8 1/z in. thick, throughout this 500,000 sq. ft. FHA

apartment complex. Maximum bay size is 28 x 30 ft.

D.C., during construction illustrate the long

exterior cantilevers and the irregular arrangement of

floors and columns.

December 1969

75

CONCLUSIONS

The following are the major conclusions resulting from this study:

1. There is currently about $120

billion worth of building construction on the drawing boards. A sizeable share of this market could go to

prestressed flat plate construction.

2. For spans ranging up to 35 ft.,

a prestressed lightweight concrete

flat plate system provides a functional and economical solution for medium and high rise buildings.

3. The vast majority of prestressed flat plates in the United

States are constructed using cast-inplace post-tensioned unbonded tendons.

4. The simplification of design

techniques is the single most important reason for the accelerated

growth of prestressed flat plate construction.

5. The majority of prestressed flat

plate designs are based on the load

balancing method plus service load

and ultimate strength checks using

ACI 318-63.

6. When ultimate strength is exceeded, it is general practice to add

unprestressed bonded reinforcement

rather than increasing the level of

average prestresss.

7. Ultimate strength is controlled

primarily by the total amount of

tendons (plus any unprestressed reinforcement) rather than by the tendon distribution.

8. To prevent any chance of an

abrupt punching shear failure, it is

good practice to pass at least some

of the tendons directly over the columns.

9. With the introduction of

high strength lightweight concrete

and improved post-tensioning techniques there has been a trend towards thinner slabs. However, there

is a lower limit (approximated by

76

when the floor becomes uncomfortably springy to walk on and undesirable vibrations may set in.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The author wishes to express his

appreciation to Kenneth B. Bondy,

Ron James and Andrew Nasser for

their extremely valuable comments

during the preparation of this paper.

The photographs are published

through the courtesy of Atlas Prestressing Corp.; Horatio Allison Associates; Biggs, Power, and Clark;

N. Z. Portland Cement Association;

Lift Slab Australasia; and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

REFERENCES

1. Minges, James S. and Wild, Donald S.,

"Six Stories of Prestressed Slabs

Erected by Lift Slab Method," Journal

of the American Concrete Institute,

2.

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General Design," Proceedings, Second

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Scordelis, A. C., Lin, T. Y. and May,

H. R., "Shearing Strength of Prestressed Lift Slabs," Journal of the

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485-506.

Scordelis, A. C., Lin, T. Y. and Itaya, R., "Behavior of a Continuous Slab

Prestressed in Two Directions," Journal of the American Concrete Institute,

1959, pp. 441-459.

6. Rice, Edward K. and Kulka, Felix,

"Design of Prestressed Lift Slabs for

Deflection Control," Journal of the

American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 59, No. 8, February 1960,

pp. 681-693.

7. Green, Norman B., "Factors in Design

and Construction of Lift Slab Buildings," Journal of the American ConPCI Journal

8. Lin, T. Y., "Load Balancing Method

for Design and Analysis of Prestressed

Concrete Structures," Journal of the

American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 60, No. 6, June 1963, pp.

719-742.

9. Koons, Robert L. and Schlegel, Gerald J., "A Practical Approach to the

Design of Continuous Structures in

Prestressed Concrete," Journal of the

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No. 4, August 1963, pp. 35-56.

10. Saether, Kolbjorn, "The Structural

Membrane Theory Applied to the Design of Prestressed Flat Slabs," Jour-

18.

19.

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nal of the Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 8, No. 5, October 1963, pp.

68-79.

11. Rozvany, G. I. N. and Hampson,

A. J. K., "Optimum Design of Prestressed Flat Plates," Journal of the

American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 60, No. 8, August 1963, pp.

1065-1082.

12. Brotchie, J. F. and Russell, J. J., "Flat

Plate Structures," Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Proceedings

Vol. 61, No. 8, August 1964, pp. 959996.

13. Blakey, F. A., "Towards an Australian

Structural FormThe Flat Plate,"

Architecture in Australia, Vol. 54, No.

3, September 1965, pp. 115-117.

14. Candy, C. F., "Prestressed Flat Slabs,"

N. Z. Engineering (Wellington), Vol.

19, No. 7, July 15, 1964, pp. 258-261.

15. Ellen, Peter E., "Ultimate Load Balanced Design of Prestressed Concrete," Parts 1, 2 and 3, Lift Slab

Australasia, Sydney, 1966, pp. 1-27.

16. Power, Cedric A., "Prestressed Flat

Slabs," N. Z. Engineering (Wellington), Vol. 21, No. 8, August 15, 1966,

pp. 321-327.

17. Grow, J. B. and Vanderbilt, M. D.,

"Shear Strength of Prestressed Lightweight Aggregate Concrete Flat

Plates," Journal of the Prestressed

21.

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24.

25.

August 1967, pp. 18-28.

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., "Report on Unbonded Post-Tensioned Prestressed, Reinforced Concrete Flat

Plate Floor with Expanded Shale Aggregate," Journal of the Prestressed

Concrete Institute, Vol. 13, No. 2,

April 1968, pp. 45-56.

Wang, Chen-Hwa, "Direct Design

Method for Prestressed Concrete

Slabs," Journal of the Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 13, No. 3, June

1968, pp. 62-72.

Riley, Walter E., "Reversed Curvature

of Tendons in Prestressed Continuous

Members," Journal of the American

Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol.

65, No. 11, November 1968, pp. 929936.

Parme, A. L., "Prestressing Flat

Plates," Journal of the Prestressed Concrete Institute, Vol. 13, No. 6, December 1968, pp. 14-32.

Rozvany, G. I. N. and Woods, J. F.,

"Sudden Collapse of Unbonded Underprestressed Structures," Journal of the

American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 66, No. 2, February 1969,

pp. 129-135.

Bondy, Kenneth B., Discussion of

"Sudden Collapse of Unbonded Underprestressed Structures," Journal of the

American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 66, No. 8, August 1969, pp.

680-681.

ACI-ASCE Committee 423, "Tentative

Recommendations for Concrete Members Prestressed with Unbonded Tendons," Journal of the American Concrete Institute, Proceedings Vol. 66,

No. 2, February 1969, pp. 81-86.

Yamazaki, Jun, Kattula, Basil T. and

Mattock, Alan H., "A Comparison of

the Behavior of Post-Tensioned Prestressed Concrete Beams With and

Without Bond," Structure and Mechanics Report SM 69-3, Department

of Civil Engineering, University of

Washington, December 1969.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Please forward your discussion to PCI Headquarters

by June 1 to permit publication in the August 1970 issue of the PCI JOURNAL.

December 1969

77

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