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Reinforced Concrete Slabs TYPES OF SLABS

In reinforced concrete construction, slabs are used to

provide flat, useful surfaces. A reinforced concrete slab is a
broad, flat plate, usually horizontal, with top and bottom
surfaces parallel or nearly so. It may be supported by
reinforced concrete beams (and is usually cast monolithically
with such beams), by masonry or reinforced concrete walls, by
structural steel members, directly by columns, or continuously
by the ground.
Slabs may be supported on two opposite sides only, as shown
in Fig. 1 a, in which case the structural action of the slab is
essentially one-way, the loads being carried by the slab in the
direction perpendicular to the supporting beams.
There may be beams on all four sides, as shown in Fig. 1 b, so
that two-way slab action is obtained. Concrete slabs in some
cases may be carried directly by columns, as shown in Fig. 1 d,
without the use of beams or girders. Such slabs are described
as flat plates and are commonly used where spans are not
large and loads not particularly heavy. Flat slab construction,
shown in Fig. 1 e, is also beamless but incorporates a thickened
slab region in the vicinity of the column and often employs
flared column tops. Both are devices to reduce stresses due to
shear and negative bending around the columns. They are
referred to as drop panels and column capitals, respectively.
Closely related to the flat plate slab is the two-way joist, also
known as a grid or waffle slab, shown in Fig. 1 f . To reduce the
dead load of solid-slab construction, voids ar formed in a
rectilinear pattern through use of metal or fiberglass form
inserts. A two way ribbed construction results. Usually inserts
are omitted near the columns, so a solid slab is formed to resist
Types of structural slabs moments and shears better in these areas
DESIGN OF ONE-WAY The structural action of a one-way slab may be visualized in terms of
SLABS the deformed shape of the loaded surface. Figure 2 shows a
rectangular slab, simply supported along its two opposite long edges
and free of any support along the two opposite short edges. If a
uniformly distributed load is applied to the surface, the deflected
shape will be as shown by the solid lines. Curvatures, and
consequently bending moments, are the same in all strips s spanning
in the short direction between supported edges, whereas there is no
curvature, hence no bending moment, in the long strips I parallel to
the supported edges. The surface approximately cylindrical.
For purposes of analysis and design, a unit strip of such a slab cut out
at right angles to the supporting beams, as shown in Fig. 2, may be
considered as a rectangular beam of unit width, with a depth h equal
to the thickness of the slab and a span la equal to the distance
between supported edges. This strip can then be analyzed by the
methods that were used for rectangular beams, the bending moment
being computed for the strip of unit width. The load per unit area on
the slab becomes the load per unit length on the slab strip. The loads
recommended by ASCE for different usage of slabs are shown in
table 1. Since all of the load on the slab must be transmitted to the
two supporting beams, it follows that all of the reinforcement should
be placed at right angles to these beams, with the exception of any
bars that may be placed in the other direction to control shrinkage
and temperature cracking. A one-way slab, thus, consists of a set of
rectangular beams side by side.
This simplified analysis, which assumes Poisson's ratio to be zero, is
Fig. 2 slightly conservative. Actually, flexural compression in the concrete
in the direction of la will result in lateral expansion in the direction of
lb unless the compressed concrete is restrained. In a one-way slab, this
lateral expansion is resisted by adjacent slab strips, which tend to
expand also. The result is a slight strengthening and stiffening in the
span direction, but this effect is small and can be disregarded.
Factored moments and shears in one-way slabs can be found either by
elastic analysis or through the use ofthe same coefficients as used for
beams . If the slab rests freely on its supports, the span length may be
taken equal to the clear span plus the depth of the slab but need not
exceed the distance between centers of supports, according to ACI
Code 8.9.1. In general, center-to-center distances should be used in
continuous slab analysis, but a reduction is allowed in negative
moments to account for support width as discussed in Chapter 12. For
slabs with clear spans not more than 10 ft that are built integrally with
their supports, ACI Code 8.9.4 permits analysis as a continuous slab on
knife edge supports with spans equal to the clear spans and the width
of the beams otherwise neglected. If moment and shear coefficients
are used, computations should be based on clear spans.
Table. 2
ACI Code 9.5.2 specifies the minimum thickness in Table 2 for
Minimum thickness h of nonprestressed slabs of normal weight concrete (wc = 145 pcf) using
non prestressed one-way slabs Grade 60 reinforcement, provided that the slab is not supporting or
attached to construction that is likely to be damaged by large
deflections. Lesser thicknesses may be used if calculation of
deflections indicates no adverse effects. For concretes having unit
weight wc in the range from 90 to 115 pcf, the tabulated values should
be multiplied by 1.65 - 0.005wc' but not less than 1.09. For
reinforcement having a yield stress other than 60,000 psi, the
tabulated values should be multiplied by 0.4 +1/100,000. Slab
deflections may be calculated, if required, by the same methods as for
beams . The total slab thickness h is usually rounded to the next higher
in. for slabs up to 6 in. thickness, and to the next higher in. for
thicker slabs.
Shear will seldom control the design of one-way slabs, particularly if
low tensile reinforcement ratios are used. It will be found that the
shear capacity of the concrete Vc will, almost without exception, be
well above the required shear strength Vn at factored loads.
The concrete protection below the reinforcement should follow the
requirements of ACI Code 7.7.1, calling for in. below the bottom of
the steel . In a typical slab, 1 in. below the center of the steel may be
The lateral spacing of the bars, except those used only to control
shrinkage and temperature cracks (see Section 13.3), should not
exceed 3 times the thickness h or 18 in., whichever is less, according
to ACI Code 7.6.5. Generally, bar size should be selected so that the
actual spacing is not less than about 1.5 times the slab thickness, to
avoid excessive cost for bar fabrication and handling. Also, to reduce
cost, straight bars are usually used for slab reinforcement, cut off
where permitted are as described for beams .
Since concrete is weak in tension, these temperature and shrinkage
stresses are likely to result in cracking. Cracks of this nature are not
detrimental, provided their size is limited to what are known as
hairline cracks. This can be achieved by placing reinforcement in the
slab to counteract contraction and distribute the cracks uniformly. In
one-way slabs, the reinforcement provided for resisting the bending
moments has the desired effect of reducing shrinkage and
distributing cracks. However, as contraction takes place equally in all
directions, it is necessary to provide special reinforcement for
shrinkage and temperature contraction in the direction
perpendicular to the main reinforcement. This added steel is
known as temperature or shrinkage reinforcement, or
distribution steel.

Reinforcement for shrinkage and temperature stresses normal

to the principal reinforcement should be provided in a
structural slab in which the principal reinforcement extends in
one direction only. ACI Code 7.12.2 specifies the minimum
ratios of reinforcement area to gross concrete area (i.e., based
on the total depth of the slab) shown in Table 13.2, but in no
case may such reinforcing bars be placed farther apart than 5
times the slab thickness or more than 18 in. In no case is the
reinforcement ratio to be less than 0.0014. The steel required
by the ACI Code for shrinkage and temperature crack control
also represents the minimum permissible reinforcement in the
span direction of oneway slabs; the usual minimums for
flexural steel do not apply.
Table. 3
Minimum ratios of temperature and shrinkage reinforcement
in slabs based on gross concrete area
The following limitations are specified by the ACI Code. 6. Concrete cover in slabs shall not be less than in. (20
1. A typical imaginary strip 1ft (or 1m) wide is assumed. mm) at surfaces not exposed to weather or ground. In
2. The minimum thickness of one-way slabs using grade 60 this case, d = h - (3/4 in.) - (half-bar diameter).
steel according to the ACI Code, 7. In structural slabs of uniform thickness, the minimum
for solid slabs and for beams or ribbed one-way slabs amount of reinforcement in the direction of the span
should be equal to the following: shall not be less than that required for shrinkage and
temperature reinforcement (ACI Code, Section 7.12). .
For simply supported spans: solid slabs, h = Ll20 (ribbed
slabs, h = L/16). 8. The principal reinforcement shall be spaced not farther
apart than three times the slab thickness nor more
For one-end continuous spans: solid slabs, h = Ll24 than 18 in. (ACI Code, Section 7.6.5).
(ribbed slabs, h = Ll18.5).
9. Straight-bar systems may be used in both tops and
For both-end continuous spans: solid slabs, h = Ll28 bottoms of continuous slabs. An alternative bar
(ribbed slabs, h = Ll21). system of straight and bent (trussed) bars placed
For cantilever spans: solid slabs, h = LItO (ribbed slabs, alternately may also be used.
h = Ll8).
For fy other than 60 ksi, these values shall be
multiplied by 0.4 + 0.01 fy, where fy is in ksi.
This minimum thickness should be used unless
computation of deflection indicates a lesser thickness
can be used without adverse effects.
3. Deflection is to be checked when the slab supports are
attached to construction likely to be damaged by large 10. In addition to main reinforcement, steel bars at right
deflections. Deflection limits are set by the ACI Code, angles to the main must be provided. This additional
Table 9.5b. steel is called secondary, distribution, shrinkage, or
4. It is preferable to choose slab depth to the nearest in. temperature reinforcement
(or to mm).
5. Shear should be checked, although it does not usually
One-way slab design. 1. A reinforced concrete slab is built integrally with its supports
and consists of two equal spans, each with a clear span of 15 ft.
Notes The service live load is 100 psf,v and 4000 psi concrete is
specified for use with steel with a yield stress equal to 60,000
2. Design the slab, following the provisions of the ACI Code.
3. Thickness of Slab.
h= L/28 Table 3
h= 15x12/28 = 6.43 in Say 6.5 in
4. Factored Loads
Dead Load = 1.2x( 6.5x150/12) = 97 psf
Live Load = 1.6x 100 = 160
Total = 257
5.For this case, factored moments at critical sections may be
found using the ACI moment coefficients(see Table 12.1):

6. Max Steel ratio

Notes 7. Determine As for max negative BM (6.43 lb ft)

( Assume a=1 and find As)

( Check a for As determined )

As = 0.27 sq in at mid support
As = 0.17 sq in at mid span
As = 0.1 sq in at ext support
8. Temperature and shrinkage Reinforcement
As = 0.0018 X 12 X 6.50 = 0.14 in2
9. Shear Force .
The factored shear force at a distance d from the face of the interior
support is

10. Check spacing of reinforcement etc
When the slab is supported on all four sides and the length is
Two -Way Slab less than twice the width. The slab will deflect in two
directions. and the loads on the slab arc transferred to all four
supports. This slab is referred to as a two-way slab. The
bending moments and deflections in such slabs are less than
those in one-way slabs: thus. the same slab can carry more
load when supported on four sides. The load in this case is
carried in two directions, and the bending moment in each
direction is much less than the bending moment in the slab if
the load were carried in one direction only. Typical two-way
slabs is shown in Fig. 1
To visualize its flexural performance, it is convenient to think of
it as consisting of two sets of parallel strips, in each of the two
directions, intersecting each other. Evidently, part of the load is
carried by one set and transmitted to one pair of edge
supports, and the remainder by the other. Figure 1 shows the
Fig. 1 two center strips of a rectangular plate with short span la and
long span lb' If the uniform load is q per square foot of slab,
each of the two strips acts approximately as a simple beam,
uniformly loaded by its share of q. Because these imaginary
strips actually are part of the same monolithic slab, their
deflections at the intersection point must be the same.
Equating the center deflections of the short and long strips
where qais the share of the load q carried in the short direction
and qb is the share of the load q carried in the long direction.

One sees that the larger share of the load is carried in the short
direction, the ratio of the two portions of the total load being
inversely proportional to the fourth power of the ratio of the

This result is approximate because the actual behavior of a slab is

more complex than that of the two intersecting strips. For
instance for a simply supportId square slab, qa = qb = q/2 . If only
bending were present, the maximum moment in each strip would

The exact theory of bending of elastic plates shows that actually

the maximum moment in such a square slab is only O.048ql2, so
that in this case the twisting moments relieve the bending
moments by about 25 percent. Inelastic redistribution also
modifies these bending moments further. A complicated situation
is therefore obtained. Various design method are suggested to
resolve this situation.
Various types of floor systems can be used for general
Choice of Concrete Slabs buildings. such as residential. office. And institutional buildings.
The choice of an adequate and economic floor system depends
on the type of building. architectural layout. aesthetic features.
and the span length between columns. In general. the
superimposed live load on buildings varies between 80 and 150
psf. A general guide for the economical use of Boor systems can
be summarized as follows.
Flat plates are most suitable for spans of 20 to 25 ft and live
loads between 60 and 100 psf. The advantages of adopting flat
plates include low-cost formwork, exposed fl al ceilings. and
fast construction. Flat plates have low shear capacity and
relatively low stiffness. which may cause noticeable deflection.
Flat plates are widely used in buildings either as reinforced or
prestressed concrete slabs.
Flat slabs are most suitable for spans of 20 to 30 ft and for live
loads of 80 to 150 psf. They need more fonnwork than flat
plates. especially for column capitals. In most cases. only drop
panels without column capitals are used.
Waffle slabs are suitable for spans of 30 to 48 ft and live loads
of 80 to 150 psf They carry heavier loads than flat plates and
have attractive exposed ceilings. Formwork. including the use
of pans. is quite expensive.
Slabs on beams are suitable for spans between 20 and 30 ft and live
loads of 60 to 120 psf . The beams increase the stiffness of the slabs.
producing relatively low deflection. Additional form wor k for the beams
is needed.
One-way slabs on beams are most suitable for spans of 10 to 20 ft and a
live load of 60 to 100 psf. They can be used for larger spans with
relatively higher cost and higher slab deflection . Additional formwork
for the beams is needed.
A one-way joist floor system is most suitable for spans of 20 to 30 ft and
live loads of 80 to 120 psf. Because of the deep ribs. the concrete and
steel quantities are relatively low, but expensive formwork is expected.
The exposed ceiling of the slabs may look attractive.

Two-way slabs a re extremely complex and statically indeterminate.

Many attempts, analytical and empirical, have been made to determine
Design of Two-way Slabs the division of the moments an d shears between the two spans and the
distribution of these along the principal axes of the slab. Many elastic
analyses of .two-way slabs have been proposed. All have shortcomings.
They neglect Poisson's ratio, torsion, changes in stiffness, ultimate
capacity, edge restraint, variation of moments and shears along span,
and others.
The direct design method. DDM (ACI Code. Section 13.6). is an
approximate procedure for the analysis and design of two-way slabs. It is
limited to slab systems subjected to uniformly distributed loads and
supported on equally or nearly equally spaced columns. The method
uses a set of coefficients to determine the design moments at critical
sections. Two-way slab systems that do not meet the limitations of the
ACI Code. Section 13.6.1, must be analyzed by more accurate
The equivalent frame method. EFM (ACI Code. Section 13.7). is
one in which a three dimensional building is divided into a series
of two-dimensional equivalent frames by cutting the building
along lines midway between columns. The resulting frames are
considered separately in the longitudinal and transverse directions
of the building and treated 1100r by floor. as shown in Fig.
In elastic analysis, a concrete slab may be treated as an elastic
plate. The flexure, shear, and deflection may be calculated by the
fourth differential equation relating load to deflection for thin
plates with small displacements, as presented by Timoshenko .
Finite difference as well as finite element solutions have been
proposed to analyze In the finite element method, the slab is
divided into a mesh of triangles or quadrilaterals. The
displacement functions of the nodes (intersecting mesh points)
are usually established, and the stiffness matrices are developed
for computer analysis slabs and plates.
For plastic analysis, three methods are available. The yield line
method was developed by Johansen to determine the limit state of
the slab by considering the yield lines that occur in the slab as a
collapse mechanism. The strip method was developed by
Hillerborg . The slab is divided into strips, and the load on the slab
is distributed in two orthogonal directions. The strips are analyzed
as simple beams. The third method is optimal analysis. There has
been considerable research into optimal solutions. Rozvany and
others presented methods for minimizing reinforcement based on
plastic analysis. Optimal solutions are complex in analysis and
produce complex patterns of reinforcement.
Nonlinear analysis simulates the true load deformation
characteristics of a reinforced concrete slab when the finite
element method takes into consideration the nonlinearity of the
stress strain-relationship of the individual elements [11,12]. In this
case, the solution becomes complex unless simplified empirical
relationships are assumed.
This method has been used extensively since 1963 for slabs
Coefficient Method supported at the edges by walls, steel beams, or monolithic
concrete beams having a total depth not less than about 3 times
the slab thickness. While it was not a part of the 1977 or later ACI
Codes, its continued use is permissible under the ACI 318-08 code
provision (13.5.1) that a slab system may be designed by any
procedure satisfying conditions of equilibrium and geometric
compatibility, if it is shown that the design strength at every
section is at least equal to the requires strength, and that
serviceability requirements are met.
The method makes use of tables of moment coefficients for a
variety of conditions. These coefficients are based on elastic
analysis but also account for inelastic redistribution. In
consequence, the design moment in either direction is smaller by
an appropriate amount than the elastic maximum moment in that
Table 1-4 gives coefficients for different conditions for bending
moments and shear force. These also specify formula to
determine design parameters. The method since falls with in
framework of ACI 318-08; all other specification of code do govern
relevant design parameters.
Span length of members not built integrally with supports shall be
considered as the clear span plus the depth of the member, but
need not exceed distance between centers of supports. ACI 8.9.1
Deflection of two-way slab should not exceed the limits specified
in table 9.5(b)

For slabs with beams spanning between the supports on all sides,
the minimum thickness, h, shall be as follows:

For fm greater than 0.2 but not

greater than 2.0, h shall not
be less than but not less than 5 in.

For fm greater than 2.0,

h shall not be less than but
not less than 3.5 in.
. Max spacing of reinforcement should not exceed twice thickness
of slab or that given by temperature and shrinkage .
. The twisting moments are of consequence only at exterior corners
of a two-way slab system, where they tend to crack the slab at the
bottom along the panel diagonal, and at the top perpendicular to
the panel diagonal. Special reinforcement should be provided at
exterior corners in both the bottom and top of the slab, for a
distance in each direction from the corner equal to one-fifth the
longer span of the corner panel. The spacing and size should be
same as for positive bending moment.
1. Design the roof slab, beam and column of house given in figure 1.
Concrete compressive strength (fc) = 3 ksi.
Example Steel yield strength (fy) = 40 ksi.
Load on slab:
4 thick mud. 2 thick brick tile. Live Load = 40 psf.
2. Design of slab for room and veranda.
Veranda Slab
3 Ratio of spans
lb/la = 24.75/8 = 3.09 > 2 one way slab
4 Assume slab thickness of slab = 5 in
Clear span = 8 + 5/12 = 8.42 ft ACI 8.9.1
or c/c of support = 8 + 13/24 + .5 = 9.0625 ft
Take l = 8.42 ft
Min slab thickness = l/20 x (0.4+fy/100000)x12 ACI
= 4.04 in 5 in is ok
5 d = 5 0.75 3/16 = 4 in
6 Factored loads
dead load Slab = 0.15x5/12 = 0.0625 ksf
Mud = 0.12x4/12 = 0.04 ksf
Choka = 0.12x2/12= 0.02 ksf
total =0.1225 ksf
Live load = 0.04 ksf
Wu = 1.2x 0.1225 + 1.6x 0.04
= 0.211 ksf
Mu= (0.211x8.42x8.42/8)x12 = 22.44 in -kip/ft
7 Asmin = 0.002bhf (for fy 40 ksi, ACI 10.5.4)
= 0.002 12 5 = 0.12 in2
a = Asminfy/ (0.85fcb)
= 0.12 40/ (0.85 3 12) = 0.156 in
Mn(min) = Asminfy (d a/2)
= 0.9 0.12 40 (4 0.156/2)
= 16.94 in-k < Mu
8 Determine As for applied Mu = 22.44 in-kip
Mu/0.9 = As x fy x d sq(Asxfy)/(1.7xfcxb)
As = 0.16 sq in
using #4 bars Ab= 0.2 sq in
Spacing S= 0.2 x 12 /0.16 = 15 in c/c
using #3 bar S=0.11x12/0.16 = 7.5 in or 6 in c/c is ok.
use #3 @ 6 in c/c
9 Temperature and Shrinkage Steel
Ast = 0.002 x b x hf
= 0.002 x 12 x 5 = 0.12 sq in
S =0.11 x 12 /0.12 = 11 in c/c
10 Maximum spacing for main steel in one way slab according to
ACI is minimum of:
3hf =3 5 =15 in or 18 in
Therefore 6 spacing is O.K.
11 Maximum spacing for shrinkage steel in one way slab
according to ACI 7.12.2 is minimum of:
5hf =5 5 =25in or 18in
Therefore 9 in spacing is O.K.
Design of Room Slab
12 Span ratio = 16/12 = 1.33 < 2 two-way slab
Min h = Perimeter/180
= 2 x ( 16 + 12 ) x 12 /180
= 3.73 in not less than 5 in Aci
hf = 5 in is ok.
13 Wu= 0.211 ksf
14 Tables to be consulted for design
m = short span/long span
= 12/16 = 0.75
Since slab is continuous on long edge only; case 6 would apply
Coefficient for this slab
Ca,neg = 0.088 Cb,neg = 0
Ca,dl = 0.o48 Cb,dl = 0.012
Ca,ll = 0.055 Cb,ll = 0.016
15 Calculate Bending moment
16 Total design Moments
Max negative BM in Short direction(12 ft) = 32.04 in k
long (16 ft) = 0 in k
max positve BM in short Direction (12 ft ) =18.36 in-k
long (16 ft ) = 8.544 in-k
17 Design of Slab
As min= 0.002x12x5 =0.12 sq in
Mu(min) = 0.9x0.12x40{(4 0.12x40/(1.7x3x12)}
= 19.94 in-k
Neg ative BM in Short span = # 3 @ 4.5 in c/c
Positive BM in short span = # 3 @ 9.0 in c/c
Negative BM in long span = nil
Positve BM in long span = # 3 @ 11 in c/c not to be
greater than 2xhf = 2x5=10 in as per ACI 13.3.2 may reduce to 9
in spacing for simplicity.
18 Min Reinforcement is also provided at discont edges against
partial fixations
Reinforcement Plan
1 The floor system shown in Fig. consists of solid slabs and beams in
two directions supported on 20-in. square columns. Design a typical
Example interior slab pannel to carry a live load of 100 psf appart from self
weight. Use f`c = 3 ksi and fy = 60 ksi.
2 Solution
Since slab is supported on beams, we determine its thickness. To apply
the equation of ACI we need to find out Ib and Is etc. Effective X-Sec
of T beam is Shown in fig.

The moment of inertia of the slab in the long direction assuming slab
thickness of 7 in

The moment of inertia of the slab in the short direction

Eq. 9.12

Eq. 9.13

Also, hmin = 3.5 in. Therefore, h = 6.27 in. controls. A slab

thickness of 6.5 in. or 7.0 in. may be adopted. Note that in
most practical cases, Eq. 17.2 controls.
3. Span ratio = 20/24 = 0.83 two-way slab
thickness of slab = 7 in
4. Factored Load
Wu = 1.2x(7/12x.15) + 1.6x0.1
= 0.265 k/sq ft
5. Coefficient from Tables ( Case 2 )
Ca neg = 0.062 Cb neg =0.029
Ca dl = 0.053 Cb dl = 0.012
Ca ll = 0.039 Cb ll =0.018
6. Bending Moments
Ma neg = 0.062x0.265x20x20x12 = 78.86 in-k
Ma pos = (0.053x0.105+0.039x0.16)x20x20x12 = 56.66 in-k
Mb neg =0.029x0.265x24x24x12 = 53.12 in-k
Mb pos =(0.012x0.105+0.018x0.16)x24x24 = 28.62 in-k
7. Design of slab
in short dir for neg moment As= 0.228 sq in #4 @ 10 in c/c
pos As= 0.161 #4 @ 14
In long dir for neg moment As= 0.166 #4 @ 14
pos As= 0.088 #4 @ 14
Max spacing = 2xhf = 14 in or temp & shrinkage rft
Temp= 0.0018xbxhf =0.151 sq in #4 @ 15 in c/c
Max spacing of 14 in c/c governs

*A cross-hatched edge indicates that

the slab continues across or is fixed at
the support; an unmarked edge
indicates a support at which torsional
resistance is negligible ie simple

* where w = total uniform Factored

dead plus live load
*A cross-hatched edge indicates that
the slab continues across or is fixed at
the support; an unmarked edge
indicates a support at which torsional
resistance is negligible ie simple

* where w = total uniform Factored

dead plus live load
*A cross-hatched edge indicates that
the slab continues across or is fixed at
the support; an unmarked edge
indicates a support at which torsional
resistance is negligible ie simple

* where w = total uniform Factored

dead plus live load
*A cross-hatched edge indicates that
the slab continues across or is fixed at
the support; an unmarked edge
indicates a support at which torsional
resistance is negligible ie simple