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Structural Concrete, Vol. 8, no. 3, September 2007

Aisle-width considerations in ground-floor slabs

A.A. Abbas, Imperial College London, UK
M.N. Pavlovic, Imperial College London, UK
M.D. Kotsovos, National Technical Univesity of Athens, Greece

The design of ground-floor slabs (GFS) is largely based on concentrated patch loads (CPL) rather than uniformly distributed loads (UDL) as the former are more critical. This is true provided that the UDL is applied throughout the floor and that the slab is also uniformly supported by the soil beneath (i.e. there are no local soft spots). Clearly, such scenarios will not induce any significant bending stresses in the slab. However, if the UDL is applied only locally on the slab, as is often the case, then bending stresses will occur. A particular case is the arrangement in which two layers of UDL are applied on the floor with an unloaded aisle in between. This results in tensile stresses in the mid-aisle at the top of the slab which must be considered in the design process. A similar situation arises when two spaced CPL are applied, which is common in the case of racking-leg loads. The present article reports on the numerical research work that was carried out to study these effects. The work is based on linear finite-element analysis (LFEA) and the ensuing results are presented herein in the form of design charts. 

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