Title: Combined Beam-Slab Collapse Mechanism in Isolated Reinforced Concrete Beam-Slabs—Strength Design and Load Testing
Author(s): Anurag Singh, Bijily Balakrishnan, and Devdas Menon
Publication: Structural Journal
Appears on pages(s): 223-240
Keywords: beam-slab system; combined beam-slab failure; rational design methodology; slab alone failure; yield line analysis
In the conventional method of strength design of reinforced concrete (RC) beam-slab systems, it is assumed that if the beams are adequately stiff, the slab and beams can be analyzed and designed separately under factored gravity loads. This paper demonstrates, through yield line analysis and load testing of isolated beam-slab systems, that such a design, which tacitly assumes a ‘slab alone failure’ mechanism, is irrational and overconservative (failing at a load level much higher than expected). The actual collapse of the conventionally designed beam-slab system invariably involves a combined beam-slab failure mechanism. It is therefore more rational and economical to design explicitly for such a collapse mechanism, accounting for plastic hinge formation in the beams along with yield lines in the slab. The proposed method suggests provision of minimum slab steel (as prescribed by the design code), and then designing the beams aiming for a combined two-way beam-slab failure. Experimental load testing establishes that the collapse occurs as planned and that the proposed economical design has the desired code-specified safety margins.