Transmission of Loads from High-Strength Concrete Columns through Normal-Strength Concrete Floors


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Title: Transmission of Loads from High-Strength Concrete Columns through Normal-Strength Concrete Floors

Author(s): C. E. Ospina, S. D. B. Alexander, and James G. MacGregor

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 167


Appears on pages(s): 127-148

Keywords: Columns (supports); floors; high-strength concretes; reinforced concrete.

Date: 3/1/1997

Reinforced concrete columns are typically made with higher strength concrete than are the floor slabs that they support. In construction, the slab is usually cast continuous through the region of the slab-column joint. As a result, load in the column above the slab must pass through a layer of weaker slab concrete before reaching the column below the slab. The column-slab joint may be viewed as a “sandwich” column, with high strength concrete above and below a layer of lower strength concrete. In design, the effective column concrete strength is based on a special weighted average of the column and slab concrete strengths. Because of confinement, the slab concrete in the joint region is assumed to be capable of carrying stresses well in excess of its specified strength. This confinement is, in turn, affected by gravity loading of the slab. Existing design procedures are based on tests of slab-column joints in which no load was applied to the slabs. This paper presents the results of a series of tests on interior column-slab joints in which service level loads were applied to the slabs prior to loading the columns. The major conclusions of this study are: (1) tests of sandwich slab-column joints with unloaded slabs consistently overestimate the strength of the connection and (2) the AC1 3 18-89 provisions for interior column-slab joints are unconservative for high ratios of column to slab strength and/or high ratios of slab thickness to column size.