thickness of the sandwich panels varies from 5 to 8 inches, and the face slabs are tied together with wire, small rods, or in some other manner. Welded or bolted matching plates are also used to connect the wall panels to the building frame, top and bottom. Caulking on the outside and grouting on the inside should be used to make the points between the wall panels watertight.
Small closely spaced beams used in floor construction are usually called JOISTS; however, these same beams when used in roof construction are called PURLINS. The cross sections of these beams are shaped like a "T" or an "I". The ones with the inverted T-sections are usually used in composite construction where they support cast-in-place floor or roof slabs.
BEAMS and GIRDERS are terms usually applied to the same members, but the one with the longer span should be referred to as the girder. Beams and girders may be conventional precast design or prestressed. Most of the beams will be I-shaped unless the ends are rectangular. The T-shaped ones can also be used.
Precast concrete COLUMNS may be solid or hollow. If the hollow type is desired, heavy cardboard tubing should be used to form the core. A looped rod is cast in the column footing and projects upward into the hollow core to help hold the column upright. An opening should be left in the side of the column so that the column core can be filled with grout. This causes the looped rod to become embedded to form an anchor. The opening is dry-packed.
Advantages of Precast Concrete
Precast concrete has the greatest advantage when identical members are to be cast because the same forms can be used several times. Some other advantages are listed below.
Control of the quality of concrete.
Smoother surfaces and plastering are not necessary.
Less storage space is needed.
Concrete member can be cast under all weather conditions.
Better protection for curing.
Weather conditions do not affect erection.
Faster erection time.
A prestressed concrete unit is one in which engineered stresses have been placed before it has been subjected to a load. When PRETENSIONING is used, the reinforcement (high-tensile-strength steel strands) is stretched through the form between the two end abutments or anchors. A predetermined amount of stress is applied to the steel strands. The concrete is then poured, encasing the reinforcement. As the concrete sets, it bonds to the pretensioned steel. When it has reached a specified strength, the tension on the reinforcement is released. This prestresses the concrete, putting it under compression, thus creating a built-in tensile strength.
POST-TENSIONING involves a precast member that contains normal reinforcing in addition to a number of channels through which the prestressing cables or rods maybe passed. The channels are usually formed by suspending inflated tubes through the form and casting the concrete around them. When the concrete has set, the tubes are deflated and removed. Once the concrete has reached a specified strength, prestressing steel strands or TENDONS are pulled into the channels and secured at one end. They are then stressed from the opposite end with a portable hydraulic jack and anchored by one of several automatic gripping devices.
Post-tensioning may be done where the member is poured or at the jobsite. Each member may be tensioned, or two or more members may be tensioned together after erection. In general, post-tensioning is used if the unit is over 45 feet long or over 7 tons in weight. However, some types of pretensioned roof slabs will be considerably longer and heavier than this.
When a beam is prestressed, either by pretensioning or post-tensioning, the tensioned steel produces a high compression in the lower part of the beam. This compression creates an upward bow or camber in the beam (fig. 3-20). When a load is placed on the beam, the camber is forced out, creating a level beam with no deflection.
Those members that are relatively small or that can be readily precast are normally pretensioned. These include precast roof slabs, T-slabs, floor slabs, and roof joists.
Special types of concrete are essentially those with unique physical properties or those producedContinue Reading