Experimental investigation of reinforced concrete slabs with punching shear reinforcement
Over the past century, the use of flat slabs in buildings and especially in parking garages has been growing as it is an economic and efficient solution. Flat slabs are easy to build and have, through their smaller depth, an economical and architectural advantage compared to slabs on girders. Because of their limited depth, flat slabs are especially sensitive to deflections and to punching shear, which are their main design criteria. Furthermore, flat slabs without punching shear reinforcement have a rather brittle failure mode with little deformation capacity. This behavior potentially limits the redistribution of the internal forces in flat slabs in the case of punching of an isolated column and can thus lead to progressive collapse of the entire structure. To increase both the strength and the deformation capacity of flat slabs, punching shear reinforcement can be provided in the vicinity of the columns. Although the influence of punching shear reinforcement on the strength of flat slabs has been intensively investigated, there are still fundamental uncertainties such as the contribution of the shear reinforcement and the strength of the concrete struts close to the column. The paper presents the results of an extensive experimental campaign performed at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Sixteen full-scale slab specimens (3.0 x 3.0 m in plane) with varying parameters such as the column size, the slab thickness, the shear reinforcement ratio, and the shear reinforcing system have been investigated. The performance of these specimens is analyzed and compared to modern design codes and to the critical shear crack theory.