Journal article

Post-Punching Behavior of Flat Slabs

Reinforced concrete flat slabs are a common structural system for cast-in-place concrete slabs. Failures in punching shear near the column regions are typically governing at ultimate. In case no punching shear or integrity reinforcement is placed, failures in punching develop normally in a brittle manner with almost no warning signs. Furthermore, the residual strength after punching is, in general, significantly lower than the punching load. Thus, punching of a single column of a flat slab overloads adjacent columns and can potentially lead to their failure on punching, thus triggering the progressive collapse of the structure. Over the past decades, several collapses have been reported due to punching shear failures, resulting in human casualties and extensive damage. Other than placing conventional punching shear reinforcement, the deformation capacity and residual strength after punching can also be enhanced by placing integrity reinforcement to avoid progressive collapses of flat slabs. This paper presents the main results of an extensive experimental campaign performed at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) on the role of integrity reinforcement by means of 20 slabs with dimensions of 1500 x 1500 x 125 mm (≈5 ft x 5 ft x 5 in.) and various integrity reinforcement layouts. The performance and robustness of the various solutions is investigated to obtain physical explanations and a consistent design model for the load-carrying mechanisms and strength after punching failures.

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