The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 16 (1938) > Issues > Issue 11 > Moments in Flat Slabs. Discussion on Mr P.G. Bowie's Paper
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Moments in Flat Slabs. Discussion on Mr P.G. Bowie's Paper

THE PRESIDENT (Professor J. Husband, F.R.C.Sc.I., M.Inst.C.E.), following the presentation of the paper, said that Mr. Bowie had made out a very good and probably a very closely approximate case. All structural engineers knew that in dealing with reinforced concrete it was impossible to derive absolutely accurate mathematical theories. The amount of mathematical formuls which had accumulated during the last 30 or 40 years was simply colossal. Probably we approached a little nearer the truth in the course of time, but the assumptions that had to be made when dealing with so complicated a material rendered it impossible - and it would always be impossible -to make exact calculations in respect of reinforced concrete structures. That was true even for the simplest element of reinforced concrete construction. When we came to cases such as slabs and dropped slabs carried by variously shaped column caps, the exact theory, if it were accessible, would be staggering. The only way in which to approach problems of that kind was the way in which the author had approached them in the paper. Certain common-sense assumptions were made in the paper, just as it was necessary to make common-sense assumptions in a great many other engineering problems, and the assumptions made in the paper appealed to the President as being perfectly sound and rational. He urged that those who agreed with the author’s statements should say so, and that those who considered that any of the author’s conclusions were wide of the probable truth should also express their views. Having read the paper very carefully before the meeting, it seemed to him that the author had given his problem a very sound, closely approximate and sufficiently practical treatment. He congratulated the author on having dealt with a comparatively dry but very important practical subject in so satisfactory a manner.