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Dr. P. A. Jackson (M) (Gifford & Partners)
I have long thought it odd that the conventional design methods for ground supported slabs (including concrete paving slabs) and for suspended slabs are so fundamentally different. The latter are designed on the assumption that they are cracked and that the tensile strength of concrete contributes little to their behaviour and nothing to their flexural strength; the former are designed on the assumption that they are not cracked and that they work by the tensile strength of concrete. This difference would be logical if the stresses in ground supported slabs were lower than in suspended slabs and this often, although not always, appears to be the case if one considers only load-induced flexural stresses. However, cracks can also be induced by stresses from other effects such as shrinkage and temperature and, because of differences in the restraint, these stresses are often higher in ground supported slabs.
A unique facility for structural and wind engineering research on steel portal framed building behaviour is described. The Silsoe Structures Building is an intensively instrumented full-scale building structure, the frames of which can be connected to their pad foundations by any one of three interchangeable bolted joint arrangements which are representative of those joints used in practice and also of the pinned condition normaily assumed in design.
The elastic behaviour of simply supported beams subject to mixed gravity loading is considered. This loading comprises a full uniformly distributed load acting in conjunction with various patterns of equally spaced concentrated loads. The results of the investigation are presented in the form of a design chart and general equation. These demonstrate the interaction between the distributed and concentrated loads, and may be used in practice to determine the critical values of the individual loads at which buckling will occur.
Professor B.K. Dougherty