Flat slab strenghtening techniques against punching-shear

Massimo Lapi, António Pinho Ramos, Maurizio Orlando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
2035 Downloads (Pure)


Over the years, the flat slab system has become a popular form of construction in many countries, particularly for multi-storey buildings such as offices or carparks. Nowadays, a considerable number of flat slab buildings requires strengthening against punching. Reasons are several, like design or construction errors, poor quality materials, not complying with new codes provisions, or increase of vertical load. This paper discusses different techniques for strengthening of R/C slabs against punching: insertion of post-installed shear reinforcement, application of external fibre reinforced polymers or a bonded reinforced concrete overlay (BRCO) on the slab top surface, enlargement of the support, application of a post-tensioning system. The authors propose a unified approach, based on the Critical Shear Crack Theory (CSCT), to evaluate the effectiveness of each strengthening technique. The attempt is to give a reading key capable of adapting to different strengthening techniques and providing a comprehensive view of the problem. The study shows that the CSCT could be easily adapted to all strengthening techniques and punching strength predictions are in good agreement with literature experimental results. This work also proposes to give designers the tool to choose which strengthening technique suits better to the specific case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-180
Number of pages21
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • BRCO
  • CSCT
  • FRP
  • Post-installed shear reinforcement
  • Post-tensioning
  • Punching strengthening
  • Support enlargement


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