The effect of the vertical component of prestress forces on the punching strength of flat slabs

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The use of prestress in flat slabs is a common solution, mainly because it allows larger spans and thinner slabs. Nevertheless, smaller thicknesses near the slab-column connections, along with the superposition of high shear and flexural stresses, arise the question of the slab capacity to resist punching. The punching failure results from the superposition of shear and flexural stresses near the column, and is associated to the formation of a pyramidal plug of concrete which punches through the slab. It is a local and brittle failure. The use of prestress can increase the punching capacity of flat slabs-column connections.This work presents the experimental analysis of flat slab specimens with tendons under punching. Nine slabs were tested using unbonded prestress with high strength steel tendons. The influences on the punching capacity of the vertical component of the prestress forces resulting from inclined tendons near the column and their distance to the column are analysed. The in-plane compression force due to prestress was not applied to the slabs, in order to evaluate only the deviation force influence. This work aims to improve the understanding of the behaviour of prestressed flat slabs under punching load in order to properly evaluate the punching resistance of this kind of structures. The experimental punching loads are compared with the provisions of EC2, ACI 318-11 and MC2010.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-98
Number of pages9
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Experimental modelling
  • Flat slabs
  • Post-tensioning
  • Prestressing tendons
  • Punching

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