A steel composite flooring system consists of steel beams, metal decking and concrete which are combined in a very efficient way to encompass the best properties of each material to optimise constructions techniques.
Benefits of Steel Composite Floors
Steel composite floors have several advantages over traditional reinforced concrete or steel structures which has led to a substantial increase in the use of composite construction globally.
The benefits include easier construction, reduced foundation costs, faster installation, versatility, structural integrity, high strength to weight ratios, dimensional stability, minimised site storage requirements, non-contamination of other materials, easier stockpiling and cleaning, durable finishes, sound absorption and more.
A composite floor system produces a ridged horizontal diagram that provides stability to the overall building system while at the same time, distributing wind and seismic shears to the lateral load resisting systems.
Composite action increases the load carry capacity and stiffness. The concrete forms a compression flange while the steel provides the tension component. A successful composite beam design requires the consideration of serviceability issues such as floor vibrations and long-term deflections.
High Strength to Weight Ratios
Steel and concrete composite slabs are lighter and stronger than most conventional slabs. The steel decking provides the tensile reinforcement while the compressive strength of the concrete makes for an all-round stronger slab.
The composite columns have large load carrying capabilities, small cross-sections and good fire protection properties. They are also known to possess high axial strength and flexural stiffness. Two types of composite columns are commonly used. Concrete filled tubes (CFT) and fully encased composite (FEC). The confinement of the concrete by the steel increases its compressive strength and ductility.
Safe Formwork and Platform to Work On
The most common arrangement found in composite floor systems is a rolled or built-up steel beam connected to a formed steel deck and concrete slab. The steel deck generally spans unsupported between steel members, and when fixed, provides a safe working platform for concreting work. Composite slabs use steel decking of 46 to 8mm depth that can span 3m to 4.5m without the need for temporary propping. The composite action of the steel deck results from side embossments incorporated into a steel sheet profile.
Cost Saving Construction
Not only is a composite floor structure lighter with less waste but there are significant cost reductions. In terms of labour, the rapid speed of construction reduces the overall project time. With less concrete being used and no need for props, material costs are reduced too. There are also fewer site storage requirements and minimised foundation costs, due to reduced loading.
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