Do You Know the Various Concrete Slabs and Their Uses? Learn More

Posted on: 21 May 2021


Concrete slabs are critical components of structures made from cement and other products. These slabs provide flat surfaces that act as ceilings and floors for buildings. Slabs come with specialised reinforcement to enable them to support the weight of the surrounding elements. On that note, modern engineers use different techniques to support slabs on four sides. Advancement in building engineering also enables beams to receive support from one or two columns, depending on the dynamics of the structure you are building. In this piece, you will explore the different types of concrete slabs and the purpose they serve on your structure: 

Flat Plates

Flat plates are a popular type of concrete slabs requiring simple formworks and materials for construction. You can build them as one or two-way concrete slabs held up by walls or columns for support. Usually, flat plate slabs are ideal for spans extending between six to eight metres. If you are using pre-stressed slabs for the project, the spans can go as far as eight to twelve metres. The builders can also set them in place as post-tensioned slabs. 

One of the top benefits of using flat plate concrete slabs is low cost and fast construction. The formwork is easy for builders to handle and use. On the downside, flat plate slabs are poor at handling shear forces due to low stiffness levels. This can cause lots of deflection. 

One-way Concrete Slabs

You can also opt for one-way concrete slabs. They come with beams for structural support. During construction, builders fix the formwork and follow up by installing reinforcements before pouring fresh concrete on the setup. The most practical use of one-way concrete slabs is to have them over a three to six-metre span. You can go higher than that with higher cost and slab deflection implications. Furthermore, you will need lots of formwork and additional beams for more extended slab spans to work. 

Waffle Concrete Slabs

Waffle concrete slabs are distinguishable from the other types of slabs. They have deep sides and square grids that give them a different look from the rest. During construction, the builder starts by fixing the structural forms, placing pods on shutters and setting the reinforcement between the pods. Next, they install steel meshes over the pods and pour fresh concrete on the whole setup to commence the curing process. The result is a robust structure capable of spanning over several metres. However, the process takes up lots of materials, making it quite expensive.