School Event

Specification & Construction of Surfacebeds




Course Overview

Solid concrete floor slabs are one of the only concrete elements designed to accommodate the properties of concrete and not to resist loading.  Supporting layerworks are vitally important, particularly if the pavement is segmental and made up of concrete or clay prefabricated blocks. 

Insurance claims for this application of concrete are high and misunderstanding of the basic principles of design and construction is common.  Cracking in solid slabs due to poor accommodation of concrete shrinkage movements occurs frequently as does weak, powdery floor surfaces that create a dust nuisance, unacceptable to many clients.

Course description

This is a two-day course that will dispel misinformation for designers and contractors regarding jointing, thickness and surface hardness and will provide the client with a high-quality surface, on which to carry out factory or warehouse type operations.  Concrete samples taken from actual floors will be used to illustrate the various concepts being explained as well as a comprehensive set of notes.

Segmental or block pavements in concrete and clay will be discussed in a basic fashion, highlighting the contrasting approach to the design concept with that of solid slabs.  The difference in material behaviour between concrete and clay will be given along with design adjustment that will be required.

Course outline

·        Properties of concrete necessary for specification of floors

·        Selection of materials to minimise shrinkage, improve finish and increase abrasion resistance

·        Subbases and support materials

·        Required workability and avoidance of plastic shrinkage cracking

·        Finishing pavements in the green phase of concrete

·        Required strength of concrete as assessed by compressive strength and more importantly by flexural strength

·        Prevention of cracking

o   Plastic cracking, its causes and avoidance

o   Drying shrinkage cracking

o   Types of joints and their location in the floor

·        Surface hardness and finishing techniques

·        Construction of floors

o   Bleeding and concrete temperature

o   Method of placement

o   Placement of reinforcement if required

Segmental concrete pavements

·        Advantages and disadvantages

·        Classification of blocks and laying patterns

·        Transmission of lateral forces

·        Edge restrains

·        Bedding and jointing sand

·        The importance of lockup

Segmental clay pavements

·        Diagrams for pavement design as given in the clay pavement manual

·        Expansion of clay and effect on pavement

Design of solid concrete pavement thickness

·        Floor thickness to accommodate support conditions and imposed loads

·        Use of design charts given in the code of practice for floor design for forklifts, posts and uniformly distributed loads



This event has been cancelled