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Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

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The Effect of Cutting Openings on the Behavior of Two-way Solid Loaded T


Mona Mahlisa, , Ata Elkareim Shoeibb, Sherif Abd Elnabya, Alaa Sherifb
Construction Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Egyptian Russian University, Cairo, Egypt
Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Helwan University, Mataria branch, Cairo, Egypt


Keywords: It is often necessary to cut openings in existing two-way reinforced concrete slabs due to late design require-
Two-way slabs ments. Those openings should be studied extensively; as they pose a break in the continuity of the reinforcing
Openings bars hence; they weaken the slabs and reduce their load carrying capacity. The purpose of this research is to
Near Surface Mounting Technique investigate the behavior of two-way RC beamed slabs with openings introduced after casting. The method of
Externally bonded Carbon fiber Reinforcing
cutting the slab under service loading and the strengthening methods' efficiency are the main parameters. Ten
Yield Line Theory
square reinforced concrete two-way beamed slabs were prepared to be tested experimentally. They were divided
into two cases: (case A), and (case B). Case A consisted of: five slabs cast with a square 300 mm side opening in
the mid-span of the slabs, and case B was composed of: five slabs with no openings.
For (case A), the five slabs were divided into: a control two-way slab with an opening in the mid-span; which
was not strengthened, three two-way slabs each with an opening in the mid-span; they were strengthened in-
ternally using extra reinforcing steel bars around the opening; which had different development length, and
finally, a slab with a mid-span opening strengthened with externally bonded Carbon Fiber Reinforcing Polymer
(EB-CFRP) laminates at the tension side. Whereas, (case B's) five slabs were: a square control slab, it was ex-
amined till failure to evaluate the slabs' capacity, and four two-way squared reinforced concrete slabs with no
openings, they were tested following a certain sequence. It was as follows; the four two-way squared reinforced
concrete slabs were loaded till the initial cracking load as that of the control slab. Then, the strengthening was
installed, and the opening was cut at the mid-span. The loading continued till failure occurred. The strength-
ening was carried out using Near Surface Mounted Technique (NSM) and EB CFRP. Strength, deflection and
energy dissipation were calculated, and compared for both groups.
The experimental results were verified numerically using Yield Line Theory.

1. Introduction the opening edge should not be longer than quarter the effective length
of the corresponding slab span. Despite all those precautions, cutting
Nowadays, we are living in a fast-paced world; the evolution had openings in existing RC slabs remains a critical issue to be studied [3].
reached every aspect of life. In this technological era, there is always a Openings often reduce the slabs' load carrying capacity, stiffness, and
continuous need of change. Many consumer goods were modified to ability to control deflection. Herein, the issue of discovering the sui-
adapt to the new situation. By the same way, buildings' uses were table technique to strengthen, and cut openings through existing slabs
changed; which require several modifications as: cutting openings in was investigated. The strengthening technique, the materials used, its
existing slabs to situate cables, escalators, elevators or even ventilation affordability, and the method of introducing the opening were studied.
ducts to match with those uses. Engineers should be ready to fulfill this In general, many researches [4–11] were carried out to see the effect of
demanding life style. openings on slabs.
Many design codes discussed the effect of openings and set some Most of the work done focused on investigating the behavior of one-
strengthening rules; the BBK04 (2004) [1] allows the application of way slabs with existing openings [4–8,9–11,12,22,24], fewer work
opening no longer than third the short-span. On the other hand, the studied two-way slabs [4,14–16,25]. In most cases, the strengthening
Polish code (PN-B-03264) [2] stated stricter limits for the opening size; techniques were good enough in restoring the flexural capacity of the

Corresponding author.
E-mail address: monamohamedmaguid@gmail.com (M. Mahlis).

Received 28 May 2018; Received in revised form 7 September 2018; Accepted 10 September 2018
Available online 13 September 2018
2352-0124/ © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Institution of Structural Engineers.
M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

Table 1
Details of the tested specimens.
Slab Opening RFT slab mesh T&B RFT of beam RFT around opening Technique of strengthening Shape of additional RFT

T&B Stirrup

S1 No 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm No No –

S2 Case A 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm No No –
S4 Case A 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 Internal Straight
S6 Case A 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 Internal Hook
S8 Case A 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 Internal Full length
S5 Case B 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 NSM Short
S7 Case B 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 NSM Hook
S9 Case B 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 2#8 NSM Full length
S10 Case C 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 50 mm EB CFRP Strip
S11 Case B 8 mm@125 mm 2#10 mm 8 mm@167 mm 50 mm EB CFRP Strip

Table 2 1650mm 2 10T&B

Concrete compressive strength.
Batch No. Slabs Average compressive Average compressive
strength (MPa) strength (MPa)
After 7 days After 28 days

1 S2,S4, S6, S8 19.9 32.6

& S10 6 8

2 S1,S5, S7, S9 18.7 31.97
& S11 2 8

Table 3
2 8
Steel yield and ultimate strength.

Reinforcing steel Yield strength (N/ Ultimate strength Elongation (%) 8 8

grade mm2) (N/mm2)

24/35 246 365 25

slab [3,20]. CFRP strips were one of the most preferred strengthening
materials used to increase the load carrying capacity and stiffness of RC Fig. 2. Schematic figure for the details of reinforcement of strengthened RC
slabs with openings [3,5,6,10,13,14,17,20,26]. The strengthening slabs with openings (i.e. S4, S6 and S8).
technique applied with CFRP affected the increase in the slab's load
carrying capacity; NSM CFRP is more effective than EB CFRP [17]. One

1650 mm
2 10
2 10T&B

6 8
1650 mm

8 8 2 8 2 8

6 8

8 8

100mm 1450 mm 100mm


(a) Specimen S1 (b) Specimen S2

Fig. 1. Schematic figure for the details of reinforcement of slab with and without openings.

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

Fig. 3. Schematic figure for the shape of the

reinforcing bars used in slabs (S4, S6 and S8).

900mm 840mm 1550mm

S4 S6 S8

Fig. 4. The steps followed to strengthen, and cut slabs (S5) with openings introduced under loading.

Fig. 5. Section (A-A) from Fig. 2 detailed scheme of Near

100mm 1450 mm 100mm
Surface Mounted Technique (S6 the hooked bars).

Steel bars Grout Epoxy

of CFRP advantages is that; it slows down the appearance of the cracks, solutions for each slab; today it is still used to verify experimental result
and reduces their width [5,21]. The use of anchors with CFRP pre- of slab failure loads or to predict those loads before proceeding in the
vented the CFRP from de-bonding; it even made the CFRP strip take experimental work. In yield line method, several crack patterns are
their full tensile capacity [7]. proposed; for each one the failure loads are calculated, and the least
Despite the fact that CFRP strips were used in most of the published load is chosen to be the slab's failure load [4,8]. Yield line analysis is
work, they had some negativity; which could not be skipped such as: even used to determine loads for strengthened slabs with openings [8].
their high price compared to ordinary reinforcing steel bars or the de- Generally, yield line method can predict the ultimate load carrying
pendence of their strength on the method of their installation, and the capacity very well [10].
position of the loads. The tested specimens were either strengthened
one-way slabs or rarely two-way slabs. Concerning the method of in- 2. Experimental work program
troducing the opening in existing loaded (during serviceability) RC
slabs, fewer researches were published in this area in comparison with 2.1. Test specimen and material
the previous cases.
Yield Line Theory is one of the historic and trusted methods to Ten two-way reinforced concrete beamed square slabs with di-
predict the failure loads of slabs. Many handbooks [27,28] and re- mensions 1650 mm for each side, and 80 mm thickness surrounded by
searches [18,19,23,29] discussed this method proposing several beams of dimensions 100 mm × 250 mm were tested. The dimensions

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

were chosen to resemble a one-third scaled slab; considering the

thickness it was chosen to be the smallest thickness that can be cast in
residential building, at the same time it was chosen to accommodate
with the NSM strengthening technique. Those ten slabs were divided
into: five slabs cast with a square central opening of dimensions
300 mm × 300 mm, and five solid slabs with no openings.
The first five slabs (case A) were defined as: (S2) the control slab for
slabs with openings; S2 was cast with a central opening, and no extra
steel bars to strengthen it, slabs (S4, S6 and S8) were cast each with a
central opening; which was strengthened internally using two reinfor-
cing steel bars at each side of it. The strengthening bars for each slab
had a different development length. Slab (S10) was cast with an
opening; which was further strengthened with externally bonded
Carbon Fiber Reinforcing Polymer laminates (see Table 1).
The other five specimens (case B) were cast as solid slabs with the
same dimensions as those of (case A). They were divided as follows;
slab S1 the control reference slab for all specimens, and four reinforced
Fig. 6. The installation of EB CFRP laminates for slab S10. concrete two-way slabs (S5, S7, S9, and S11). Those slabs were tested
by following a certain sequence of steps. First, they were loaded by
25 kN (which represents the working load that the slabs would be

Demec Point 2
Point 4

Demec Demec
Point 3 Point 1




Point 5

295mm 118.7mm Demec

Point 6
Dial Gauge 2 Dial Gauge 1



Dial Gauge 3 LVDT 2

Dial Gauge 4

Fig. 7. Position of the deflection measuring device, and the point load.

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

lever arm I-beam tightening nuts

Loading Cell Nuts

loading device 8 8/m'

rubber plate

The Testing Frame

Fig. 8. Schematic view of the test setup.

Table 4
Maximum loads with the corresponding deflections of the tested specimens.
Slab Opening PFailure (kN) Max. deflection (mm) PFailure/PFailure control (S1) PFailure/PFailure control (S2) defFailure/defFailure control (S1) defFailure/defFailure control (S2)

S1 No 85.30 15.59 1.00 1.22 1.00 1.2

S2 Yes 70.11 13 0.821 1.00 0.83 1.00
S4 Case A 80.75 7.9 0.95 1.15 0.51 0.61
S6 Case A 106.3 14.05 1.25 1.52 0.90 1.08
S8 Case A 100.41 13.92 1.18 1.43 0.89 1.07
S5 Case B 54.2 12.7 0.64 0.77 0.81 0.98
S7 Case B 65.2 10.27 0.76 0.93 0.66 0.79
S9 Case B 116 13.853 1.36 1.65 0.89 1.07
S10 Case A 80.08 12.64 0.94 1.14 0.81 0.97
S11 Case B 54.5 12.85 0.64 0.78 0.82 0.99

subjected to during their serviceability stage). For slabs (S5, S7 and S9), epoxy resin was 3800 MPa and the tensile modulus of elasticity was
Near Surface Mounting Technique was used to strengthen them. The 30 MPa.
reinforcing steel bars used for those slabs had the same development
length as those used in slabs (S4, S6 and S8). Slab (S11) followed the
2.2. The strengthening scheme
same sequence, but was strengthened with externally bonded CFRP as
in slab (S10). The properties of the specimens were given in Tables 2
For slabs S4, S6 and S8, the details of reinforcement, the position,
and 3.
and the shape of the extra steel bars around the opening are clearly
The longitudinal and the transverse reinforcement for the slabs were
detailed in Figs. 2 and 3. It is noted that the strengthening bars in slab
chosen as 8 pieces of Φ8 at each 125 mm approximately; which is about
S4 were straight, for S6, the steel bars were hooked, and for S8, the steel
0.8% of the maximum flexure reinforcing ratio, and is below the
bars extended for the whole length of the slab. Slabs S5, S7, and S9 were
maximum reinforcing ratio as stated by ECP203 and ACI 318-11. Fig. 1
strengthened with reinforcing steel bars of the same shape as S4, S6,
shows the details of reinforcement of the solid control slab (S1), and the
and S8 respectively. The reinforcing steel bars were bonded to the
un-strengthened control slab with opening (S2) of cases A and B re-
specimens using a two-component epoxy adhesive by using NSM
spectively. Slabs (S2, S4, S6, S8 and S10) were cast with an opening, the
technique. To cut the opening in slabs S5, S7, and S9, the slabs were
reinforcement bars were cut passing through the opening before
loaded with 25 kN. The load was applied as a point load; it was dis-
pouring the concrete. To determine the concrete compressive strength,
tributed using 2 welded I-beams to distribute the load to four points.
standard cubes of dimensions 150 mm × 150 mm × 150 mm were
Grooves about 2 cm deep, and 2 cm wide were created in the place of
taken from every batch of concrete, and tested. They were kept in the
the strengthening bars; the bars were installed using the epoxy ad-
same conditions as the specimens and cured as well.
hesive, bearing in mind that all of this was done under loading. The
The steel bars used in reinforcing, and strengthening the RC slabs,
strengthening was left for 48 hrs, so that the epoxy grout could harden,
and RC beams' stirrups were mild steel with grade 24/35, while the
and gain strength. Then, the opening was cut opened using an electric
tension, and compression steel bars in RC beams were high tensile steel
grinder, and a hand driller. After cutting the concrete, the steel bars
with 36/52, and a diameter; which is equal to 10 mm. As the manu-
passing through the opening were cut. Then, the loading continued till
facturer data sheet, the CFRP laminates have an ultimate load carrying
the failure of the RC slabs. Fig. 4 shows the steps followed to cut, and
capacity of 480 kN/m width per layer (at typical laminate thickness of
strengthen slabs. Fig. 5 shows a clear detail of how the Near Surface
1.0 mm), and tensile young's modulus of 35 kN/mm2 (based on typical
Mounted Technique is carried out.
laminate thickness of 1.0 mm). The flexural strength at 7-days for the
For RC slabs S10, and S11, both were strengthened by externally

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

a) Crack Pattern of slab S1. b) Crack Pattern of slab S2.

Fig. 9. The effect of the opening on the propagation and density of cracks.

bonded Carbon Fiber Reinforcing Polymer laminates. Four CFRP lami- To introduce the opening under loading (25 kN load), the loading
nates were bonded to the slab tension surface around the opening, each was initially achieved by increasing the weights hung from the end of
laminate consisted only of: one layer of fiber. To apply the laminates, the lever steel beam, and tightening the nuts of the rods until the re-
first, the concrete surface was being roughened, then, the CFRP lami- action load acting on the center of the tested slab reached 25 kN. This
nates were being bonded using a two-component epoxy adhesive. Each ensured that the load remained constant during the strengthening of the
CFRP laminate installed around the open, had a thickness of 1.0 mm, RC slab, and cutting the opening. Deflections of specimens were mea-
50 mm wide, and 900 mm long. The suggested development length for sured at 2 points; one just in front of the opening, and the other at mid-
the fiber laminates was 300 mm at the end of each side of the opening; span between the beam, and the opening using ‘Dial Gauges and
which is equal to the development length of the steel bars used in the LVDTS’. In addition, the strains of the reinforcing steel bars just at the
slabs (S4 & S6) and equal to the length side of the opening. Fig. 6 il- edge of the opening were measured using strain gauges. Digital Load
lustrates that the CFRP was installed around the opening. cell of capacity 550 kN with accuracy of 0.1 kN was adopted to measure
the applied load. The value of the loads was recorded from a monitor
connected to the load cell.
2.3. Experimental setup

A schematic view of test setup, and the arrangement of the mea- 3. Experimental results and evaluations
suring Device is shown in Figs. 7 and 8. The test setup consisted of: a
steel frame formed of four I-beams resting on four steel columns to The test results for both cases (A & B) were compared to investigate
support slabs during loading. The clear span of the tested slabs between the efficiency of the adopted strengthening technique specially when
supports was 1550 mm from the center line of the beam to the center introducing the opening under loading. It was important to verify the
line of the opposite beam. The load was delivered to the RC slabs using effectiveness of the strengthening in restoring the load carrying capa-
a steel I-beam acting as a lever. One end of the steel beam was attached city of the slab, and at the same time in controlling the deflection.
to the strong floor of the laboratory using threaded steel rods that Generally, the NSM technique was effective; as the development length
provided a hinge support for the lever. The other end of the lever beam of the used strengthening steel bars increased. Some slabs even
was provided with a hanger to support concrete weights. The lever achieved higher load carrying capacity than that of the control slabs. A
beam applied its reaction load in the center of the tested slab. The load summary of the test results is given in Table 4.
was transferred through four points; three I-beams were welded
creating an H-letter. A loading cell was provided between the lever I- 3.1. Cracks' patterns and mode of failure
beam, and the tested slab to accurately measure the applied load. The
effect of the load acting on the RC slab was increased by tightening the Fig. 9 shows the crack patterns of the two control two-way RC
nuts that existed at the end of the rods carrying the weights. beamed slabs with and without opening (S1 and S2). For the control

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

a) Crack pattern of S4 (Case A) b) Crack pattern of S5 (Case B)

c) Crack pattern of S6 (Case A) d) Crack pattern of S7 (Case B)

Fig. 10. The effect of external and internal strengthening on the crack pattern.

slab (S1); which was cast without opening, cracks appeared on its that all slabs failed due to flexure mode.
bottom tension surface; the main cracks were parallel to the diagonals For all tested specimens with internal strengthening around opening
of the slab, those cracks were accompanied by narrower cracks dis- (case A), the crack patterns were as the control tested specimens with
tributed in the whole slab in a direction parallel to them. For the tested opening with an increase in diagonal cracks that propagated from the
slab with opening (S2), the cracks began from the corner of the position of the concentrated load. It was obvious that the number of
opening, and extended towards the edges of the slab; cracks continued cracks increased by increasing the development length of the additional
to develop till failure. Generally, the mode of failure for both slabs was steel reinforcement around opening due to the increase in the max-
flexural failure. By comparing between the cracks' patterns of both imum load as shown in Fig. 10a, c, and e. whereas, the cracks' patterns
slabs, we find that the presence of the opening led to an obvious in- of tested slabs with strengthening done externally by NSM steel bar or
crease in the number of cracks. EB CFRP were shown in Fig. 10b, d and f respectively.
Fig. 10 shows the crack patterns of slabs (S4, S5, S6, S7, S8 and S9 By comparing between the cracks' patterns of the tested specimens;
respectively); which had the same number and shape of strengthening the internally strengthened (case A), and the externally strengthened
steel bars that was added before or after cast under loading; it is noticed with the NSM steel bars (case B), we found that creating the opening

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

e) Crack pattern of S8 (Case A) f) Crack pattern of S9 (Case B)

Fig. 10. (continued)

a) Crack pattern of S10 (Case A) b) Crack pattern of S11 (Case B)

Fig. 11. The effect of external strengthening by EB CFRP laminates on crack patterns.

under the service loading caused a reduction in the cracks' numbers, at the corresponding deflections of the tested specimens taking into ac-
the same time the cracks were spread un-symmetrically in case of using count the effect of the opening, the time of its introduction, and the
straight or hooked NSM steel bars as in slabs S5, and S7 respectively strengthening technique that was carried out.
compared to slabs S4, and S6. Using the external strengthening steel For the slabs S4, S6, and S8, the failure loads were equal to 1.15,
bars with the development length extending to the surrounding beams 1.52, and 1.43 of the control open tested specimens (S2) by using
as in slab S9, the number of cracks were approximately the same as straight, hook, and full length additional steel reinforcing around the
those of the tested slab S8 but with a slight increase in the cracks' width opening respectively. Comparing the failure loads of the same slabs
of slab S9. It is worth mentioning that the ultimate load carrying ca- with that of (S1), they were equal to 0.95, 1.25, and 1.18. As a result,
pacity was higher than that of the other strengthened slabs of case B. the additional internal steel reinforcing bars around the opening could
Fig. 11 illustrates the cracks' patterns of the tested two-way beamed restore the load carrying capacity of the slabs. In contrary, extra re-
slabs strengthened with EB CFRP around the opening. It was observed inforcement around the opening was not efficient in controlling the
that the tested slabs had failed due to de-lamination of CFRP. From the increase in the deflection corresponding to the load, and the ductility.
cracks' patterns, and the failure loads, it was found that using EB CFRP By using external NSM steel bars around the opening, the failure
in strengthening the openings especially in case B is not recommended, loads of the slabs were equal to 0.77, 0.93, and 1.65 compared to slab
the behavior of the slabs may change if the anchorage bolts were (S2) by using straight, hook, and full length additional steel reinforcing
available. The failure may have occurred due to the weak bond between around the opening respectively. Moreover, if those results were com-
the CFRP layer, and the concrete as a result of the opening process pared to the control slab (S1), the failure loads of the slabs would be
itself. equal to 0.64, 0.76, and 1.36 respectively. Consequently, it is re-
commended to extend the steel bars till the surrounding beams as in
slab S9 because this slab acted ideally.
3.2. Effect of the strengthening on the maximum load, and the By comparing between the failures loads taking into account the
corresponding deflection of the slabs timing of the opening; the failure loads for slabs (S4, S6, and S8) were
equal to (80.75 kN, 106.3 kN, and 100.42 kN), whereas the failure loads
From Table 4, we can compare between the maximum loads, and

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

Allowable deflection
value L/250

Allowable deflection
value L/250

a) The effect of the opening. b) The effect of the internal strengthening.

Allowable deflection value L/250

Allowable deflection value L/250

c) The effect of NSM steel bars. d) The effect of EB CFRP.

Fig. 12. Load deflection curves of tested specimen.

for slabs (S5, S7, and S9) were equal to (54.2, 65.2, and 116 kN). It was bonding between the concrete, and the external reinforcement. This
clear that a reduction in the slabs' strength had occurred due to cutting outcome had shown that the external strengthening hadn't worked ef-
the opening under loading despite the placement of NSM strengthening ficiently as the internal reinforcement unless the development length of
steel bars around the position before cutting it. The impact of the the installed steel bars had been sufficient to overcome the impacts; the
method of cutting the opening is that the drilling machine caused a de- slab was subjected to during cutting the opening.

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

a) Short Reinforcement. B) Hooked Reinforcement. c) Full Length Reinforcement.

Fig. 13. The effect of the opening time and strengthening on load-deflection curves.

Table 5 that of S2, the absorbed energy decreased as well from 1334.2 N·mm to
The energy absorption of the tested specimens. 467.60 N·mm due to the opening.
Slab Opening EU Eu/Eu, control Eu/Eu, control
By differentiating between the load-deflection of the tested slabs (S1
(N·mm) S1 S2 & S2), and slabs (S4, S6, and S8) of (case A) as shown in Fig. 12b, we
learned that the internal reinforcement around the opening enhanced
S1 No 1047.5 1.00 2.24 the stiffness of the slabs at the working stage compared with slab (S2)
S2 Yes 467.60 0.45 1.00
S4 Case A 316.918 0.30 0.68
but not more than that of slab S1. After the working stage, and the crack
S6 Case A 799.60 0.76 1.71 initiation, the additional steel around the opening had increased the
S8 Case A 674.87 0.64 1.44 stiffness of the slab more than the two controls tested slabs (S1, and S2).
S5 Case B 288.55 0.28 0.62 This may be due to the increase in the cracking moment of inertia
S7 Case B 389.27 0.37 0.83
through the depth of the slab as a result of the presence of the tension
S9 Case B 1076.95 1.03 2.30
S10 Case A 746.89 0.71 1.60 cracks on the bottom side of the slab which in turn caused an increase in
S11 Case B 430.89 0.41 0.92 the calculated effective moment of inertia. The calculated absorbed
energy for slab S4, S6, and S8 were 316.918 N·mm, 799.6 N·mm, and
Where Eu: is the absorbed energy. 674.87 N·mm; the absorbed energy decreased than that of the control
slab (S1) from 30% to 76%. Despite the fact that the opening had
By studying the effect of EB CFRP laminates strengthening on slabs' caused a decrease in the ductility of the two-way RC beamed slabs
behavior, we found that cutting the opening after casting and before compared with the control two-way solid slab, the existence of
loading (case A) caused an increase by 14% in the failure load com- strengthening reinforcing steel around the opening enhanced the ef-
pared to slab (S1). For case B, the external strengthening used caused a fective moment of inertia after cracking.
reduction in the failure by 22% compared to slab S2. As mentioned By observing the load-deflection of the control slabs (S1, and S2),
above, the process of creating the opening caused deterioration in the and the tested slabs (S5, S7, and S9) as shown in Fig. 12c, we noticed
bond between the concrete, and the adhesive epoxy. Besides, the that the external reinforcement around the opening affected the beha-
method used for cutting the opening “drilling” affected also the slab vior of the slab depending on its development length, and shape.
strength, and consequently, the efficiency of the strengthening tech- Whereas, there obvious enhancement in the stiffness of the slabs had
nique. occurred by increasing the length of the additional reinforcement bars.
In case of the straight, and the hook steel bars, the energy absorption
was equal to 288.55 N·mm, and 389.27 N·mm respectively which was
3.3. Load deflection relation analysis less than the absorbed energy of the control tested slabs (S1), and (S2).
The load-deflection curves of the tested slabs strengthened ex-
The relation between the load, and the measured deflection; at the ternally with CFRP laminates (S10, and S11) were shown in Fig. 12d.
nearest point to the center of the slabs were shown in Figs. 12 and 13. From the figure, we noted that the strengthening by CFRP increased the
The energy absorption of two-way RC beamed slabs was calculated to stiffness of the slab than that of the control slab S2. It also enhanced the
be equal to the area under the load-deflection curves as listed in performance of the slab compared to the tested slab (S2). On the other
Table 5. side by installing CFRP layer, then, cutting the opening, the capacity,
As shown in Fig. 12a, the load-deflection of the tested slabs S1, and and ductility of the slab decreased. In all cases the allowable value of
S2 clarified that the opening affected the behavior of the two-way RC deflection (L/250) is set in the curves; it is observed the corresponding
slabs. After the initial cracking, the stiffness of slab S1 was more than

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

a) Control Slabs S1 and S2. b) Slabs with internal strengthening.

c) Slabs with NSM Steel bars. d) Slabs with EB CFRP.

Fig. 14. The relation between load and strain of main steel bars at the mid-span section besides opening of the two-way RC beamed slab.

load to the value of this deflection proved to be higher than the slabs 3.4. Load strain relationship analysis
capacity in normal conditions. Hence it assured the effectiveness of the
strengthening techniques especially for S9 of case B. The relation between the loads and the reinforcing steel bars strains;
those bars at the edge of the opening are shown in Fig. 14. By com-
paring between the values of the strains in S1 and S2 (shown in
Fig. 14a), it was found that after cracking the strains of steel bars in S2

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

a) Cracks’ Pattern for solid slab (S1) b) Cracks’ Pattern for slabs with openings
Fig. 15. Proposed crack patterns of tested two-way control RC slabs (S1) and (S2).

Table 6 the strain of steel bar of control two-way beamed slab with opening
the comparing between experimental and theoretical yield line ultimate load (S2).
for control two-way spanning slabs.
Group Slab Opening PFailure Yield line (PFailureYL/PFailure) 4. Theoretical analysis using yield line
(kN) PFailure YL (kN)
Yield Line Design is a well-founded method of designing reinforced
Control slab S1 No 85.3 84.58 100.85%
concrete slabs, and similar types of elements. It uses Yield Line Theory
S2 Yes 70.11 79.27 113.06%
to investigate failure mechanisms at the ultimate limit state. The theory
is based on the principle that:
Work done in yield lines rotating = Work done in loads moving.

4.1. Energy dissipation

From studying the experimental real cracks patterns of slabs, the

yield line cracking patterns were suggested for slab (S1) and two-way
beamed solid slabs with central opening (S2) as shown in Fig. 15.
As shown in Table 6, in slab (S1), the ratio between the theoretical
maximum loads using Yield Line Theory and the experimental max-
imum loads was 100.85%. In slab (S2), the ratios between the theore-
tical maximum loads using Yield Line Theory and the experimental
maximum loads was 113.06%. The yield line pattern agrees with the
Fig. 16. Proposed cracks' patterns of tested strengthened two-way RC beamed
experimental result, other cracking patterns used give minimum value
of theoretical load could be considered.

Table 7 4.2. The increase in the ultimate load of slabs due to adding additional
The maximum load of strengthened two way beamed supported slab. reinforcement around opening
Slab Opening Failure P additional bars by Total load Ratio between
loads yield line PYL/PExp In the two-way beamed slabs which were externally and internally
strengthened, the cracks' pattern was same as that of the control slab
S1 No 85.3 – 84.58 0.992
S2 Yes 70.11 – 79.27 1.131 with opening S2 as shown in Fig. 16. And the maximum load due to
S4 Case A 80.75 12.35 91.62 1.135 Yield Line Theory is equal to the maximum load of control opened slab
S6 Case A 106.3 12.35 91.62 0.862 S2. The additional load due to additional steel reinforcement around
S8 Case A 100.41 20.60 99.87 0.995 opening that can be calculated as the following.
S5 Case B 54.2 15.68 94.95 1.752
S7 Case B 65.2 15.68 94.95 1.456 ΣPadd × δ = ΣMadd × θ (1)
S9 Case B 116 26.15 105.39 0.909
S10 Case A 80.08 45.5 97.8 1.22 where; Padd is the additional load, δ is the deflection, θbar is the angle of
S11 Case B 54.5 45.5 97.8 1.19 rotation of bars passing through two segments of the slab and Madd is
the additional moment calculated as the following equation

is Significantly higher than that of S1. This could be explained; as S2 ΣMadd × θ = Tadd × (dadd − a/2) (2)
had an un-strengthened opening the reinforcing bars must have shared where θ is the angle of rotation of bars passing through two segments of
earlier in the load resistance due to the presence of the opening. From the slab, Tadd is the additional tensile force, dadd the effective depth due
Fig. 14b and c; the internal additional steel bars around the opening ti the increased bars.
caused a decrease in strain values compared with the control opening
slab (S2). However, the tested slab (S 9) with the full length anchorage ⎧ AS,int × f y incase of additional internal reinforcement
showed a decrease in the strain. From Fig. 14d it is obvious that the Tadd A s,NSM × f y incase of using NSM technique

strain of steel bar in slab with EB CFRP (case B) is approximately equal ⎩ Af × ffe incase of using externally bonded CFRP (3)

M. Mahlis et al. Structures 16 (2018) 137–149

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