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Concrete Floor Slabs on Cambered Structural Steel

ASCC Position Statement #39

Concrete floors placed on metal decking are often supported by unshored cambered structural steel beams. The objectives of this steel-concrete system are to obtain a level floor and a slab thickness within tolerances as the fresh concrete is placed and screeded on the metal decking supported by the cambered steel beams. To accomplish these objectives requires the dead load deflection of the concrete to offset the induced camber in the steel beam. If these do not offset, the finished concrete floor elevation may be too high or too low.

The economical use of cambered steel beams is considered standard practice (“Economical Use of Cambered Steel Beams” by Larson and Huzzard, AISC, Conference Proceedings, 2003) and requires the concrete contractor to place a constant slab thickness, within tolerances, that provides the dead load deflection to offset the design engineer’s specified camber. However, there is no exact science for either specifying or providing the required amount of camber.

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