A structural system consisting of slabs with uniform thickness supported directly on columns without beams is called a flat slab system. A flat slab does not have a drop panel or column capital in the column regions. This is an advantage that ensures a minimum storey height, i.e., a more economical structure. Construction is also greatly simplified and accelerated by using flying forms which are simply moved as a unit from floor to floor. Although nowadays flat slab structures are commonplace and regulations for their design are found in building codes, there are still many issues in this area where our knowledge is insufficient The simplicity displayed by both the shape of such structures and the technology employed in their construction does not extend to their analysis when compared with the analysis of traditional beam-column skeletal structures.
Flat slabs have failed without warning by punching shear in the vicinity of slab-column connections. Also, slab-column connections subjected to high lateral loads fail due to the lack of ductility. Till early 1950 the problem of punching shear strength of flat slabs had not been investigated. With the tests by Kinnunen and Nylander (1960) and Moe (1961) a systematical study of the punching shear strength of slab-column connections began which till today cannot be regarded as complete. Tests started at the University of Calgary in the seventies lead to the development of the shear studs, a very effective form of shear reinforcement
Most of the information available in the literature about the shear strength of slab- column connections is based on test results of near full scale isolated slab-column specimens. These test specimens represent approximately the negative mome...
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