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A concrete slab is a common structural element of modern buildings. Horizontal slabs of steel reinforced concrete, typically between 100 and 500 millimeters thick, are most often used to construct floors and ceilings, while thinner slabs are also used for exterior paving.
In many domestic and industrial buildings a thick concrete slab, supported on foundations or directly on the subsoil, is used to construct the ground floor of a building. In high rise buildings and skyscrapers, thinner, pre-cast concrete slabs are slung between the steel frames to form the floors and ceilings on each level.
On the technical drawings, reinforced concrete slabs are often abbreviated to “r.c.slab” or simply “r.c.”.
In situ concrete slabs are built on the building site using formwork – a type of boxing into which the wet concrete is poured. If the slab is to be reinforced, the rebars are positioned within the formwork before the concrete is poured in. Plastic tipped metal, or plastic bar chairs are used to hold the rebar away from the bottom and sides of the form-work, so that when the concrete sets it completely envelops the reinforcement.