The Effects of Seasonal Thermal Loads at Expansion Joints Locations in Arabic Area buildings
Concrete buildings are subjected to fluctuation in seasonal temperature loads between summer and winter in the Arabic area. The long-term effects on buildings of such temperatures, along with the frequent fluctuation in the seasonal temperatures impose overall structural deformation, displacements, and alteration of stresses in concrete elements. The thermally induced deformations affect the serviceability conditions of buildings with time. Concrete creep and shrinkage will increase the cracks widths and the imposed stresses too. To eliminate this phenomenon effects, expansion joints should be provided. However, as per the buildings functions and trend to develop unique buildings by designers, joint-less buildings are usually the preferred option. When using this option, the structural engineer has to consider the effects of thermal loads changes in the design. Clear rules and standards must be provided to define the maximum joints spacing’s allowed length in addition to thermal study procedures. Different approaches are provided by researchers, each methodology provide different value for required joints spacing considering different aspects in design. In this paper I shall try to present three methods with comparison study for considered aspects and gaps for each method analysis to propose the most appropriate methodology as a tool helps engineers in calculating the maximum allowed spacing between expansion joints.