A floor is split into panels
to help control shrinkage induced problems; such as random cracking and
exceedingly wide joints. The outer edges of the panel will always shrink
towards the centre.
Ensuring a panel has a low
aspect ratio is very important in reducing the chance of cracks developing at
the corners. It should be as close to 1 as possible but anything up to 1.5 is
The maximum size for a panel
in a floor containing induced joints is around 6m x 6m. This ensures that the
induced joints don’t open far enough for the arrises to get damaged by MHE.
In a jointless bay, a single panel can be up to 35m x 35m, as long as
restraint to shrinkage is kept to an absolute minimum. However, when a panel
this large is installed, the joints around the edge can be expected to open
very wide. Therefore it is important to take measures to protect the arrises of
these joints (e.g. joint armour).