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A panel is an area of a floor slab bounded by joints.

Technical Information

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 still acceptable.

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). 

Related Definitions


  1. The Concrete Society: Technical Report 34; 4.3.1.


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