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Footings support the entire structure and distribute the load to the ground. The size and shape of a footing depend upon the design of the structure. In a small footing (fig. 7-2), "steel mats" or reinforcements are generally preassembled and placed after the forms have been set. In large or continuous footings, such as those found under bearing walls, steel mats are constructed in place.


A column is a slender, vertical member that carries a superimposed load. Concrete columns, especially those subjected to bending stresses, must always be reinforced with steel. A PIER or PEDESTAL is a compressive member that is short (usually the height is less than three times the least lateral dimension) in relation to its cross-sectional area and carries no bending stress. In concrete columns, vertical reinforcement is the principal reinforcement. However, a loaded column shortens vertically and expands laterally; hence, lateral reinforcements in the form of lateral ties are used to restrain the expansion. Columns reinforced in this manner are called tied columns (fig. 7-3, view A). If the restraining reinforcement is a continuous winding spiral that encircles the core and longitudinal steel, the column is called a spiral column (fig, 7-3, view B).


Beams are the principal load-carrying horizontal members. They take the load directly from the floor and carry it to the columns. Concrete beams can either be cast in place or precast and transported to the jobsite. Figure 7-4 shows several common types of beam reinforcing steel shapes. Both straight and bent-up principal

Figure 7-4.-Typica1 shapes of reinforcing steel.

reinforcing bars are needed to resist the bending tension in the bottom over the central portion of the span. Fewer bars are necessary on the bottom near the ends of the span where the bending moment is small. For this reason, some bars may be bent so that the inclined portion can be used to resist diagonal tension. The reinforcing bars of continuous beams are continued across the supports to resist tension in the top in that area.

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