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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

With the vast growth in complexity of designs of buildings, the existence of

new and improved structural systems is needed to let safety stays the top priority on

these advancements. One of such advancements is the expansion of span between

columns, posting higher dead load to be carried by structural components. To abide

with this change, bubble deck system had been patented to reduce the dead loads by

the removal of non-carrying part of the concrete and replacement of hollow spheres

with them.

Bubble deck slab system is a revolutionary biaxial concrete floor system that

was developed in Europe on the 1990’s by Jorgen Breuning (BubbleDeck- UK 2008).

The traditional bubble deck technology uses spheres made out of recycled materials to

achieve a significant reduction of dead weight by as much as 50%, allowing longer

spans and lesser supporting structure than traditional solutions. Therefore, bubble deck

slabs possess handful advantages compared to traditional concrete slab, such as lower

total cost, reduced material use, and enhanced structural efficiency, decreased

construction time, and is a green technology.


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Yet despite this breakthrough in the field of engineering, people never cease to

ponder on this system and innovate for its optimization. One of such movements is the

proposal of the replacement of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bubbles with locally

available high strength plastic, say Cellulose Acetate (CA).

From the website of Science Omnexus (2019), Cellulose Acetate has toughness

of 400 J m 2 while HDPE only has maximum toughness of 220 J m 2 . CA is also non

porous and corrosion inhibitors, characteristics that are ideal as alternative for HDPE.

Inspired by the challenge imposed by this breakthrough, the researchers

decided to utilize locally commercialized cellulose acetate spheres alongside an aim of

designing new patterns of sphere allocation in the bubble deck slab.

Objectives of the Study

This study aims to evaluate the flexural strength of different bubble deck

slab designs utilizing hollow cellulose acetate.

Specifically, it tends to address the following:

1. Test the flexural strength of the bubble deck slabs;

2. Determine the strength-weight ratio of the bubble deck slabs; and

3. Analysis of the cost in the fabrication of the slabs.


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Significance of the Study

The researchers believed that this study could be beneficial to different

stakeholders.

Although the manifest function of this study is restricted to academic purposes

only, this study could ignite a breakthrough in local businesses should the concept be

adopted. On the 600 plus bubble deck projects in the world, no known construction

industry in the Philippines has this technology but with the promising results of this

study, people could see better days.

Hypothetically, should the Philippines undergo this big leap in construction

system, the community could have wider array of safe and strong building designs

with longer spans between columns while enjoying a cut down in the expenses in the

construction of these buildings.

To future researchers, this study could provide them with accessible

information valuable in the fabrication of bubble deck slab. Should they gain the

interest on this system, the recommendations indicated in the last part of this paper

shall enable them to eclipse the study and bring this technology in greater heights.

Researches as this are ways by which those endowed with intellectual prowess

can better the construction technologies that the world has been using until now. It is

therefore the end goal of this study that the information presented in this paper serve
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as guide for the innovation of new technologies that shall solve the hindrances and

restrictions that complex buildings presently have.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study focuses on the use of commercially available cellulose acetate

spheres in the construction of bubble deck slab. Three designs were devised that come

with codes as BO, BI, and BA. As control sample, a batch of conventional slabs (CS)

were also manufactured.

After 28 days of curing period, the researchers recorded the flexural strength

of the samples, took their respective weight and solved for their strength-weight

ratios. Expenses listed during the manufacture of the slabs were also analyzed.

At the finale, the researchers chose the best design of bubble deck slab

considering both the strength-weight ratio and the cost.

Definition of Terms

ASTM C78. This test method which utilizes third-point loading is used to determine the

flexural strength of simple beams or slabs.

BA. This serves as code for the bubble deck slab with bubbles scattered along its

entire span. See Figure 3.


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BI. It is a representation for the bubble deck slab with bubbles allocated at the

sample's inner area. See Figure 4.

BO. This refers to bubble deck slab with bubbles patterned at the sample's outer area.

See Figure 5.

Cellulose Acetate or CA. This is a nonflammable thermoplastic polymer made by

acetylating celluose, used as basis of artificial fibers and plastic.

BDS or Bubble deck slab. This is an engineered floor system with an aim of

reducing the dead load carried by the structure by the removal of non-carrying

concrete and the replacement of hollow spheres or bubbles.

Flexural Strength. It is the measure of the tensile strength of the slabs. Flexural

strength identifies the amount of stress and force an unreinforced concrete slab, beam

or other structure can withstand such that it resists any bending failures.

Hollow spheres or hollow bubbles. These are, obviously, hollow spheres made from

specified kind of plastic. The removed non-carrying concrete from the slab are

replaced with these hollow spheres or bubbles.

Strength-Weight Ratio. This is the quotient of the flexural strength and weight of

each of the slab. This will be used in the assessment of the pattern allocations used.

UTM. This stands for Universal Testing Machine that is used in testing of the

flexural strength of slab samples.