Form deck is used as a stay-in-place form system for elevated concrete floors. The strength of the form deck does not contribute to the final load carrying capacity of the floor system – only to support the weight of the wet concrete during pouring. The concrete itself must be designed to carry the permanent weight of the concrete plus live loads. Shoring may be required for longer spans with this type of decking.
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Composite deck is used in conjunction with the strength of the concrete to develop a composite system. Embossments in the vertical ribs will bond to the concrete to develop the composite action. Shoring may also be required for longer spans with this type of deck. A commmon question comes up from time to time regarding whether to turn the wide ribs up or down. The deck capacity changes very little in either configuration. When shear studs are used on the beams, with the wide ribs turned down, higher capacities are obtained, due to the increased section properties of the concrete section. If no shear studs are specified we recommend to turn the narrow ribs down in order to save on concrete. The reduction in capacity is negligible.
Understanding how to properly specify metal deck is just one of the ways engineers and contractors can learn to work together on the same page.
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