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Theses, Masters


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Manufacture of pre-stressed hollow core flooring (from here on referred to as (‘slabs’) can be traced through a number of steps. These steps can generally be arranged in the following order; 1. Receipt of a drawing indicating the area that the client requires to be floored. 2. Production of a new drawing showing the layout of individual slabs over the proposed floor area. 3. Production of design calculations to B.S. 8110 (or other design specification) that adequately covers each slab within the floor layout drawing according to its individual design criteria. 4. Production of sheets for manufacture of slabs showing the physical and geometrical properties of each individual slab. 5. Manufacture of slabs 6. Transport of slabs from place of manufacture to site. 7. Placing of slabs on site Slabs are generally modular r in nature and depending on the individual manufacturer’s profile come in varying lengths of either 1200mm or 2400mm wide. The production of floor layout drawings thus tends to be repetitive which leaves then open for automation via computer technology. Since all floor slabs are of a uniform cross section their design will be dictated by their loading conditions and the presence of not of a structural screed. Design calculations can also be modelled using computer technology. It was the intention of this study to automate as much as possible steps 2 to 4 from above thus reducing valuable time spent by manufacturer’s staff on repetitive duties. In attempting this study exposed the framework necessary to develop the IT package and steps 2 and 3 were adequately covered. An attempt was made to cover step 4 which worked for the simplest of cases. A very basic package was developed which could cater for uncomplicated small floor layouts. While most of the time was spent writing code to perform vital tasks the code need to manipulate the user-interface was neglected. For industry standards this is a most important area and a huge amount of thought would be necessary to develop this aspect of the package. AutoCAD is the preferred drawing tool of the building industry and as such it was chosen as the main environment for the development of the information. Technology (referred to as IT subsequently) package. During the development of this thesis AutoCAD proved extremely versatile and the structure of its internal architecture made it a very powerful tool to work with. To complement AutoCAD Borland’s Delphi was chosen as the environment to write the non-drawing dependent software. The learning curve which Delphi is quite steep for a beginner but once mastered it has all the tools available for the most complex of software solutions.



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