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kmead (Structural)
25 Jul 09 16:26
I am looking for any helpful information on the design grade beams.  Are they typically designed like a typical concrete beam that is continuous over the pile caps, or are there any other considerations I need to look out for?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.   
archeng59 (Structural)
25 Jul 09 17:12
I design them as a typical concrete beam supported on and spanning between piers or pile caps.
csd72 (Structural)
27 Jul 09 6:38
ditto.
Teguci (Structural)
27 Jul 09 9:48
In the past I have designed some mammouth grade beams between pile caps.  Be careful about how you connect the grade beams to the pile caps.  Usually a pile cap will resist rotation.  Consequently the grade beam should have top reinforcement developed through the centerline of the pile cap (usually develop it to the other side of the PC).  Shear loads can be large.  and 8'x3' grade beam is not unheard of.  Shear reinforcement can be multiple layers of #6 stirrups and, in some cases, should be extended into the pile cap.  For underslung grade beams in pile caps, provide some hanger steel similar to the shear reinforcement.
jike (Structural)
27 Jul 09 10:00
I recommend always being conservative in steel design for grade beams since there may be some unexpected settlements which will affect the moments and shears.
kmead (Structural)
27 Jul 09 12:01
Thank you all for the responses, they are very helpful, I appreciate it.

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