Investigating what performance criteria is required of precast flooring at feasibility stage will offer advantages regarding what type of panels can be used. The size and type of support structure/pier would be most suitable, for example: steel, brick or concrete. These decisions can ease knock-on effects later. Even though glass block flooring is treated as a finishing trade, the planning is best considered as the building superstructure is being designed.
Loading calculations for panels are worked out based upon the type of block, width of joint, border, gauge, quantity of reinforcement, depth and length of the panel and the number of sides supported. If the bearing supports the panel on only two or three sides the loading strength of the panel(s) will be reduced calculable on the unsupported span.
The quantity and gauge of steel reinforcement is based upon the panel size and loading requirements or fire rating specification. A minimum of two reinforcement bars are used within the joints and generally more within the perimeter border. The diameter will be determined by the performance and is between ∅6, ∅8, ∅10 or ∅12mm.
The mortar used to make prefabricated glass block slabs is based upon a Portland cement mix.
Two styles of panel finish are available: