Concrete Slab Design

MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design

NEW - Automated Concrete Wall Design in finite element frames


The MasterSeries 2023 release now includes the design of FE Shear Walls as part of our Concrete Slab Design Module, which has now been renamed to MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design.

MasterFrame and Finite Element Analysis 

MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design is considered an add-on module.

MasterFrame and MasterFrame: Finite Element Analysis are also required, for the FEM based design of Concrete Slabs and Shear Walls to EC2 (Eurocode 2) alongside MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design.

Multi storey concrete building - bottom rebar unity ratio
MasterKey: FE Analysis - Typical Concrete Slab Analysis

These Analysis and Design Modules can come individually, as bundles or can be incorporated into our very popular; PowerPad and Building Design Suites.

Your 3d Frame and all its Geometric and Material Properties, plus loading can be setup and analysed within MasterFrame's FE Analysis Module, then designed using the integrated Concrete Slab and Wall Design.

MasterSeries Concrete Wall Finite Element FE Analysis to EC2
MasterKey: FE Analysis - Typical Concrete Wall Analysis

Once this analysis has been carried out, the slabs and walls can be designed in our Concrete Slab and Wall Design module.

MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design

With the updated MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design module, the specification and design of longitudinal and shear reinforcement in slabs and walls is now an easy process, allowing you to interactively identify and resolve any failure areas.

Our software allows you to design to Eurocode, British Standard and South African codes. Concrete Shear Walls are designed only to Eurocode.

Overstressed bottom steel in a transfer slab
MasterSeries Concrete Slab Design
Shear Wall Design to Eurocode EC2 with Structural Engineering Software
MasterKey: Concrete Wall Design -  Design Method using a Pier Subdivision of 5 Equal Strips at Fixed Width

"For many years, AL Alia Structural Engineers have been using the Masterseries Software to design a different types of steel, timber and Concrete structures, Lately we have purchased the latest Concrete FE Slab design which we can confirm that it's very powerful and friendly. Rebar design is now a fast, simple and logical process."
AL Alia Trading & Contracting Management

Slab Reinforcement Design

Longitudinal Slab Reinforcement

The basic premise is to provide a consistent background of basic reinforcement throughout, and then add additional reinforcement if required. The graphical unity ratios below clearly show the failing zones of the slab, where additional reinforcement need to be placed.

Top XX reinforcement unity ratios showing failure over column heads and walls
MasterFrame: Finite Element Analysis - Concrete Slab Required Reinforcement

When carrying out a Concrete Slab Design we can get specify two types of additional reinforcements:

  • Peak reinforcement: can be placed over a point (for example column head, wall end or point load). Peak reinforcement zone contains two sets of orthogonal bars (shown below)
  • Strip reinforcement: similar to the Peak reinforcement, but only has reinforcement in one direction (parallel or perpendicular to the centerline of the reinforcement zone). Can be placed with drawing the centerline of the strip
Peak zone reinforcement for inner and outer strips over a column head
MasterKey: Concrete Slab Design - Column Head Peak Reinforcement

The Auto Design function can find, not just the most economical reinforcement solution (bar sizes and spacing) but is also able to optimise the size of the additional reinforcement zones. The below design is using inner & outer peak strips to reduce the rebar used.

Concrete slab reinforcement
Top XX - Concrete slab reinforcement provided

Punching Shear Design

Punching shear design check can be placed on column heads, wall ends and corners.

The design check automatically identifies the position (internal or external), the column/wall shape etc. and determines the punching shear parameters.

Concrete slab punching shear design
Concrete slab punching shear design

If punching shear reinforcement is required, the design automatically creates the reinforcement arrangement based on the selected rebar layout.

MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design offers four types of rebar layout:

  • Equally spaced on perimeter
  • Radial layout
  • Even grid
  • Cruciform for support face
Wall Reinforcement Design

New to MasterSeries 2023 is the introduction of the Concrete Shear Wall Design to the Concrete Slab Design module.

displacement of shear wall panel to eurocode 2
MasterKey: FE Analysis - Typical Concrete Wall Analysis

The Shear Wall module similarly relies on MasterFrame: Finite Element Analysis Software to produce Finite Element Surfaces, for analysis to be carried out within MasterFrame. Once carried out the Walls can be designed within MasterKey: Concrete Wall Design.

Wall Pier Reinforcement Design

The Wall Design module allows for sub-dividing a vertical wall panel known as a 'Pier', to a series of column-like strips to help get an accurate design for each based on the various applied stresses and forces (axial, bending and shear), allowing the user a great amount of control over the 'Design Methodology' used here.

concrete shear wall design using eurocode 2 ec2
MasterKey: Concrete Wall Design - Design Method using a Pier Subdivision of 5 Equal Strips at Fixed Width

Wall Coupling Beam Design

Beams which span between the Wall 'Piers' above and below openings are typically classed as 'Coupling Beams'. These transfer loads and moments and can be designed within the software as a standard beam design, or as a 'Strut and Tie' check.

coupling beam shear wall design to eurocode 2 ec2
MasterKey: Concrete Wall Design - Coupling Beam

Pier and Coupler Beam Auto-Generation and 'Design Sets' 

For the management of your design, MasterSeries can easily auto-select and define each of the wall 'Pier' and 'Coupler Beams' depending on their geometric configuration. The 'Auto-Design' feature then allows for the specification of reinforcement for each individual pier or beam.

Using the Multi-Select Feature, MasterSeries allows for the quick rationalisation of the different elements, to define some commonality for the specification of reinforcement across different panels and beams.

shear wall reinforcement in masterseries to eurocode 2 ec2
MasterKey: Concrete Design - Defining Reinforcement
Long-Term Slab Deflection

MasterKey: Concrete Slab Design also provides facilities to fully calculate deflections for concrete slabs.

The 'Slab Deflection and Crack Control' element of the Concrete Slab Design Module, carries out an iterative non-linear analysis that allows us to get a more accurate deflection than the equivalent linear analysis primarily used for determining ULS moments and design.

This non-linear analysis accounts for many varying factors through different stages of the early life of the slab, taking into account the concrete properties, its strength over time as well as the different loadings applied onto the slab to determine the calculation of the deflection of the structure.

Long-Term Deflection Calculation

  • Non-linear analysis
  • Taking account of applied reinforcement
  • Including cracking, creep, shrinkage and load event sequencing
Slab Deflection at 10 days (mm)
Slab Deflection at 10 days (mm)

Deflection Check Lines

  • Multiple deflection criteria
  • Check lines between any two points (typically between support locations or cantilever support to free end)
  • Differential deflection between two times
Slab deflection check at a Check Line
Slab deflection check at a Check Line

Crack Width Calculation

  • Includes the effects of in-plane axial forces (membrane forces)
  • Cracking width given on two orthogonal (or rebar) directions
Crack Width Check
Crack Width Check

Design Codes

Design to:

  • EuroCode 2 - Includes default, UK Nationally Determined Parameter. Open system for user definition of other country NDP's
    • Concrete Shear Walls currently only design to EC2
  • South African SABS 0100
  • BS 8110

You can instantly switch between design codes to compare results.


MasterKey: Concrete Slab and Wall Design returns a wide range of analysis outputs which helps the engineer to identify "hot spots" for reinforcing design.

Applied slab reinforcement unity ratio

The detailed results with graphics can be included in a report or just simply exported to MS Word. The reinforcement drawings with appropriate keys can be exported into AutoCAD DXF or DWG files for further detailing.

Applied slab reinforcement export to DWG drawing
MasterKey: Concrete Slab Design - Applied slab reinforcement export to DWG drawing
Eurocode 2 ec2 Shear Wall Reinforcement Ouput
MasterKey: Concrete Wall Design - Reinforcement Output

Stand Alone Product

Requires MasterFrame Finite Element Analysis

Part of Building Design Suite

Optional component. Requires MasterFrame Finite Element Analysis

Included in PowerPad

Not included. Can be added

Integrated Product

With MasterFrame Finite Element Analysis

Related Products
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The ultimate 3D building design solution for all multi-material building projects.

MasterFrame: Finite Element Analysis

MasterFrame Finite Element Analysis FEA module combines the power of MasterFrame with the Finite Element Analysis method to significantly expand your analysis and design capabilities