What is Dead Load? Explain different types of Dead Load in details with example.
Dead load, also known as permanent or static load, refers to the weight of the structural components and other permanent elements of a building or structure that remain constant over time. These loads are typically self-weight and do not change significantly during the lifespan of the structure. Dead loads are an essential consideration in structural engineering and construction as they affect the design, stability, and safety of a structure.
Various types of dead loads can be categorized based on the nature and characteristics of the components they represent. Here are some examples:
- Structural Dead Load: This type of dead load includes the weight of the structural elements of a building, such as columns, beams, slabs, walls, and the materials used to construct them. These loads are inherent to the structure and are always present. For instance, in a reinforced concrete building, the structural dead load includes the weight of the concrete and the reinforcing steel.
- Partition Load: Partition walls are non-load-bearing walls that are used to divide the internal space of a building. Although they do not contribute significantly to the overall structural strength, they still add to the dead load of the structure. The weight of partition walls, along with any finishes applied to them, is considered a partition load.
- Floor Finish Load: Floor finishes include materials like tiles, carpet, linoleum, or hardwood that are applied to the floor surface for functional or aesthetic purposes. The weight of these finishes contributes to the dead load of the floor system. For example, in a commercial building, the dead load would include the weight of the floor tiles or carpeting.
- Built-in Services Load: Built-in services refer to permanent fixtures within a structure, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, electrical conduits, plumbing pipes, ductwork, and fire suppression systems. These systems have their own weight and contribute to the dead load. The weight of these components is accounted for in the design and construction of the structure.
- Equipment Load: In certain structures, heavy equipment or machinery may be permanently installed. Examples include industrial equipment, generators, or large storage systems. The weight of such equipment is considered a dead load and must be factored into the design to ensure the structure can safely support it.
It’s important to note that the specific dead loads in a structure may vary depending on the type of building, its purpose, and local building codes. Engineers and architects carefully calculate and consider these dead loads during the design phase to ensure the structural integrity and safety of the building throughout its lifespan.