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Unit dead load vs unit weight

  1. Oct 18, 2014 #1
    What is the difference between the unit dead load and the unit weight of a material?

    For example, the unit weight for structural concrete is 145lb/ft^3. What would the unit dead load be? 145lb?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2014 #2


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    It depends on how many cubic feet of concrete you have. If you have 1 cubic foot, the dead load is 145 lbs.; 2 cubic feet, 290 lbs.; etc., etc.
  4. Oct 18, 2014 #3

    Simon Bridge

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    The plain ordinary "dead load" is the unit weight times the volume.

    I have seen the term "unit dead load" in specifications to refer to the same thing as the unit weight, or to the load of the specific structural unit (floor, house, office, bridge, whatever) under consideration. I've also seen it expressed in force-per-unit-area - so I'd say: check the context.
    If your text book uses the term, you should review the section that first talks about it to see what the text author is doing (and if they are being consistent).

    i.e. http://www.bgstructuralengineering.com/BGASCE7/BGASCE7003/
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