Flared Concrete Column

Photo Credit: Karl Jansen

This is a great example of a flared concrete column. As you can see, the top of the circular column which supports the above structure is flared in a square section. This allows for a wider (and less dense) distribution of loads from above being transferred to the column.

  • Jake Clay

    Does this flared column reduce the load transferred through the length of the column, or simply protect the upper portion of this column?

  • Alex R Mead

    Jake, a flared column top like this is called a column capital. The purpose is to reduce the stress on the slab or beam in which the column connects. It reduces the chances of a phenomena called punch through of the column through the slab. At least that is what I have been taught it is called.

  • Karl Jansen

    I think the flared column does more to protect the upper portion of the column. The only way to reduce the load being transferred through the length of the column would be to take some load off the structural members above.
    Thanks Alex for confirming…

  • Jake Clay

    Thanks for your responses guys.They both make it easier to understand. Is punching of a column through a slab a common consideration in structural design?

    • Alex R Mead

      Yes, it would be part of any structural analysis.