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The Prediction of Structural Failures.

Sibly, P; (1977) The Prediction of Structural Failures. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is mainly concerned with the prediction of one class of structural failure, namely that due to the extrapolation of existing design or construction procedures to fit new situations. Four failures were examined in depth in an attempt to establish a realistic procedure for avoiding such accidents. The. structures studied were large metal bridges because these have represented the forefront of technology for as long or longer than any comparable example. The examples chosen were the Dee Railway Bridge (collapsed 1847), the Tay Bridge (1879), the first Quebec cantilever bridge (1907) and the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge (1940). Great care was taken to study the accidents and preceding events as contemporary' engineers would have seen them, and it is believed that this is the first time this type. of investigation has been made. The pattern that emerged from this was that the designers all used existing data which they were confident applied to their work. Not until after the accident did it become apparent that this was not the case, and that the data had originally been derived with very different conditions in mind, often for applications which seemed insignificant alongside the failed structure. In conclusion the author suggests how similar situations could be avoided in the future by the setting up of review procedures to assess new developments in the light of existing practices and the facts on which these are based. An outline of the costs of the accidents studied suggests very strongly that such work would be economically justifiable.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The Prediction of Structural Failures.
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS. Some images have been excluded due to third party copyright.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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