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Newsletter No 11 - July 2008

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Report Overview

In this edition there are examples which show the importance of inspection and maintenance on external structures. The failure of a culvert roof was prevented by timely inspection but the staircase in a multi-storey car park collapsed. There are comments on precast joint failures, the failure of a lifting bolt, and another case of a member that was found to be cracked after galvanising. A query about partition loads for timber construction is answered. If attention is paid to these warnings potential collapses will be avoided. SCOSS/CROSS intends to develop a website to allow designers, contractors, and checkers, to search for issues relating to their field of work but this depends upon getting additional funding. In the meantime engineers can read the CROSS Newsletters, which are all on the web site, and contribute their own anecdotes and experiences. Safeguards are in place to ensure the confidentiality of reporters by removing references that might identify a person, a firm, a project, a product, or other distinguishing feature. Reports can however be submitted with no identification except for the name of the reporter. This is to be sure of authenticity but after telephone confirmation names are not kept and the original documents are returned to reporters. Reports may be sent on behalf of firms or organisations so that there is more openness and a wider distribution of lessons from which others may learn. The director of CROSS will always be pleased to discuss how a concern may be addressed. For the scheme to continue to thrive more reports are needed so if you have an experience that could be passed on please send a report by post or email or simply by telephone. In the reports that follow the normal text is that of the reporter, whilst the italic comments in green are from the CROSS panel of experts.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

105 Follow up to Liquid Metal Assisted Cracking (LMAC)

A recent case involving cracking around holes in large structural components was detected immediately after galvanising as a result of the team being aware of the need for post galvanising inspection.

106 Car park staircase collapse at construction joint

The top flight of a staircase to a multi-storey concrete car park collapsed approximately 10 years after construction. The stair was constructed insitu and cast against the existing slab which had protruding continuity reinforcement. The failure occurred at the construction joint between the slab and the stair landing.

107 Precast joint failures

A reporter is interested in CROSS’s evidence about joint failures in concrete. It seems to him that a failure generates immediate publicity in the technical press and has an impact on engineers practicing at the time. Some years later the same failure arises from similar circumstances but again with none of the lessons having been learnt.

108 Reduced partition loads on proprietary joists

A reporter believes that a number of proprietary joist manufacturers are using a reduced partition allowance for the engineered joist design

110 Lifting bolt failure

A major contractor reported an incident that had occurred in which a threaded eyebolt failed during an operation to lift a section of stonework into place

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