Synopses & Reviews
Is it still true that the collapse of a building structure is the best learning model to advance the progress of civil engineering? Or, in other words, is construction an experiment the moment we depart from well-trodden paths and dare to create something new?
When bridges fail, often with loss of human life, those involved may be unwilling to speak openly about the cause. Yet it is possible to learn from mistakes. The lessons gained from failure analysis lead to greater safety and often innovative drive. Knowledge of the causes of past desasters can help avoid them in future.
This is a systematic overview of more than 400 bridge failures in a new form of presentation. The incidents of damage and collapse have been assessed and assigned to the time of their occurrence in the life cycle of the bridge - during construction or in service - and to events such as collision impact or earthquake. The primary causes are identified: human error, inadequate stiffening, material flaw, overload etc. The book contains detailed analyses of bridge failures hitherto neglected in engineering literature and cases which, in the author's opinion, have been incompletely or incorrectly interpreted.
A lifetime's work brilliantly compiled and courageously presented. A wealth of knowledge and experience for every structural engineer in the field or at university. The book includes a catalogue of rules that can help to avoid future mistakes in design, planning and erection and closes with some good advice for professors.
When bridges fail, often with loss of human life, those involved may be unwilling to speak openly about the cause. Yet it is possible to learn from mistakes. The lessons gained lead to greater safety and are a source of innovation.
This book contains a systematic, unprecedented overview of more than 400 bridge failures assigned to the time of their occurence in the bridges' life cycle and to the releasing events. Primary causes are identified. Many of the cases investigated are published here for the first time and previous interpretations are shown to be incomplete or incorrect. A catalogue of rules that can help to avoid future mistakes in design analysis, planning and erection is included.
A lifetime's work brilliantly compiled and courageously presented – a wealth of knowledge and experience for every structural engineer.
About the Author
Univ. Prof. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Joachim Scheer taught Steel Construction at the Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany). He has investigated and written expert reports on numerous cases of structural failure and has frequently served as a coordinator of committees working on German technical standards. This book is based on over thirty years of teaching, research and consultancy.
Table of Contents
Preface to the English edition 2010.
Preface to the German edition 2000.
1.4 Earlier Publications on the Failure of Load-bearing Structures.
1.5 Estimated Numbers of Bridges in Germany and USA.
2 Failure of Bridges, General Information.
3 Failure During Construction.
3.1 General Observations.
3.2 Buckling of Compression Members in Truss Bridges.
3.3 Deflection of Steel Compression Struts or Chords Out of the Plane of a Truss or Beam - a Trough Bridge Problem.
3.4 Failure of Steel Bridges with Box Girders.
3.5 Failure of Cantilever Prestressed Concrete Bridge Beams.
3.6 Failure of Bridges Constructed by Incremental Launching.
3.7 Collapse of the Frankenthal Rhine Bridge.
3.8 Damage During Construction of the Heidingsfeld Motorway Bridge.
3.9 Failure During Demolition or Reconstruction.
3.10 Remarks on Cantilever Erection.
3.11 Remarks on the Collapse of a Steel Truss Bridge Over the Mississippi.
4 Failure in Service Without External Action.
4.1 General Observations.
4.2 Remarks on the Nienburg "cable" -stayed Bridge Over the River Saale.
4.3 Failure of Suspension Bridges.
4.4 Collapse of the Dee Bridge.
4.5 Collapse Due to Wind Action, Excluding Suspension Bridges.
4.6 Collapse through Overload, Excluding Suspension Bridges.
4.7 Collapse of the Mönchenstein Bridge.
4.8 Collapse or Damage Due to Material Defects: Brittle Fracture.
4.9 Damage Resutling from Fatigue or Bad Maintenance.
4.10 Collapse of the Elbow Grade Bridge.
4.11 Collapse of the Connecticut Turnpike Bridge Over the Mianus River and the Sungsu Truss Bridge over the Han River in Seoul.
5 Failure Due to Impact of Ship Collision.
5.1 General Observations.
5.2 Conclusions from Table 5.
6 Failure Due to Impact from Traffic Under the Bridge.
6.1 General Observations.
6.2 Impact Due to Failure to Observe the Loading Height.
6.3 Collision with Bridge Supports by Derailed Trains or Vehicles Leaving the Road.
7 Failure Due to Impact from Traffic On the Bridge.
8 Failure Due to Flooding, Ice Floes, Floating Timber and Hurricane.
9 Failure Due to Fire or Explosion.
10 Failure Due to Seismic Activity.
11 Failure of Falsework.
11.1 General Observations.
11.2 Failure Due to Inadequate Lateral Stiffness.
11.3 Failure Due to Poor Foundations.
11.4 Failure Due to Inadequate Coordination Between Design and Construction.
11.5 Failure Due to Errors in Design, Construction and Operation.
11.6 Three Particular Cases.
12 Lessons for the Practice.
12.1 General Observations.
12.3 Structural Safety Calculations and Design Detailing.
12.4 Construction Management.
12.5 Inspection and Maintenance of Structures.
12.6 Rules and Formulations in Engineering Literature.
12.7 My Own Summary.
13 Lessons for Teaching.
15 Geographical Index.
16 Sources of Drawings and Photographs.