CAN STEEL BEAMS BE MELTED BY JET FUEL

When someone raises the question, “can steel beams be melted by jet fuel” images of September 11 conspiracy theories come to mind. There are some very vocal (and passionate) individuals who question the events and the failure mechanism of the world trade centre in New York which fell victim to an horrendous terror attack on September 11, 2001. This article takes a look at the facts, from a Structural Engineering perspective, to answer the question… can steel beams be melted by jet fuel.

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WHAT ARE THE COMMON PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY A STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

All jobs have their challenges and triumphs. Equally, all jobs have elements which are either boring, stressful or annoying. This article explores the common problems encountered by a Structural Engineer during their working day…

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WHAT IS HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE IN BASEMENT STRUCTURES

Water is a wonder of nature. It is essential to our survival. A running stream can be incredibly relaxing. However a dripping tap in your house can be irritating. It is used as a source of fun in the summer time with pools and water-pistols, yet unwanted water in your home or building can be devastating. The forces of water on buildings can have significant impacts to the structures performance. Force excreted by a liquid is referred to as hydrostatic pressure. This article takes a deep dive into hydrostatic pressure and how it relates to buildings with basement structures…

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CAN YOU POUR A FOOTING WITHOUT FORMS

Can you pour a footing without forms? I often see this question come up with owner-builder types who are trying their hand at construction. The DIY culture in Australia is alive and well. The weekend trip to the local Bunnings Warehouse is testament to this. At any sign of clear weather, you can be sure that the local Bunnings car park will be jam packed full or eager DIYers. So can you pour a footing without forms? Lets take a look…

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DENSITY OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION ELEMENTS

Density of construction materials is an important part of assessing the load on a structure or building. In order to successfully design a structure, first the applied load needs to be assessed. This article provides the density of common construction materials. It also provides the density of construction systems…

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STRUCTURE IS UNSTABLE OR ILL-CONDITIONED: ETABS WARNING FIX

You’ve just finished building your ETABS structural model. It may be a huge multi-level high-rise building or a simple low-rise structure. Either way, you have spent time and effort building your future structure as a three dimensional representation and its ready to run for the very first time. With the click of a button you run the analysis and the anticipation is palpable. The analysis finishes and there is a warning… “structure is unstable or ill-conditioned”, your heart sinks, does this mean your structure will collapse? You were so careful with your meshing and snapping too. What should you do next?…

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WHAT IS A WALKING COLUMN

Columns come in many different shapes, sizes and orientations. There is a specific kind of column which holds a special place in the hearts of Architects and Structural Engineers alike, the “Walking Column”. So what is a walking column? This article lifts the curtain on what a walking column is, how to approach the analysis of a walking column and why Architects, Structural Engineers and Builders like them…

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ISOLATED PAD FOOTING DESIGN WORKED EXAMPLE TO AS3600-2018, WITH SPREADSHEET

The footing of a structure is arguably the most important element. Without strong footings, the structure above will simply not work. This article covers the design philosophy and approach to analysing an isolated footing using the Australian concrete code AS3600.

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CAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS WORK FROM HOME

The COVID pandemic has forced a world-wide experiment. This experiment revolves around whether or not meaningful work can be proceed from home. Do we need an office? Has office life as we know it changed forever? In this article, I take a specific look at the question, “can Structural Engineers work form home”.

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MODELLING CRACKED SHEAR WALL BEHAVIOUR IN ETABS

There are certain things that are unavoidable in life. Death, taxes and concrete cracking… right? Modelling cracked behaviour of concrete is an important step to ensure that your analysis is accurate and a true representation of the real life behaviour of your structure. This article explores how to model cracked shear wall behaviour in ETABS using stiffness modification factors.

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