Failures in Concrete Structures : Case Studies in Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete book cover
1st Edition

Failures in Concrete Structures
Case Studies in Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete

ISBN 9781138074231
Published June 28, 2018 by CRC Press
44 Color & 122 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Some lessons are only learned from mistakes but, it’s much cheaper to learn from someone else’s mistakes than to have to do so from your own. Drawing on over fifty years of working with concrete structures, Robin Whittle examines the problems which he has seen occur and shows how they could have been avoided.

The first and largest part of the book tells the stories of a number of cases where things have gone wrong with concrete structures. Each case is analyzed to identify its cause and how it might have been prevented. It then looks at how failures in structural modelling can lead to big problems if they are not identified before construction is undertaken. Beyond this it examines how contract arrangements can encourage or prevent problems in the designing and building processes. It concludes with an examination of the role research and development in preventing failures.

By identifying the differences between shoddy economizations and genuine efficiency savings, this book offers savings in the short term which won’t be at the expense of a structure’s long-term performance. Invaluable reading if you’re designing or building concrete structures and want to avoid problems which could be expensive or embarrassing further down the line.

Table of Contents

Failures due to Design Errors
Edge Beam and Column Connection
Concrete Truss
Circular Ramps to Car Park
Transfer Beam with Eccentric Loading
Early Thermal Effects
Secondary Effects of Prestressing
Temperature Effects on Long-Span Hybrid Structure
Loading for Flat Slab Analysis
Precast Concrete Car Park
Arch Floor
Precast Concrete Stairflights
Shear Studs on Steel Column to Support Concrete Slab
Piled Raft for Tower Block
Floating Pontoon for Residential Building
Precast Column Joint Detail

Problems and Failures due to Errors in Structural Modelling
Reinforced Concrete Transfer Truss
Modelling Rigid Links
Assessing Model Limits and Limitations
Empirical Methods
Initial Sizing of Slabs
Analysis of Flat Slabs with Finite Element Programs
Scale Effects

Failures due to Inappropriate Extrapolation of Code of Practice Clauses
Cooling Towers
Design Bending Moments
Piles with High Strength Reinforcement
Shear Capacity of Deep Sections

Failures due to Misuse of Code of Practice Clauses
Flat Slab and Two-Way Slab Behaviour
Ribbed Slab Supported on Broad Beam
Car Park Columns

Problems and Failures due to Inadequate Assessment of Critical Force Paths
Heavily Loaded Nibs
Shear Wall with Holes and Corner Supports
Design of Boot Nibs

Problems and Failures due to Poor Detailing
Concrete Offshore Platform
Assembly Hall Roof
University Building Roof
Minimum Reinforcement and Cracking
Precast Concrete Panel Building

Problems and Failures due to Inadequate Understanding of Materials’ Properties
Changes over Time
Rebending of Reinforcement
Tack Welding of Reinforcement
High Alumina Cement
Calcium Chloride
Alkali–Silica Reaction
Lightweight Aggregate Concrete

Problems and Failures due to Poor Construction
Flat Slab Construction for Hotel
Steel Piles Supporting Block of Flats
Shear Cracks in Precast T Units
Cantilever Balconies to Block of Flats
Precast Concrete Tank
Car Park
Cracking of Offshore Platform during Construction
Spalling of Load Bearing Mullions
Two-Way Spanning Slab
Chimney Flue for Coal-Fired Power Station

Problems and Failures due to Poor Management
Column–Slab Joint
Placing of Precast Units
Weak Aggregate Concrete in Chimney

Problems and Failures due to Poor Construction Planning
Power Station on River Thames
Tower Block

Problems and Failures due to Deliberate Malpractice
Floor with Excessive Deflection
Piles for Large Structure
In Situ Columns Supporting Precast Building

Problems Arising from the Procurement Process
Effects of Different Forms of Contracts
Checking Construction

Contributions of Research and Development toward Avoidance of Failures
Links between Practice and Research
Flat Slab Behaviour
Span and Effective Depth Ratios for Slabs
Beam and Column Joints
Tension Stiffening of Concrete



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Robin Whittle has over 50 years design and site experience of working with concrete structures. He is currently a consultant to the Arup Group ltd.


"With the need to learn from ‘near misses’ being one of the outcomes of the recent forensic engineering conference in London, this book offers a good start by providing a useful selection of failures as well as ‘near misses’ of concrete structures. The author’s undoubted expertise in design and construction with concrete, attained over half a century of working experience with a major consultant in the UK, is evident from the introduction right through to the end."
Forensic Engineering

"The book provides a fascinating insight into what can go wrong. It illustrates the importance of approaching problems from first principles and identifying the key load paths, loads, etc. This type of material rarely sees the light of day for reasons of litigation and commercial confidentiality."
—Robert Vollum, Imperial College, London, UK

"This book is essential reading for any experienced engineer and offers insight into how designers and builders accidentally create structures that fail. This book both explains how things fall down and what was done or could have been done to overcome these errors. Learning from errors is an essential part of any engineer’s knowledge and expertise."
David M. Scott, Laing O’Rourke, Connecticut, USA