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The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Ewart Andrews) said that he was sure all those present had enjoyed the paper, and, when they had studied it sufficiently well to understand it, they would realise that Mr. Leys had spent a great deal of time and thought in tackling this paper on the very difficult subject that the Americans, he thought, called "soil mechanics.” Mr. Leys had said in connection with one of the diagrams, that Rankine had
assumed that a certain line was a straight line. The fact was that he had assumed it was a straight line because that made if easy for him to get his formula! That, indeed, was the reason for all these mathematical assumptions. If one did not make some assumption which enabled a certain simple result to be reached, then, of course, one could not get anywhere.
The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Ewart S . Andrews, BSc., M.Inst.C.E., Vice-president) proposed a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Roberts for the excellent material he had provided for study, and for the excellent manner in which he had described the properties of the high tensile steel dealt with.
Until very recently the only quality of steel which could be used economically for structures of moderate size was the standard 28/33 tons per sq. in. mild steel. Special high tensile steels have hitherto been so expensive that they were useful only for those structures in which the saving in dead weight was of paramount importance. In the United States of America nickel steel and silicon steels have been extensively used for long span-bridges, but so far as the author is aware they have not been used for smaller structures in which there is no special incentive for the designer to reduce the dead load.