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THIS PAPER deals with three branches of engineering which have engaged the attention of
engineers in most parts of the world for hundreds of years and which are likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
J. Guthrie Brown
PROFESSOR SIR ALFRED PUGSLEY , in his Presidential Address to the Institution, chose research as his theme. The present paper may serve to comment on some aspects of research that could not be included in the compass of Sir Alfred’s Address. Indeed, the contributions made to structural engineering by research workers over- the past fifty years are so many and so varied that many important developments are necessarily omitted from this brief article.
ALUMINIUM owes its early development as a structural material to the aircraft industry, a field in which the low density of the material is a factor of paramount importance, outweighing its high initial cost. Its applications in other branches of
structural engineering (specialist or experimental at first) began only about twenty five years ago, and progress was slow until the end of the last war when appreciation of the results of wartime research and development and the influence of the post-war shortage of steel led to a new interest in aluminium. During the last ten years an increasing number of light alloy structures have been built and while aluminium has been found to be a true economic solution in several specialist cases, it has been used as an interesting and novel solution in others. Research andevelopment have continued, and today aluminium alloys are available with properties appropriate to structural uses and are obtained in a wide range of sections, plates, sheets, etc.