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A reinforced concrete office block of 7 storeys was recently damaged by IRA bomb attack. The bomb was placed on the first floor in an end bay and opposite to a staircase, and did considerable structural damage. The bay of first floor on which the bomb was placed was demolished and a hole was blown in the second floor slab above. This, together with damage to external columns, wall beam and solid end gable were all that might have been expected from the size of the bomb employed. However, and at first sight without explanation, large areas of the 6 in thick 'flat-slab' first floor were also damaged. In spite of the fact that these bays could have suffered only from secondary or reflected blast, deflexions of up to 8 in appeared in the middles of several of the 15 ft square bays.
Mr. D. W. Smith : I was delighted to read this paper. It has the unusual property of being based on a sound theoretical background combined with applicability to creative design and practicality of presentation. A paper of this sort coming out of a university has appeal to the practical man, and goes some way in bridging any dangerous gap which tends to build up between the academic and the practitioner; between theory and practice.
A study of the detailed stress distribution in brickwork is essential for the proper understanding of the behaviour of this composite material. The authors are thus to be congratulated for their work in applying the finite element method of analysis to a brickwork disc under diametrical load, taking into account the non-homogeneous nature
of the material.