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The Structural Engineer

A proposed plastic design method, depending on tension chord yield, for two-layer parallel-chord space trusses is discussed. The method is compared with the conventional elastic method and the strip method originally used in reinforced concrete slab design. The disadvantages of these last methods are shown in a comparison of complete analyses of three designs. The essential point made is that when tension chords begin to yield a set of membrane forces is developed: these forces are compressive in the region of the yielding tension members and increase in magnitude as the yielded tension zone increases. The proposed design method allows for this change of force distribution so that no compression member instability occurs, thereby furnishing a favourable load-deflexion characteristic for the structure. Reference is made to experimental results of tension member yield in planar trusses in order to justify the use of yielding tension members; it is noted that further work is necessary. L.C. Schmidt

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The Structural Engineer

We have read the letter that appeared in The Structural Engineer, Vol. 5 0 , No. 1, January 1972, p. 28, with some surprise and not a little interest. Since this Company originated the idea and production of permanent woodwool formwork units in 1959, something like 2 x 106 yd2 of Spanform formers have been installed in the UK and overseas, and this criticism, to our knowledge, is the first of its kind.

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The Structural Engineer

Rectangular ribbed flat slabs are analysed as orthotropic plates with zero twisting rigidity. Moments are computed by an energy method. M. Reiss and J. Sokal

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The Structural Engineer

Mr. Williams in introducing his paper quoted from an unpublished illustrated report on the first submerged tube tunnel under the River Thames at Rotherhithe which it was proposed to build in 1811 but was later abandoned because of differences among its promoters.

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The Structural Engineer

Mr. R. E. Landau (F): The researches referred to in this valuable paper are relevant to the design of retaining walls and bridge abutments, which have 'flexural corners' at the junction of stem and base. Three cases may be considered.

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The Structural Engineer

The buckling load of a latticed structure is determined by considering the equilibrium of the joints in the deformed state, taking into account the effect of axial loads and deformation. The displacements U, V, W and the rotations öx, öy, öz are considered as unknowns at each joint. A stiffness matrix is developed based on ‘second order theory’. The loads causing buckling are those for which the determinant of the coefficients of the equilibrium equations at the joints vanish. As this results in a nonlinear eigen value problem, it is solved by iteration. A general computer program is developed to find the load causing instability of latticed structure of any geometry and for any support conditions.

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