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Mr. T. H. Nicholson: It is my pleasure to introduce the first part of the paper on behalf of Mr. Robertson and myself.
The paper is concerned with the Merrison rules method for the design ribs of plate and box girder webs. The rationale for the rules is outlined, and rib size as predicted by them is compared with rib size predicted from elastic, small deflection, plate theory.
In 1835 Sir Marc lsambard Brunel tested his famous 7.5 m reinforced brickwork beam (Fig 1 ). The bricks were laid in 'cement' and reinforced with hoop iron in the lower courses. The beam failed under a central applied load of 12 t. Other tests followed in
the next 3 years including General Pasley's, which established the need for a strong mortar for bond to the reinforcement.