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The Structural Engineer

Twenty-three tests have been used to evaluate a simplified design analysis for the ultimate resistance of fibre-reinforced polymeric box beams. This analysis assumes failure in any one of five distinct modes and is based on linear elastic thin-wall theory. Four different hollow box profiles have been tested in three-point bending. They were manufactured by the pultrusion process. The material is a vinylester-based matrix, reinforced with two types of continuous E-glass fibre. For the assessment, it has been necessary to measure the section flexural moduli and material compressive strengths. These vary according to the composition by weight of the two fibre reinforcement types. The strengths of the box beams and their modes of failure are reported. When the beam span is long, the design analysis can predict ultimate resistance accurately, providing that a modification is made for thick walls. However, at short spans the analysis is inappropriate because the mode of failure is not in one of the modes assumed in the design analysis. J.T. Mottram

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The Structural Engineer

When the Institution produces a new report, a notice usually appears in The Structural Engineer - together with an order-form! For the ‘Structural adequacy’ report this happened in the ‘blue pages’ of The Structural Engineer dated 8 January 1991. There is also frequently a followup meeting to introduce the report but, in this case, because of the nature and content of the report, I was given the alternative of introducing it to members, via The Structural Engineer. G. Somerville

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The Structural Engineer

Arbitration has long been the accepted method of resolving disputes in construction contracts, but its character has changed in the last 3 decades. In the years immediately after World War II parties in dispute would look to a senior member of a profession - architect, engineer or surveyor - to resolve their difficulties. In many arbitration hearings, lawyers had their part to play. They had the skill of presentation. They ensured that there were no departures from the law, but there were few complex legal arguments. The award was invariably made on the technical merits of the case. Kenneth Severn

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The Structural Engineer

An examination is made of the effectiveness of approximate methods for the assessment of the torsional stiffness of typical concrete sections under the action of uniform Saint-Venant torsion. It is shown that rectilinearly bounded open sections may be acceptably treated by approximating procedures but that numerical approaches are necessary for non-rectilinearly bounded or composite sections. An effective approximate treatment is shown to be available for multiply-connected sections. D. Johnson

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