Author: Albrecht, U
First published: N/A
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The question posed in The Structural Engineer recently, asking what benefit can be derived from QA and how, confirms our opinion that much of the writing on the subject has confused rather than clarified the issue. The principal source of confusion is the use of the various quality terms, such as QA and quality management (QM), in an apparently interchangeable way. Before we can discuss the benefits (or otherwise) of QA for consulting engineers, we must define our terms - what do the various ‘Q thingies’ mean anyway?
N.J. Prescott and P.J. Francis
This technical note is an attempt to summarise the writer’s main interest over nearly 20 years. It started with a class which I was preparing for the Institution’s Part 3 examination. My emphasis, therefore, was on sketches rather than calculation, but I found that my students had a poor ability to sketch the approximate bending moment, shear force, reactions and deflection solution to a structure. This missing skill I equated with a lack of ‘understanding of structural behaviour’.
The new Code of Practice for the design of aluminium structures (BS 8118: Part I) and the new specification for materials, workmanship and protection (BS 8118: Part 2) were published in March 1992. The standard applies to most types of general engineering structure subjected to normal land or marine atmospheric conditions, such as bridges, buildings, towers, road and rail vehicles, marine craft, cranes and offshore topside structures. It does not apply to containment vessels, pipework, airborne structures or naval vessels, or to structures for which specific alternative Codes exist, such as pressure vessels (BS 5500) or lighting columns (BS 5649).