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The two universities within Northern Ireland run undergraduate courses which are accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers. On these courses, there is a strong link between research and undergraduate teaching through specialist modules and project work. However, the following paragraphs concentrate on the research currently in progress in each of the two universities.
D.J. O'Connor and D.J. Cleland
The paper describes a field trial of the use of a simple statistical ‘extrapolation' technique for the determination of design load effects in existing bridges. Deflections were measured directly using lasers in the Foyle Bridge, and data were recorded for 155 daily 48-min samples. As only traffic load effects were of interest, wind-induced defections were removed by Fast Fourier transform analysis and temperature-induced deflections were removed through identification of traffic-free periods. A simple linear regression analysis using probability paper has been employed to determine the parameters which characterise the statistical distribution. The cumulative distribution function was then used to estimate the level of deflection with a 1000-year return period. Empirically derived formulas have been utilised to determine the variability in the 1000-year estimates and to calculate a design deflection which allows for this.
E.J. O'Brien, T.D. Sloan, K.M. Butler and J. Kirkpatrick
The design of elements, which are part of a continuous slab or structural framework, to withstand fire is a complex problem. In this paper, the method of plastic analysis is used to determine the failure capacity and fire resistance of an internal span of a
continuous concrete slab. Failure loads are evaluated using sectional plastic moments derived on the basis of Eurocode 2 recommendations for material properties at elevated
temperatures. The analysis is compared with results of a test programme on simply supported and continuous concrete slab strips both at ambient temperature and under a fire regime. The plastic analysis predictions offire resistance times in a post test analysis were found to be quite accurate. In the test programme half-scale models were utilised and in the fire testing an equivalent model fire curve was derived, based on other work, which produced similarity of thermal responses in the model specimen.
D.J. O'Connor, B. McAllister, J. Munro and H.R. Bennett