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The Structural Engineer

Pultruded dowels offer an attractive alternative to steel in dowelled timber joints in terms of structural performance, cost, and aesthetic quality. The performance of pultruded rods has been compared with steel in a thick timber-to-steel joint and also in a thick timber-to-timber double shearjoint. EC5-type design equations cannot be applied to pultruded dowels, so the design load to failure has been predicted using modified versions of these equations. Cross-breaking guillotine shear strength values have been used instead of ultimate fastener strength values with some success. Overall, pultruded dowels offer a very satisfactory alternative to steel dowels in embedment conditions where structural ductility is vital. R.D. Drake and M.P. Ansell

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Author – Drake, R D;Ansell, M P

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The Structural Engineer

The four-pin mechanism analysis of masonry arches may be extended to include lateral forces arising from at-rest soil pressure and the effects of live load. We demonstrate the effects of applying earth pressure at rest to the analysis with examples based on Bargower and Bridgemill Bridges. Boussinesq's soil pressure distribution is used to demonstrate the lateral loading effects of live loads, and both active and passive pressures are considered in relation to short-term live loading. Examples are based on the TRL's full-scale load tests, and we conclude that this development replicates the collapse loads at much lower passive pressures than originally proposed by the TRL. This note shows that the inclusion of lateral earth pressure is essential for a proper understanding of the forces involved and the estimation of factors of safety. David Van der Cruyssen

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The Structural Engineer

Although technology has advanced, there is increasing evidence that analysis programs are being used without an understanding of the actual behaviour of real structures and with an unrealistic confidence in the results. So said the Steel Construction Institute in 1995. Richard Dobson

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Author – Dobson, R

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The Structural Engineer

This paper traces the development and realisation of a unique and versatile structural system created for the recently-opened Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain. The system developed is best described as a discretised lattice grid in structural steel and may be applied to any arbitrary free-form shape. The application of the system to the fluid and curving forms of the landmark Bilbao Museum is presented, along with a description of the role of the computer on the project. Finally, details of the steel fabrication and erection concept for the structure are described, as well as the key engineering and analysis studies that were performed. H. Lyenger, L. Novak, R. Sinn and J. Zils

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Author – Iyengar, H;Novak, L;Sinn, R;Zils, J

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The Structural Engineer

British Standards: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly BSI finally responds to considerable criticism through no less a personage than its Director, IStructE Past President, David Lazenby: I have been struck by several emotions as I have read some recent items in The Structural Engineer: in particular, the ‘Viewpoint’ by Joe Locke and the comments in Verulam on design Codes in general. My emotions have ranged from initial surprise (and even annoyance), through amused frustration, to partial sadness.

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