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The Structural Engineer

During the early 1980s when I was MD of The Swedish-Finnish Timber Council, my codirector, Peter Grimsdale, and I were made well aware, from several sources, of a sudden, unexplained and dramatic increase in the number of cases of unacceptable bow and spring (i.e. bowing on the stronger axis) and splits and fissures (i.e. splitting that does not affect the whole thickness) of (and in) dried sawn timber that had been imported to the UK from Sweden and Finland. Jack Baird

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The Structural Engineer

Rotted beam-joist ends occur in timber members in old and not-so-old buildings. Reinstatement can take many forms. In the case of relatively small joists in both domestic and commercial properties, the normal method is to remove the floorboards and then remove all of the offending joists. This is usually true even if a joist is 4.0m long and the decay has occurred only in the proximity of an external wall. A flitched beam approach can also be used in which steel plates or channels are bolted to each side of the existing joist, often encapsulating the decayed region. However, if the beam or joist is in a position where it is visible, this can be unsightly and aesthetically unacceptable. R. Jones and D. Smedley

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The Structural Engineer

This paper describes tests on timber joints formed with punched metal-plate fasteners (nailplates) where the gap width between the timber members was varied. The resulting effects on compression and bending strengths are discussed, and comparison is made with relevant Codes of Practice. A. Reffold, B.S. Choo, M. Dietermann and T. Falz

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The Structural Engineer

The Merle Bridge, opened in late 1999 is the largest wooden bridge in France. Built from Douglas fir, with a concrete slab forming the deck, it spans the 54m Maronne valley in the Correze region of France.

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The Structural Engineer

Changing CPD Requirements Clive Shearer, writing from Washington State, USA, suggests some changes to CPD: First, I must thank Robert Horne for an outstanding contribution describing the path of many engineers of my generation. He must have read my resume! I am also fully in agreement with Messers Seaman and Bowden. Suggestion: (1) Scrap CPD as a blanket requirement. (2) Set up a body of peers to investigate public complaints about practising engineers: A review board: engineers who are found to be deficient in ethics, design approaches, noncompliant with Codes or standards shall be penalised. (There is a similar system in the USA.) For mild 1 transgressions, monitored CPD might be prescribed.

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