Structural Engineering-San Antonio Style

Structural engineering focuses on analyzing and designing supporting elements or systems that support or resist loads economically. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right. Regardless of the geographic location, the structural fundmentals remain the same. San Antonio is not exception to this rule.

Structural engineers are most commonly involved in the design of buildings and large nonbuilding structures but they can also be involved in the design of machinery, medical equipment, vehicles or any item where structural integrity affects the item’s function or safety. Structural engineers must ensure their designs satisfy given design criteria, predicated on safety (e.g. structures must not collapse without due warning) or serviceability and performance (e.g. building sway must not cause discomfort to the occupants).

Structural engineering theory is based upon physical laws and empirical knowledge of the structural performance of different geometries and materials. Structural engineering design utilises a relatively small number of basic structural elements to build up structural systems that can be very complex. Structural engineers are responsible for making creative and efficient use of funds, structural elements and materials to achieve these goals.

Dallas|Ft. Worth-Foundation Repair

By Ken Marlborough

The principal function of a foundation of a home is to transfer the weight of a structure to its underlying soil and rocks. One of the factors that bring about the need for foundation repairs is improper foundation settling. Foundation settlement can devalue structures and also render them unsafe. Building on expansive clay, compressive or improperly contracted fill soils and improper maintenance in and around foundations are some of the major reasons of improper foundation settling. Another reason for improper foundation settlement is undetected or unsuspected air pockets in the ground below the area of construction. These may cave in and cause the integrity of the foundation to be compromised.

General symptoms of a structure needing foundation repairs are bulging or cracked walls and doors that don’t close properly. Building on expansive soils is the main culprit for foundation settlement. When only one part of the foundation either settles or heaves, cracks are formed in the foundation. The exterior warning signs of improper floor settling are rotation of walls, displaced moldings, cracked bricks and foundation and separation around doors and windows from the walls. Interior warning signs of improper floor settling are cracks on the floor, sheet rock and misalignment in doors and windows.

There are many ways of doing foundation repair. Cement, stone, steel or wood were used extensively in past techniques. They would be forced into the ground in a bid to salvage the strength of these foundations. However, this type of repair work has been known to be futile. Two of the most successful ways of foundation repairs are slab jacking and the Piering method. Piering is also known as hydraulic jacking.

Slab jacking is the process of adding grout beneath a slab or beam. This produces a lifting force and restores the said beam or slab to almost its original elevation and adds to its strength. Care should be taken that the amount of sand should be perfect while adding grout.

During Piering, steel posts are driven through unstable soil. Hydraulic jacks are used to stabilize concrete slabs which are weakened due to the changes taking place in the underlying soil. Steel beams are used in the Piering method because concrete has great compressive strength. Though Piers are able to transfer huge downward loads without the help of reinforcing steel, steel is used in the piers for prevention of the pier from being pulled apart or sheared by forces of the expansive soils. The repairs normally take 21 to 30 days, however this time frame can vary depending on soil conditions and weather delays.

Foundation Repairs provides detailed information about foundation repair, do-it-yourself foundation repair, foundation leak repair, and more. Foundation Repairs is affiliated with Roof Shingles.

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Structural Failure Examples 101 – San Antonio

Structural failure refers to loss of the load-carrying capacity of a part or member within a structure or of the structure itself. Structural failure is initiated when the material is stressed to its strength limit, thus causing fracture or excessive deformations. The ultimate failure strength of the material, part or system is its greatest load-bearing capacity. When this limit is reached, damage to the material has been done, and its load-bearing capacity is reduced permanently, significantly and quickly. In a well-designed system, a localized failure should not cause immediate or even progressive collapse of the entire structure. Ultimate failure strength is one of the limit states that must be accounted for in structural engineering and structural design.

ructural failure examples


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Residential Foundation Inspections, Evaluations, & Diagnosis.  Contact us @ 866.440.0003. •  Order Now! • Learn More==> 
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Fees vary based on location and foundation size.  Contact Jeff Lineberger, P. E. @ 866.440.0003.  

Historical Structural Failure Examples:

On 24 May, 1847 the Dee bridge collapsed as a train passed over it, with the loss of 5 lives. It was designed by Robert Stephenson, using cast iron girders reinforced with wrought iron struts. The bridge collapse was the subject of one of the first formal inquiries into a structural failure. The result of the inquiry was that the design of the structure was fundamentally flawed, as the wrought iron did not reinforce the cast iron at all, and due to repeated flexing it suffered a brittle failure due to fatigue.

First Tay Rail Bridge

First Tacoma Narrows Bridge

de Havilland Comet

Ronan Point


Hyatt Regency

Oklahoma City bombing


I-35W Bridge Collapse

 Structural Failure Examples 101 – San Antonio   Structural Failure Examples 101 – San Antonio   Structural Failure Examples 101 – San Antonio