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Latest Structural failure Stories

2013-05-01 15:00:27

In this month's issue of Physics World, an international group of researchers propose a new technology that could divert vibrations away from load-bearing elements of bridges to avoid catastrophic collapses. Michele Brun, Alexander Movchan, Ian Jones and Ross McPhedran describe a "wave bypass" technique that has many similarities to those being used by researchers looking to create Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks, which exploit man-made materials known as metamaterials to bend light...

2012-01-11 15:21:51

With a random-looking spatter of paint specks, a pair of cameras and a whole lot of computer processing, engineer Mark Iadicola of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been helping the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), to assure the safety of hundreds of truss bridges across the United States. Iadicola has been testing the use of a thoroughly modern version of an...

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2011-07-31 07:36:01

UMD sensors offer instant, affordable warnings Millions of U.S. drivers cross faulty or obsolete bridges every day, highway statistics show, but it's too costly to fix all these spans or adequately monitor their safety, says a University of Maryland researcher who's developed a new, affordable early warning system. This wireless technology could avert the kind of bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured 145 along Minneapolis' I-35W on Aug. 1, 2007, he says - and do so at one-one-hundredth...

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2010-11-17 11:45:41

Civil engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new system to better analyze the connections that hold major bridge members together, which may improve public safety, help address a trillion-dollar concern about aging infrastructure around the world, and save lives. When testing is complete and the technology implemented, the system might allow a technician working for a day to produce a better analysis of a bridge's structural condition than a more expensive and highly-trained...

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2010-01-27 09:35:00

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released its final report on the May 2, 2009, collapse during a severe thunderstorm of the fabric-covered, steel frame practice facility owned by the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. The final report is strengthened by clarifications and supplemental text based on comments provided by organizations and individuals in response to the draft report on the collapse, released for public comment on Oct. 6, 2009. The revisions...

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2009-10-07 12:10:00

A fabric-covered, steel frame practice facility owned by the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys collapsed under wind loads significantly less than those required under applicable design standards, according to a report released on October 6 for public comment by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Located in Irving, Texas, the facility collapsed on May 2, 2009, during a severe thunderstorm. Twelve people were injured, one seriously. Based on...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'