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Introduction to structural integrity

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The I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007, resulting in at least 13 deaths, illustrates the importance of structural integrity. This free course, Introduction to structural integrity, looks at the investigation that followed the collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River in 1967 which demonstrates how the study of safe design and the assessment of components and structures under load is of increasing importance in engineering design.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • differentiate between and describe dissolution, degredation and corrosion as they affect the deterioration of structural materials
  • predict electrochemical behaviour between dissimilar metals
  • explain galvanic corrosion in terms of the electrochemical series
  • distinguish between the hoop and longitudinal stresses in a pressure-vessel wall, and specify them in terms of the pressure, wall thickness and diameter of the vessel
  • describe the loads in the various parts of a structure and the most likely load path.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 31st August 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Engineering
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Introduction to structural integrity


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Structural integrity is the study of the safe design and assessment of components and structures under load, and has become increasingly important in engineering design. It integrates aspects of stress analysis, materials behaviour and the mechanics of failure into the engineering design process.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course T357 Structural integrity: designing against failure [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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