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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 you have completed this unit 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;
  • indicate the procedures needed in practical failure analysis;
  • specify the failure mechanisms possible when a nominally ductile material fails in a brittle fashion;
  • relate crack formation to the loads on a component, bearing in mind the importance of stress concentrations in the component concerned;
  • provide a likely sequence of events involved in the failure of a part made from several different components;
  • describe the problem of fretting wear at a bearing joint;
  • describe the key circumstances of a particular accident or disaster, and relate the sequence of events to specific causes supported by the relevant evidence.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 20th July 2011
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Engineering
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Introduction to structural integrity

Introduction

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

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