WOOD BRIDGE FAILURE ANALYSIS by Charles C. Roberts, Jr. There are many private bridges owned by insured's throughout the country. The maintenance of these bridges is typically the responsibility of the insured. From time to time, a vehicle traveling over the bridge will cause a collapse of the bridge, damage to the vehicle and possible personal injury. The owner of the bridge, the insured, is often accused of negligent maintenance of the structure. This may or may not be true. Factors regarding the loss that tend to implicate the insured are: 1. Deterioration of the wood bridge structure 2. Improper design of the bridge structure 3. Improper construction Deterioration of the wood structure can be easily observed from failed wood members (see Claims, March 1991, Wood Failure Analysis). Dry rot, insect attack, and other decay related failure modes signal the weakening of the structure. Improper design can be assessed by looking at plans and determining the load capacity of the structure by calculation. Improper material selection such as not specifying treated wood at specific locations may be a design deficiency. Finally, improper construction, such as failure to install members or bolts can sufficiently weaken a structure. The mere failure of a bridge, where the claimant gets "dumped in the creek" is not usually persuasive in assigning liability to the insured. Some examples of factors implicating claimants are: 1. Operating an overloaded vehicle 2. Impacting the structure causing failure 3. Traveling at a speed such that dynamic forces overload the structure FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 Overloading a construction vehicle to save trips to the rock quarry is not unheard of. Vehicular impact with a bridge structural member can cause failure. Dynamic forces, those caused by bouncing or swaying, can superimpose additional loads on the bridge, causing a failure. Figure 1 is a view of a large truck that attempted to back over a private bridge to dump a load of gravel. Immediately, when the rear dual axles of the truck were supported by the bridge, a collapse occurred, trapping the truck on the bridge. The truck was recovered and the bridge analyzed. Figure 2 shows a wood beam that had failed in a rotted area. The loss scenario is a classic failure to maintain. FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 Figures 3 and 4 are views of a private suspension footbridge over a small creek. The insured was in the habit of letting snowmobilers drive their sleds over the bridge between farm fields. While crossing the bridge, a sled and driver fell through the bridge into the creek. Failure analysis of the wood stringers showed a degree of rot, reducing the load carrying capacity. However, the bouncing of the snowmobile as it crossed the wood stringers added dynamic loading to the system resulting in the loss. Here a combination of wood rot and dynamic loading explains the failure. When analyzing bridge failures, structural analysis of the bridge aids in the determination of load capacity. Computing or measuring the vehicle load determines the safety margin of the system, i.e., the difference between the bridge load capacity and the load carried. Finally, investigating deterioration, construction and design peculiarities further refines the cause of failure.
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结构工程师很早就认识到部件延展性, 即Shi （member rotation, 具体学Shu名我不知道，大概是 “部件旋转力或扭力”）， Zai钢筋混凝土结构中去重新分配受力时间和吸收动Tai，地震和爆炸载荷的重要性。 真正的理解回转Yuan理是一项艰巨的任务主要因为钢筋...5829