Safety and Structural Deficiency
Safety of big structures like flyovers or tall buildings is of paramount importance for a congested metropolis. Deaths from the collapse of bridges and tall buildings are extremely common, not only in the third world countries but also in the advanced countries where infrastructure is aging and Governments don’t have adequate funding to repair the infrastructure.
Following is the list of all bridge collapse events and disasters that happened since 2000.
A few quick observations from the list –
- The collapse of a bridge is a very common event in all countries, be it developing countries like India or developed countries like the US and Canada.
- Death from bridge collapse is very high in India (probably a factor of 100:1) due to higher population density.
- Death from a bridge collapse is almost negligible in China due to better warning and safety systems despite comparable population density to India.
This shows, due to various reasons, collapse from an old structure is inevitable. A range of issues is responsible for structural failure in the old bridges – age, weathering, lack of maintenance, corruption in maintenance and increasing traffic load compared to when they were built half a century ago. All the above are contributing to the collapse of the bridge structures.
However, whether it is a steel bridge or concrete bridge, such collapse is preventable since the cracks in the joint, plasticity of the loads and many other factors that are a major contributor for collapse can be tracked by deflection and vibration sensor (from frequency shifting) using active SHM (Structural Health Monitoring ). For details, please see the structural health monitoring (SHM) solution.
Tall Building Collapse
Major catastrophic collapse of tall buildings is also common. Following is the list of all the collapses that happened since 2010.
There are several causes of collapse. Age, poor construction, illegal construction and changing quality of the soil are foremost among them.
If any building is threatened, SHM can be done for both the building and soil (Seismic wave) to assure the continued safety of the building.