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Model Project Test Results
Material failure

Arch 324, Introduction to Structural Design, University of Virginia
Last updated Tuesday, March 12 1996, at 5:14 PM Copyright © 1996, Kirk Martini

Material Failure

Material failure in the form of compression crushing or tension tearing was far less common that stability-related failures. The images below show a few examples.

Shown after loading, this arch structure relied on foam-core "feet" at its supports to prevent global instability in the form of toppling.
This (fuzzy) close up shows the failure mode at one of the feet. The connection of the foam-core foot to the main arch used a detail where the foam core was slit and tied with string. The slit created a stress concentration, causing a crack to propagate throught the foam-core; this failure then led to complete collapse as the structure toppled. This example illustrates how the arrangement of a seemingly secondary connection can lead to primary failure.
This tied arch structure failed when the tension ties snapped.
This beam structure was very strong and stable, but experienced high stresses due to its shallow cross section. The stresses were suffficient to cause tearing on the bottom edge at mid-span, accompanied by local buckling on the compression edge on top.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 12 1996, at 5:14 PM
Copyright © 1996, Kirk Martini
Please send comments or questions to Martini@virginia.edu
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