Structural Progressive Collapse, Causes and Precautionary Measures

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Sharief, Amr Ahmed
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Improvements in structural analysis and knowledge of materials over the last 100 years have led engineers to build structures that are structurally more efficient than in the past. This leads increasingly to stretching constituent materials to the limit of their operational envelope. The result is that modem structures lack the strength reserve that was inherent in older structures engineered by empirical knowledge and instinct, and hence thought must be given as to how they will perform when subjected to abnormal loads or extreme events. The thesis aimed to define the phenomenon of progressive collapse in buildings and bridges, reveal the difference between it and the global collapse, also to review and study the causes that could lead to it. Supporting case studies for different types of structures (buildings and bridges), from different places (California, New York, and Abu Dhabi) are provided and discussed to clear up the concept, and to stand over some reasons that led or could lead to the progressive collapse. The adequacy of the current codes, standards and methods of design to resist the progressive collapse are checked. Reasons for the necessity to improve these design methods are discussed, and some ideas to improve them are suggested. Finally concluding the lessons learnt from the thesis and suggesting further recommendations for future studies