Structure in civil engineering
- A structure refers to a system of connected parts used to support a load. Important examples related to civil engineering include buildings, bridges, and towers; and in other branches of engineering, ship and aircraft frames, tanks, pressure vessels, mechanical systems, and electrical supporting structures are important.
- When designing a structure to serve a specified function for public use, the engineer must account for its safety, esthetics, and serviceability, while taking into consideration economic and environmental constraints.
- Often this requires several independent studies of different solutions before final judgment can be made as to which structural form is most appropriate.
- This design process is both creative and technical and requires a fundamental knowledge of material properties and the laws of mechanics which govern material response. Once a preliminary design of a structure is proposed, the structure must then be analyzed to ensure that it has its required stiffness and strength.
- To analyze a structure properly, certain idealizations must be made as to how the members are supported and connected together.
- The loadings are determined from codes and local specifications, and the forces in the members and their displacements are found using the theory of structural analysis, which is the subject matter of this text.
- The results of this analysis then can be used to redesign the structure, accounting for a more accurate determination of the weight of the members and their size.
- Structural design, therefore, follows a series of successive approximations in which every cycle requires a structural analysis. In this book, the structural analysis is applied to civil engineering structures;
- however, the method of analysis described can also be used for structures related to other fields of engineering.