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  • Forensic Engineering: Enhancing Durability Of Buildings

    Forensic Engineering: Enhancing Durability Of Buildings

    By Fernandes & Associates Pty Ltd 25 Jul 2018
    Forensic engineering deals with the diagnosis of building problems and offers solutions, taking every aspect of a building into account. Forensic engineering can be collectively referred to as safety measures or preventive strategies, helping to anticipate problems by implementing correct actions before failures occur. 
    One of the most important lessons highlighted by this kind of investigation is the importance of periodic inspection programmes that determine the condition of a building. This type of investigation process requires trained experts known as forensic engineers. System specific engineers work on their particular field while forensic engineers look at the broader picture to understand the environment in which the component must successfully operate. 
    Another example in the architectural and structural engineering area is leakage through waterproofing systems that produce structural damage, including cracking in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry and corrosion of structural steel. In both cases, an analysis must be done, which overlaps several disciplines and takes a comprehensive look at the entire structure.
    Patterns of structural failures:
    While there is no certain list of things that tend to fail most often, but a trained eye will most surely figure out the certain weak areas of a building. Even with assistance from forensic structural engineering services, there is no comprehensive list of things that should be done to avoid failures. Every building is unique and the problems that may occur will be unique too. 
    Detection methods:
    Forensic engineers have both invasive and non-destructive method for testing a building.  The non-destructive methods include a detailed visual examination by an expert and use of electromagnetic detection equipment, infrared imaging, ground-penetrating radar, and X-ray imaging.
    Invasive methods of investigation require cutting into building materials to inspect concealed details in the construction. Tools such as borescopes, fluoroscopes, and video-scopes can minimise the amount of material that must be removed for the inspection. Invasive testing methods may involve removing a sample of a pipe, wall, or material and submitting it to laboratory analysis.
    Fortifying design:
    Forensic engineering efforts can hopefully profit new structures, giving proposals to incorporate into the outline that will upgrade life-cycle rates and result in lower maintenance costs using conventionally reinforced structures instead of cast-in-place concrete. Both types will fail when reinforcement is subjected to moisture and post-tensioned structures are far more expensive to repair. 
    If you liked this post, then stay tuned to our blog space for more articles like this.
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