Steel structures are used extensively in the mining, steel and petroleum industries as well as in public infrastructure. Their damage and deterioration is a major concern for the operators and owners.
The main causes of deterioration for steel structures include corrosion, metal fatigue, excessive load, poor design, poor workmanship and changed conditions. Some of the signs of these causes include; surface rust, pitting, loss of section, cracking, excessive deflection and excessive vibration.
The load carrying capacity of these damaged or deteriorated steel sections are reduced and they may no longer be fit for their purpose. Even though the structure may appear to be intact, the ability to resist earthquake loads, wind loads and other abnormal loads is severely reduced and catastrophic failure may result without warning.
Guidelines are available in the engineering literature for the assessment of the strength of damaged or deteriorated steel sections.
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