CROSS Safety Report
Accelerated corrosion of telecoms mast holding down bolts
During an examination of a 20m high telecoms mast, a reporter found that there had been accelerated corrosion of the galvanised holding down bolts.
Key Learning Outcomes
For asset owners and managers:
- Regular inspections and maintenance can help keep a structure safe before it deteriorates and requires costly repairs
- Fixings may require a combination of regular visual inspections with full inspections at appropriate intervals and should be inspected by a person who is competent to do so
For civil and structural design engineers:
Be aware that connections can often be the weak link in structures and attention to detail is required
- Selecting the correct fixings and corrosion protection for the given environment is important to ensure they perform as expected
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During an examination of a 20m high telecoms mast, a reporter found that there had been accelerated corrosion of the galvanised holding down bolts in the gap between the base plates and the concrete foundation slab. The loss of section was found to be around 5mm in less than 10 years. The holding down bolts were difficult to inspect as the gap between the baseplate and the foundation was less than 50mm. An inspection of similar masts did not find similar defects.
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