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CROSS Safety Report

Defects in wrought iron girder from 1879

Report ID: 570 Published: 1 April 2016 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

Defects were found in the strut members of a three span wrought iron girder from 1879 while major strengthening and refurbishment works were being carried out.

Key Learning Outcomes

For asset owners and operators:

  • If you have a structure similar to the one described in the report and was constructed during the same period, consider having a structural assessment carried out on it

  • Regular inspections and maintenance on older structures can help keep them safe and identify any obvious safety issues that may need to be addressed

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An incident occurred during major strengthening and refurbishment of a three span wrought iron structure dating from 1879 (Figure 1). The work comprised of the installation of a new reinforced concrete (RC) deck, strengthening and repairs to the metalwork with full grit blast and repainting.

Image
Figure 1: wrought iron girders from 1879

The struts are rolled ‘I’ sections, which is very unusual for wrought iron, as it is susceptible to latent defects during the rolling process. There are around 350 such struts in the structure. Magnetic particle inspection (MPI) testing was carried out on 60 selected struts and 58 were found to contain cracks. The struts tested included those with/without history of repair.

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