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Re: Concrete vs. Steel

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Dear Greg in OK,

Please don't come to California to design until
you do some more homework! :-)

Well-designed and -constructed concrete is a very
viable and economical solution in all areas of
high seismicity.  This type of structure has been
proven safe in many earthquakes.

The problems in Turkey were apparently due almost
entirely to two factors: 1) poor detailing, and 2)
poor material quality.

In Kobe, steel buildings were affected as much, if
not more, than concrete buildings.

If you drive over the Bay Bridge, the only
"obvious" thing is that it is made of steel, not
concrete.  It was steel connections that failed.

By your reasoning, perhaps we should prohibit the
use of steel connections (in buildings as well as
bridges) in earthquake country, based on the
experience with the Bay Bridge and Northridge.

Mark Swingle, SE
Oakland, CA


Greg Smith wrote:

>  To be in charge of a project and prescribe the wrong material
> (even for economical reasons) is like a doctor prescribing the
> wrong medicine because the patient can't afford the right one.
> In engineering as with medicine, this can lead to death.

> I believe that concrete has been WRONGLY prescribed ANYWHERE in a
> high seismic risk zone.  The EQ's in Turkey, Bay Bridge, Japan etc.
> are obvious proof of this.  Yes, it is possible to construct a
> concrete structure that will withstand a Richter 10 but THAT would
> be UNeconomical.  Granted that Northridge revealed problems with
> steel and brittle fracture, it will be easier to overcome this
> than to take the mass out of concrete.  Concrete has it's
> advantages but only in a compatible location.
> Greg in Oklahoma