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RE: loader surcharge at top of retaining wall

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The force transmitted to the wall is equal to the momentum of the vehicle
(mass times velocity) divided by the time it takes to stop. For a stiff
wall, the time is almost instantaneous unless the wall breaks or yields, and
the impulse force can be very high. That's why highway barriers are either
designed to deflect vehicles or to yield, in order to increase the stopping
time and reduce the ultimate impact force. It's the same thing with fender
systems on docks and wharves. Flexibility is your friend. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 9:03 AM
To: SEAOC Newsletter
Subject: RE: loader surcharge at top of retaining wall

>The loader case probably does not have a large enegy input of this type
>since we are talking about primarily horizontal motion.
The energy is still 1/2 Mv^2, whether the impact is vertical or 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)