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>Has anyone ever done a study to determine the ratio between catastrophic
>structural failures related to connection failures as compared to all
>other failure modes combined?  I'll bet the ratio is over 10 to 1.
I'll butt in here with a view from the Dark Side. My experience is that most structural failures originate at welds and bolted joints. I can't give a ratio, but when someone tells me to take a look at some widget that blew up or collapsed or fragmented, my gut reaction is cherchéz le connection. I wouldn't dream of quoting a figure like 10 connections to one member failure, but it's way bigger than 1 to 1. That's because connection design and fab isn't anywhere near as easy as people think. That's the big lesson of Northridge.

I can't imagine designing anything--machine or building frame--and leaving the connection design to the fab shop. I know that may not always be the practice on the SE side, but I still wouldn't dream of it. I don't mind listening to ideas from the fabricator, particularly if they're good ones, but I do believe it's my job to set the bar.

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

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