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RE: Cranes: Curved Track Monorail

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Good point, Gary.

However, the design methodologies of the old,
pre-computer-FEM, school have not been recorded for
our benefit. I suspect the design in those days did
not suffer from resource constraints we face nowadays.
It was not uncommon for a design to go through cycles
of checking and rechecking. Several structures, like
the one you mentioned, might have evolved by trial and
error. Even now, smaller structures in a typical
industrial facility are constructed without any formal
calculations. If it works, fine; If not, and nobody
gets hurt, try something different. If OSHA breathes
down the neck, call for outside help.

FEM or no FEM, it is important to visualize the
structure behavior and determine the load path. I
advocated FEM, but I must caution that it can generate
outrageous results if handled by someone who cannot
draw a free body diagram.

Incidentally, I belong to the OF school as well,
except I try to stay with the latest technology. It
has its advantages.

--- Gary Hodgson & Associates <ghodgson(--nospam--at)>

> David,

> I wonder how engineers (I belong to the OF school)
> managed to design 
> these before computers.  I have been in a plant with
> a curved 
> monorail that was built in 1918.   

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