Collapsing Structures Part – I

collapsing structures and buildings rightsteel fe415

Buildings collapsing is not something enjoyable to view and experience. The impacts created from these disasters create great physical and mental trauma that takes a big toll on our life. It gives us a lot to think about and improve but still, the event continues in different areas all over India. There are many instances where different cases on building collapses have been reported. The sad thing is that the responsible officials never learn or do anything effective even after repeated patterns of the same event.

Mainly buildings that collapse are typically old dilapidated ones. In our country, there are many of these structures on the verge of collapse that is essentially death traps for the people living in it or the areas surrounding the vulnerable building. We frequently hear on the news about various buildings collapsing news but even after repeated awareness on the dangers these old buildings pose, no officials seem to be attentive to this matter.

Why do buildings collapse

The reasons for collapsing buildings are many but the most accepted theory is the structural failure of the derelict buildings due to the lack of proper maintenance or the failure of the structure to cater to the newer building construction standards. Other reasons include faulty construction by ineffective workers, corruption in using materials etc. As per data shared by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), about 14,000+ people have died between the years 2010 to 2015, all due to the collapsing of dilapidated buildings. Well, this is the case for old buildings. Newer building structures that are either in construction stages or completed stage have collapsed due to structural failure in recent times.

One such latest example of collapsing is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) foot over bridge in Mumbai that collapsed on Thursday, 14th March 2019. The disaster resulted in the deaths of six people and several injured. The irony is that the structure was declared fit and safe in a structural audit report six months ago. So what seems to be the problem here?

Well, the reasons for the collapsing of newer building structures, bridges etc can be attributed to ineffective construction, not using the recommended materials and many more.

What needs to be done

To build strong and safe buildings, the building must be constructed using reinforced concrete cement (RCC). Reinforced steel bars, more particularly TMT steel bars must only be used for the construction of the buildings, as they have excellent tensile strength and ductility. For the case of old buildings, the most logical way is the redevelopment of the structure i.e demolish and rebuild the structure from scratch using reinforced steel and concrete as per the current industry specification. Also, the structure must be maintained on a periodic basis. All buildings have a fixed lifetime, therefore, once the structure reaches its lifetime, it should be demolished to build newer and stronger buildings.

It sounds easy, right? It can be effectively implemented but the responsible officials must take the first step, otherwise, the so-called strategies will remain in the papers itself and will never materialize.

The Importance of TMT steel

TMT reinforced steels are the most innovated version of steel in the current market scenario. They are known for their excellent tensile strength and optimum ductility ratio. The TMT bars undergo the Quenching and Self- Tempering (QST) process. This process makes the bar more strong and ductile. TMT steel bars consists of different grades namely Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe 550 and Fe 600.

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