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Survey | How well do you understand the importance of good structural fixings?

Anchor fixings to concrete structures are key components in many structures and may be part of safety critical systems. But how well are they understood? Fill out our survey for the chance to win an iPad Air.

In recent years the construction industry has identified potential problems with the selection and installation of fixings and taken steps to improve awareness of correct procedures.

The use of anchor fixings ranges from carefully planned and executed installations that are integral with the permanent works to one–off applications as a quick fix for an immediate problem. There is often an impression that chemical fixings or resins have magic properties and can be used in any circumstances to produce a permanent and strong bond for anchors or to replace missing rebar connections.

Records show that there have been many anchor failures, some resulting in fatalities including lining failures in the Boston Big Dig tunnel (2006), Japan’s Sasago tunnel (2012), and the Balcombe rail tunnel in the UK (2011) which was a near miss. CROSS (Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety) Newsletters have also published reports of a number of heavy ceiling failures in cinemas and other venues which could have caused tragedy.

Sudden, catastrophic, and progressive collapses have occurred where a single fixing has failed, sometime after many years, and the additional load thrown onto adjacent fixings causes them to fail in sequence.

The reasons for most problems are known and plenty of good advice is available on the selection, installation, and testing of new anchors. But concerns persist over industry awareness.

NCE is keen to establish some facts, and is conducting a brief survey to get a firm handle on the state of industry awareness. The results will be shared in NCE in July.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I completed the questionnaire and I am not at all surprised at the results. As this work has a direct result on its success there needs to be people qualified to undertake the work, albeit voluntarily, as with Hilti. I had a roof sheeting replacement job on a large water treatment building in Aberdeen and Hilti did an excellent job in guaranteeing the quality of the anchorage.

    I do wonder however that there is no such quality control on UVR panels affixed to domestic dwelling roofs where there is an obvious danger from wind exposure.
    I hope to see some comment on this in the near future

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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