How Structural Engineering Inspections Saves Money

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering inspection is one of the most important inspections to ensure the safety and integrity of machine components, plants, and steel structures.

However, it is also worth considering the value of your assets and what your company could save by preventing failure. 

Machine parts and structures are subjected to various kinds of repeated loadings of varying amplitudes. As a result, fatigue failures are common in mechanical parts, components, and structures.

These failures are usually due to small cracks that occur within the structure, which are usually not seen. Such cracks can result in sudden failure and can cause loss of human lives, assets, and money.

More than 90% of failures in machine parts and steel structures occur due to stress which eventually leads to fatigue failures.

To detect such possible failures, a mechanical or structural inspection and analysis are done to ensure the safety of the structure.

What does a Structural Engineering Inspection entail?

The structural inspection is a visual examination carried out by a Structural Engineer to confirm the strength and soundness of a structure’s load-bearing components, such as the joists, beams, trusses, or columns/posts.

During the inspection, the Engineer checks crack formations and analyses the whole structure using various methods and tools.

Methods of Structural Inspection

High prec

ision structural engineering inspection methods are an affordable and effective way to save tens of thousands of dollars. Engineers use many techniques to conduct structural engineering inspections.

Dye penetrant tests, ultrasound, gamma-rays, and 3D inspection are widely used for the inspection of machinery and steel structures.

In non-contact 3D inspections, 3D scanners which emit laser light or visible light are used. This light records the 3D image of the structure which shows all useful 3D data including small cracks that are developed within the structure and their position in 3D space. 

3D Scanner enables Engineers to replace traditional methods of inspection and data recording with a precise and reliable non-contact inspection.

It can generate high-resolution 3D data from virtually any object in any environment and creates accurate 3D Designs, Prototypes, and CAD models that can be used for prototyping.

This testing technique provides engineers with reliable 3D data that enables them to effectively do their work.

Economic Importance of Structural Inspection

Prevention of Failure

The design and development of machine parts and structures require a huge amount of money. The decrease in the life of these structures occurs over time especially when no inspection is made.

The components and structures are subjected to various loads that repeat after regular intervals of time. These cyclic loadings cause the material to fail at a stress much smaller than its yield strength.

Structural Engineers use Finite Element Analysis on new structural designs to analyse the stresses that are present in the load-bearing components of the structure.

This will reveal structural members that will not have the capacity to withstand the loadings in real-life situations and thus be replaced accordingly. 

Also, Engineers use 3D scanners that generate high-resolution 3D data for structural inspections to detect possible weak points in existing structures.

Certifications of Steel Structures are issued to ensure Structural Designs are compliant with Engineering principles and current Standards.

All these together help to prevent unprecedented loss of lives, assets, and money which can occur through structural failures.

Increasing the Lifespan of Structures

What would it be worth to your company if you could safely and effectively increase the lifespan of your old structures instead of building another from scratch?

Failure in structures usually starts from small crack formations that are initially of the size of a few nanometres.

When these cracks are not checked at an initial level, they grow into larger ones which cause ultimate damage to the structures.

To prevent this, it is always necessary to carry out regular structural engineering inspections using the latest technologies.

This will reveal whatever could be internally wrong within the structure. Consequently, Engineers would be able to suggest effective repair solutions for the prevention of failures and thus help to increase the life of the structure.

Final thoughts

Most failures in machinery and structures occur due to fatigue failure. Fatigue failures result from crack formations and growths which are not put in check by regular structural inspections.

To prevent catastrophic failures and increase the lifespan of structures, regular structural engineering inspections should be done by specialists and experienced professionals. 

Experienced structural engineers perform structural inspections using non-contact 3D inspection and scanning equipment.

They use Finite Element Modelling on new structural designs as well as handheld scanners to inspect assemblies, parts, and structures.

This state-of-the-art method is quicker, more efficient, and more precise than other modern engineering inspection procedures.  

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