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5 (b) has three support reactions, and this requires three equations to solve for the value of the reactions. The third equation may be generated by a variety of means that are the scope of specialist books on structural analysis [1]. Indeterminate structures are also called ‘hyperstatic’ or ‘redundant’, while monolithic beams with more than one span are called ‘continuous beams’. 5 (a) was to settle, the support reactions would not be affected, and in consequence the bending moments and shear forces in the beam would also not be changed.

This chapter is for the benefit of the latter group, and is intended to offer a very brief introduction to some of the basic principles that govern the design of concrete structures, and to introduce much of the specialist vocabulary used in the book. 2 Units Length is measured in millimetres and metres. Load and force are measured in Newtons (N), kilonewtons (1 kN = 103 N) and Meganewtons (1 MN = 106 N). 1 kN is the weight of a heavy person, while 10 kN is approximately 1 ton. Stress is measured in Megapascals, MPa (1 MPa = 1 N/mm2 = 1 MN/m2).

9. 7 Beam or arch? 9 Ah Kai Sha Bridge towers (Image: David Benaim) a main span of 360 m, and is exceptionally wide, at 42 m. The bridge is described in more detail in Chapter 18. The towers rise 100 m above the ground, some 70 m above the deck. Their functions are to provide the height necessary to attach the cable stays that support the deck, to carry the loads down to the foundations and to give stability to the deck under the effects of typhoon winds and earthquake. The tapering shape of the towers has been determined by the progressive increase in weight applied to them by the stay cables and due to their own considerable self weight, by the longitudinal forces imposed by earthquakes, wind and the expansion and contraction of the deck, and by the lateral forces due to earthquakes and wind.

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