Lab 1: Stress in Tensile and Compressive Structures

There are three stations for this lab:

  • Cable Strength –explores the breaking strength of steel.
  • The Washington Monument – shows how the principles learned with respect to tensile forces in the Cable Strength lab also apply to compressive structures such as the Washington Monument
  • Cable and Arch Shape – demonstrates that the proper shape for a cable structure when under uniform loading is a parabola. It will then show the extent to which cables and arches can be considered equivalent structures, with one acting in tension and the other compression

Lab 2: Bridges – Suspension and Horizontal Cantilever

The lab will involve the study of two bridges:

  • The Menai Straits Bridge illustrates the principles of a suspension bridge
  • The Quebec Bridge illustrates the principles of a horizontal cantilever bridge.  

Lab 3: Steel Reinforced Concrete

The purpose of this lab is to test and analyze the structural and strength properties of concrete and reinforced concrete beams. This lab is to be performed over two sessions:

Lab 4: Tall Buildings: Columns and Cantilevers

Through the examples of the Eiffel Tower and the Washington Monument, this laboratory will demonstrate how tall structures are affected by their own dead load and the live load of the wind.

Lab 5: Designing for Strength and Elegance

Design competitions are catalysts for structural art. Winning proposals highlight the two principles of design – discipline and play. Discipline is defined by the necessity to meet certain spatial, economic and strength requirements. Play is produced by the innovation that improves a good design into a winning design. In this (multiple-day) lab, you will work in groups to produce the following two designs that will be tested to failure and judged for strength and aesthetics:

(1) a foot-long bridge

(2) a form-found shell structure

Lab 6: Wind Effects on Tall Buildings

Using a wind tunnel, the effects that differently shaped buildings have on vortex shedding are examined.

This lab is under development. If you are interested in obtaining draft construction drawings for the wind tunnel, please contact Maria Garlock.