Structural Engineering
Structural engineer, abbreviated as SE, uses physics principles and materials to designs projects like bridges, buildigs, industrial facilities and tunnels. Structural engineers are responsible for the stability of the buildings and facilities, not the design or looks like an architect.
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Structural Engineering Related Articles
 See beam design formulas
 See frame design formulas
 See plate design formulas
 See geometric properties of structural shapes
 See welding stress and strain connections
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Nomenclature & Symbols for Engineering, Mathematics, and Science
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Structural Engineering Nomenclature & Symbols
 \( BHN \)  brinell hardness number
 \( COL \)  column
 \( \sigma \) (Greek symbol sigma)  column buckling stress
 \( CONC \)  concrete
 \( CRSN \)  corrosion
 \( \delta \) (Greek symbol delta)  deformation
 \( \lambda \) (Greek symbol lambda)  elastic modulus
 \( E \)  elasticity
 \( E_c \)  elastic modulus of concrete
 \( FS \)  factor of safety
 \( F \)  force
 \( f \)  friction
 \( \mu \) (Greek symbol mu)  friction coefficient
 \( q \)  heat
 \( C \)  heat capacity
 \( m \)  mass
 \( MATL \)  material
 \( I \)  moment of inertia
 \( p \)  pressure
 \( k \)  radius of gyration
 \( REINF \)  reinforcing
 \( I \)  second moment of area
 \( G \)  shear modulus
 \( \tau \) (Greek symbol tau)  shear stress
 \( \mu_s \) (Greek symbol mu)  static friction coefficient
 \( \sigma \) (Greek symbol sigma)  stress
 \( k \)  stiffness
 \( \epsilon \) (Greek symbol epsilon)  strain
 \( STRL \)  structural
 \( STRUCT \)  structure
 \( SE \)  Structural Engineer
 \( T \)  temperature
 \( UTS \)  tensile strength
 \( f_t \)  tensile strength of concrete
 \( T \)  tension
 \( k \)  thermal conductivity
 \( \alpha \) (Greek symbol alpha)  thermal diffusivity
 \( \alpha \) (Greek symbol alpha)  thermal expansion coefficient
 \( R \)  thermal resistance
 \( \tau \) (Greek symbol tau)  torque
 \( \tau \) (Greek symbol tau)  torsion
 \( \sigma \) (Greek symbol sigma)  yield strength
 \( E \)  young's modulus
Structural Engineering Glossary
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A
 Aggregate  A mixture of sand and stone with the major component concrete.
 Axial force  A force that tends to stretch or shorten a member.
B
 Bar spacing  The minimum spacing that should allow the largest expected concrete gravel size to pass between the bars freely.
 Beam  The main part of the structural framing that carries loads from one member to another on its horizontal axis.
 Boulder wall  A wall constructed of boulders and set in morter.
 Bracing  The stiffening of an area between columns by means of diagonal elements.
 Brinell hardness number  Is a value assigned to the hardness of metals and alloys.
C
 Collapse slump  The fresh concrete collapses completely.
 Column  A vertical structural compression member which supports loads.
 Column buckling stress  The allowable buckling stress of a column.
 Concrete  A composite material that is created by mixing binding materials, aggregates, and water in specific porportions.
 Concrete slump  An on the spot test to determine the consistancy and workability of fresh concrete.
 Connection  Joins members to transfer forces or moments from one to the other.
 Cope  A cutout made in a structural member to remove materialand conform to the shape of an intersecting member.
 Corrosion  A process through which metal deterioates and returns to its natural oxidation state by a chemical reaction.
 Creep  Metal deformation that occures at stresses below the yield strength of a metal, normally at elevated temperature.
D
 Dead load  The full weight or pressure applied downward to a fixed location on the ground and relatively constant over time. The weight is usually measured in pounds per square foot (psf). The dead load can be calculated accurately because the load is constant.
 Deflection  The change in the position of something from zero or from its normal position.

Deformation  Is measured by how much an object is deformed from its origional dimensions.
 Distributed load (Uniform load)  A force evenly distributed along a supportive structure.
 Dynamic load  Cyclic load, such as gusty wind and seismic loads.
E
 Elastic modulus  The ratio of the stress applied to a body or substance to the resulting strain within the elastic limits.
 Elasticity  Measures the stiffness of an elastic material.
 Elastic modulus of concrete  Is valid for normal weight concrete.
 Expansion joint  Designed to withstand pressure and temperatures growth in foundations and piping system. The thermal movement can be angular, axial or lateral.
F
 Factor of safety  The ability of a system's structural capacity to be usable beyond it's expected or acrual loads.
 Fixed connection  A connection that resists axial forces, shear forces, and bending moments.
 Footing  A structural member used to distribute the loads to the soil in such a way that the load bearing capacity of the soil is not exceded for building or structure foundation, walls and columns.
 Foundation  Supports a building or structure and transfers the load level across the soil.
 Friction  The mechanical resistance to the relative movement of two surfaces.
 Friction coefficient  The ratio between two contacting surfaces and the frictional force that resists the normal force of the object.
G
 Girder  A type of the beam that supports other smaller beams.
 Grout  A mixture of Portland cement, sand, water, and other elements used for bonding concrete and steel members.
H
 Hardness  The property of a material that enables it to resist plastic deformation, usually by penetration.
 Header  A beam that is perpendicular to a joist.
 Heat  A form of energy that causes physical change in what is being heated.
 Heat capacity  The ratio of heat transferred to raise the temperature of an object.
I
J
K
L
 Lap joint  The joint between two overlapping connections in parallel planes.
 Laterial bracing  Provides inplane laterial stability like diagonal bracing, shear walls, or other means.
 Laterial load  Acting in a laterial direction, created by the wind or an earthquake.
 Lightweight concrete  This concrete has strengthening properties that are not the same as normal concretes, with the mixing of binding materials, a lighter aggregate, and water in specific porportions.
 Live load  These are the dynamic forces from occupancy and use. They are the forces that move through the building such as momentum and vibration. The live load can not be calculated accurately because the load is not constant.
M
 Mass  The amount of matter an object has.
 Material  The matter an object is made of. There are four categories of material: ceramic, composite, metal and polymer.
 Moment of inertia  Measures the resists or change an object has to rotational acceleration about an axis.
N
 Net area  Gross areareduced to account for removing material.
 Nominal load  The magnitude of the load specified by the applicable code.
O
 Oxidation  The loss of electrons in a chemical reaction.
P
 Plate girder  A fabricated girder by which welding plates togeather creates the desired shape.
 Point load  A load or force located at a certain point on a supporting structure. This is the opposite of uniform load.
 Pressure  It is the force exerted perpendicular to the surface of an object and is expressed as force per unit area.
Q
R
 Radius of gyration  The distance from the axis of rotation to a point where the total mass of the body is supposed to be concentrated.
 Reinforced concrete  Concrete containing steel reinforcement (steel rods or mesh) provides resistance to internal forces that weaken the structure.
 Rolled steel girder  A fabricated girder by which rolling a blank cylinder of steel through a series of dies creates the desired shape.
S
 Safety factor  The ability of a system's structural capacity to be usable beyond it's expected or acrual loads.
 Second moment of area  The resistance of an object to bend around a certain axis of a crosssection area.
 Seismic load  Loads produced during a seismic movements of an earthquake.
 Shear modulus  The ratio of the tangential force per unit area applied to a body or substance to the resulting tangential strain within the elastic limits.
 Shear slump  If one half of the cone slides down an inclined plane.
 Shear stress  Tends to deform the material by breaking rather than stretching without changing the volume by restraining the object.
 Shear wall  A structural member used to resist laterial forces parallel to the plane of the wall.
 Slurry  The measurement of the height loss from a compacted cone of fresh concrete.
 Span  The distance between the supports.
 Stiffness  The elastic deformation of an object that applies to both compression and tension.

Strain  The deformation, stretched or compressed, of a material compared to its original length.
 Static friction coefficient  The amount of force that resists motion that is on the verge of motion.
 Stress  The force per unit area of crosssection.
T
 Temperature  Normally described as the amount of heat or cold, but it is neither heat or cold.
 Tensile strength  The maximum stress a material can resist before it starts to elongate.
 Tension  The force (pulling or stretching) acting on a material.
 Tension Strength  The capacity of a material to resist a force tending to stretch it.
 Thermal conductivity  The ability to transfer heat within a material without any motion of the material.
 Thermal diffusivity  A measure of the transient thermal reaction of a material to a change in temperature.
 Thermal expansion  The increase in length, area or volume due to the increase (in some cased decrease) in temperature.
 Thermal expansion coefficient  The percentage change in the length of the material per degree of temperature change, heated solid or liquid.
 Thermal resistance  Measures the temperature difference by which an object or material resists a heat flow.
 Tie plate  A metal plate used to tie parallel parts of a building structure.
 Torque  It is a measure of how much twisting is applied.
 Torsion  The stress of twisting of an object due to applied torque.
 Torsional bracing  A bracing that prevents the stress of twisting of an object due to applied torque.
 Triangular load  A force distributed along a supportive structure whose magnitude is zero at one end and increases constantly to the second end of the span.
 True slump  The concrete just slumps a little and more or less maintains its moulding shape.
U
 Uniform load (Uniformally distributed load)  A force evenly distributed along a supportive structure. This is the opposite of point load.
V
W
 Web  The middle plate of a beam or channel.
 Web buckling  A limit state of lateral instability of a web.
 Weephole  A hole that allows water to escape from, such as the bottom of pipe support to stop corrosion, or from behind a retaining wall to relieve pressure.
 Welding  The fabrication process that fuses like materials togeather by heating them to a suitable temperatures, this can be acomplished by brazing, soldering or welding.
X
Y
 Yield point  The point where an elastic material is permanent change in length with no extra load force.
 Yield strength  The minimum stress that leads to permanent deformation of the material.
 Young's modulus  Measures the stiffness of an elastic material.
Z
 Zero slump  The fresh concrete maintaines the actual shape of the mould.
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