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BY Prof.(Dr.) Sudhendu Saha

Chartered Professional Engineer

Common Nature of Failures and Distresses

Foundation Failure Excessive settlement, tilt and collapse Distresses in structural elements like beam, column & slab in forms of cracks, corrosion etc

Case Histories
Damage caused to connecting fire fighting pumps due to excessive settlement and tilts of the above ground fire water storage tanks Tilting of overhead water reservoir Failures of RCC bored cast in situ piles to take the design load during load test Failures of RCC bored cast in situ underreamed piles during load test Excessive settlement of storage tanks on ground treated with stone columns

Tilted Overhead Tilted Tilted Overhead Reservoir

Excessive Settlement of Silo


Tilted Trestles of Conveyer

Collapse of Soft Storey

Collapse of Soft Storey Bldg at Car Nicobar

Collapse of Soft Storey of Building

Collapse of Building Under Construction

Materials do not fail. They follow the laws of nature and physics perfectly according to their basic properties and characteristics
basic types of human errors : Errors of knowledge (ignorance) Errors of performance (carelessness and negligence) Errors of intent (greed)

Errors of performance (carelessness and negligence)

Carelessness in Design & Detailings Careless Construction Careless Project Management

Carelessness & Negligence of PMC

Negligence & Poor Maintenance

Common Nature of Failures and Distresses

Excessive settlement, tilt and collapse

Distresses in structural elements of foundation like beam, column & slab

in forms of cracks, corrosion etc affecting durability and satisfactory performance

Excessive Settlement of Silos

Differential settlement of Pisa Tower



Layout of Ground Settlement Control

Elevation of Tilted Overhead Reservoir

Causes of Failures or Distresses

Design,Detailing and drafting. Specifications of Materials & Methods of Construction Workmanship Poor Supervision & Inspection Unexpected Natural Disaster

Poor Construction Practices

Improper selection of materials Selection of poor quality cheap materials. Inadequate control on Batching, Mixing, Transporting, Placing, Finishing and Curing Improper construction joints or between concrete framework and masonry Addition of excess water in concrete and mortar mixes Indiscriminate addition and alterations

Concrete consists of different materials & Processeses

Cement, Sand, Aggregates, Water, Admixtures, Batching or Mixing, Transportation, casting, Compaction, Vibrating, Curing

Poor Masonry Practice

Corrosion of Reinforcement

concrete cover concrete around it is impervious and does not allow moisture or chlorides high pH value

Concrete Disintegration Mechanisms occur with

Exposure to Aggressive Chemicals Alkali-Aggregate Reactions Sulphate Attack and Chloride Attack

Repairing reinforcement corrosion

removal of carbonated concrete cleaning of reinforcement protection coat making good the reduced steel area applying bond coat and cover replacement

Distresses in Concrete Structures

Corrosion of Reinforcement Cracks Spalling Leakage Chemical attack Effects of Environment

Causes of Distress in Concrete Structures

High Water / cement ratio Inadequate curing Poorly graded aggregates Inadequate compaction Shuttering joints not slurry tight Less cover thickness Wrong placement of reinforcement Chemical attack by Chloride, Sulphate, etc. Wrong design and details

Classification of causes of failures or distresses

Unpredictable Design Detailing and drafting Materials Workmanship Inspection & Supervision

Failures may occur during expected service period

Use of the building for the purpose other than for which it was designed. Overloading and misusing the building. Poor periodic maintenance and not attending to cracks and minor distress in time

Indiscriminate addition and alterations

Structural strengthening by Plate Bonding, RCC Jacketing, Propping & supporting, etc Foundation strengthening can be done by UnderPinning by Piles, Micro-piles, Inject of ground by cement or chemical grout etc. Cathodic Protection

Spalling of Concrete

Corrosion of steel in a canopy

Corrosion & Spalling

Cracks in Column & wall

Possible Slip of Bridge Supports

Corrosion affected Distressed Column

Beam-Column Joint Failure

Beam-Column Joint Failure