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  • STRUCTURAL INSPECTION - Fork Lift Truck Damage to Columns

    I. Purpose of Investigation:

    At the request of the Client, we performed an inspection and structural
    investigation of multiple damaged columns throughout the 2nd floor region of the
    ABC building. The purpose is to determine what amount of deformation is safely
    permissible, and what repair or reinforcing measures are required where deformation is
    excessive. Our information is that the cause of damage was due to impact by forklift
    trucks. The inspected damage was consistent with this type of impact. The inspection
    took place 11/24/02.

    II. Description of Building:

    The building is a two storey steel framed structure approximately 150' wide by
    175' long. The columns in question bear upon the first storey columns, and support
    roof trusses and roof beams above.

    III. Analysis:

    Analysis shows that the service load stress in a normal undamaged column is
    approximately 12.8 ksi. This stress corresponds to 88% of the allowable load for the
    column overall. Damaged portions just above floor level can be considered to have
    a higher allowable stress since they occur near the brace point created by the floor
    diaphragm. At floor level, the 12.8 ksi corresponds to 61% of allowable load.
    A reasonable value for the first 18 inches above the floor would be about 70%. This
    leaves room for a small amount of damage. Calculations show that if a flange has a 1/16"
    kink, the service load stress in the flange roughly doubles. Since most of the damaged
    columns have flanges pushed out of plane an inch or more, some sort of repair is
    required for them.

    IV. Recommendations:

    Attempts at heating and straightening the columns can be attempted, but there is
    significant restriction on this due to the danger of applying too much heat into
    columns in place and under load. No heat should be applied while any significant
    snow or other roof load exists.

    Steel reinforcing plates can be welded into place in various configurations to replace the
    strength lost by the deformations. This may not be practical or adequate at some of
    the columns with extensive deformation. Excessive heat during the welding process
    must be considered, and accounted for in any repair design.

    The first 3 to 4 feet of the column can be encased in concrete. Some straightening
    and/or reinforcing prior to installing concrete may be necessary at some locations.
    The concrete will need to have appropriate reinforcing in order to sufficiently
    restrain the deformed flanges.
    Page 1

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(517) 403-6875 
(517) 403-6875
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Structural Solutions LLC
1200 Troon Ct. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Electronic mail:

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