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Is Structural Integrity related in any way to Static Friction? Or vice versa?

  1. Apr 4, 2007 #1
    Structural integrity in my head means an object's uncompromised ability to safely resist required loads. Now is static friction related any way to it since the way to break structural integrity is to overcome the object's max load limit?

    Also how can you walk across the floor without you or the floor collapsing relating static friction?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2007 #2


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    Welcome to the forums!
    Do you think that you could explain yourself better? For example, what does:
    "uncompromised ability to safely resist required loads" mean?
    And why would you or the floor collapse?
  4. Apr 4, 2007 #3


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    Do you mean if friction is taken in consideration in structures for stability?
  5. Apr 4, 2007 #4
    Okay so structural integrity is the ability of an object to resist a certain load, i think. So for example the floor or the ground has a high structural integrity because it can handle a lot of weight on it. But is static friction involved in any way with it?
  6. Apr 4, 2007 #5


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    Well, the answer to your question (especially if by ground you mean soil) is no (well in theory). The soil is considered as a bounded infinite, homgogenous, isotropic, and linearly elastic body.

    Look for Boussinesq problem.
  7. Apr 4, 2007 #6


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    I would say that in a way it is. Any structure that is joined together in any particular manner will have joints that rely on the frictional holding strength between them. Not every joint is held together in this way, but many are. So I would say that static friction between members of the structure enhances its integrity.
  8. Apr 5, 2007 #7


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    There isn't any unversal relationship that I know of between a material's ultimate strength, and coefficient of static friction between it and any other materials.

    As for why the ground doesn't break under you, it because it is strong enough and you don't weigh very much anyway. Why the ground doesn't break has nothing to do with fricion.
  9. Apr 11, 2007 #8
    Friction is usually taken into account in structural design for cases like sliding of retaining wall footings on soil. Friction is of course part of the reality that makes a structure work as well as lots of other things (if there were no friction, "slip critical bolts" would not work). But structural engineers usually do not design with friction, except for where there is foundation-soil interaction. I can't think of another case and I have designed many buildings.
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