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Structural integrity and failure is an aspect of engineering which deals with the ability of a structure to support a designed load (weight, force, etc...) without breaking, tearing apart, or collapsing, and includes the study of breakage that has previously occurred in order to prevent failures in future designs.
Structural integrity is the term used for the performance characteristic applied to a component, a single structure, or a structure consisting of different components. Structural integrity is the ability of an item to hold together under a load, including its own weight, resisting breakage or bending. It assures that the construction will perform its designed function, during reasonable use, for as long as the designed life of the structure. Items are constructed with structural integrity to ensure that catastrophic failure does not occur, which can result in injuries, severe damage, death, and/or monetary losses.
Structural failure refers to the loss of structural integrity, which is the loss of the load-carrying capacity of a component or member within a structure, or of the structure itself. Structural failure is initiated when the material is stressed beyond its strength limit, thus causing fracture or excessive deformations. In a well-designed system, a localized failure should not cause immediate or even progressive collapse of the entire structure. Ultimate failure strength is one of the limit states that must be accounted for in structural engineering and structural design.
Structural integrity is the ability of a structure or a component to withstand a designed service load, resisting structural failure due to fracture, deformation, or fatigue. Structural integrity is a concept often used in engineering, to produce items that will not only function adequately for their designed purposes, but also to function for a desired service life.
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