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Background

Steel constructions The mass production of steel and iron are closely related to the industrial revolution (1760 to 1840). Their use became more widespread during World War II and significantly expanded after the war, when steel became more available and steel buildings gained popularity in the mid 20th century. In the beginning, steel structures were assembled by riveted connections. The technique of hot riveting was quickly introduced to the building industry after being invented for the shipping and boilermaking industries. The cheapness of the rivet joints was highly praised, but the inflexibility of the joint lead to the introduction of high strength bolts during the 1950s. At that time, rivets became less common, since the installation of rivets required more equipment and manpower. Besides the installation of rivets having its disadvantages, high strength bolts also offered more strength. Bolted connections were privileged when dismantling was required, but also in applications for which rivets were inappropriate, that is, when the grip length was too long or in connections between wrought and cast iron.

02 Evolution of historical riveted connections

In 1851, Britain hosted an international trade and technology fair that took place in London’s Hyde Park. A building, which came to be known as the ‘Crystal Palace’, designed by Joseph Paxton, was built for the fair under the constraints that it was to be temporary. Paxton designed the building on a simple system of prefabricated structural and cladding units that could be quickly assembled, disassembled and relocated. The 560 meter long building was based on a structural grid of columns linked with standard trusses, made of cast iron. These trusses were fitted into flanges on the columns and locked into place with wedges of cast iron or timber. This skeletal frame of columns and trusses was then clad and roofed using panels of timber, iron and glass. These factory produced panels allowed for the quick assembly and disassembly of the building.02

Image: Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and could quickly be assembled, disassembled and relocated. Image © GXN

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Building A Circular Future  

This book presents findings, case studies, background and context for the project ’Building a Circular Future’, and consist of three main ch...

Building A Circular Future  

This book presents findings, case studies, background and context for the project ’Building a Circular Future’, and consist of three main ch...

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