Expansive soils cause more property damage per year than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined. Expansive soils are a slow-moving geologic phenomenon, which makes them not very news-worthy. However, they still cause a tremendous amount of damage to buildings and the public infrastructure we rely on every day.
A few things that can go very wrong when you put steam in a pipe. We talked about the damaging effects of water hammer, but there’s another state of H2O equally if not more dangerous when put in pipes. In this episode, we’re talking about steam hammer and differential shock.
Hydraulic transients (also known as water hammer) can seem innocuous in a residential setting, but these spikes in pressure can cause major damage to large pipelines and industrial pipe networks. In this video, we briefly discuss how water hammer occurs and how engineers mitigate the effect.
This is a demo of a bell siphon I built in collaboration with a couple of engineering professors. There are certain cases where it would be nice to be able to create a siphon without any intervention, a self-priming or automatic siphon: the next level of siphonry. It's built out of an acrylic sheet and a piece of clear pipe.
In general, and compared to other common building materials, metals have excellent mechanical properties. They are hard, tough, strong, and durable. As someone who occasionally works the wood, even I can admit that metals are a superior material in many regards. So you can see why it would be advantageous to have a way to connect them together, especially if you can do it in such a way that joint isn’t the weakest part of your assembly. That’s the goal of welding, and luckily, this is not something reserved for industrial factories and machine shops. From my own experiences so far, welding is something you might be able to do yourself as a hobby. And stay tuned till the end for some tips for getting started.
In civil engineering, quicksand is more than just a puddle of mud! The "quick condition" occurs when seepage reduces the effective stress of a soil. This can lead to some dangerous conditions, especially if the seepage causes piping erosion to occur at a dam.
This video explores a primer on one of the most important companions to civil engineering: land surveyors. Conventional measurement tools like a tape measure and protractor don't work for large civil structures and public works projects. Surveying is essentially the science of measuring big stuff. In this video I give a quick explanation of how surveying works and show a few ways you can do your own leveling survey at home. No sines, cosines, or tangents required!
Sinkholes form through both natural and human-made processes. Most of us think about erosion on the surface of the earth, but erosion can occur in the subsurface as well. In fact, scientist and engineers have a very creative name for just such a process: internal erosion. If just the right factors come together in the subsurface, some very interesting things can occur, including sinkholes.