Fused structures for safer and more economical constructions
Safety margin and construction costs are two conflicting goals for a structure. By providing a fuse in a structure that is triggered at a certain level of over-loading, further increase of loading is prohibited and failure of the structure is changed to a safer mode. As overloading is controlled and a safer failure mode is enforced, a fused structure requires a smaller safety factor thus leading to more economical construction without compromising safety. The use of a fuse will also facilitate safer use of advanced construction materials such as fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. In this case, a fuse can transfer the sudden and dangerous failure mode associated with brittle FRP debonding or rupture to a safe and ductile failure mode at the fuse location. This paper introduces a new type of fused structure as well as an associated design philosophy and approach, in addition to examples of engineering applications.