Student Review: Introduction to Structural Aluminium Design

November 3, 2011

Author: Ulrich Muller

Edition: First

Publisher: Whittles

Pages: 192

Price: £40.00

ISBN 9781849950077

The structure of a building is the part responsible for maintaining the shape under the influence of the force, load and other environmental factors. It is essential to ensure that the structure does not fall down, break or deform to an unacceptable degree when subjected to such forces or loads. Accordingly, the study of structure involves the analysis of the forces and stresses occurring within it and the design of suitable components to cater for those.

Typical structural components in buildings include steel beams, columns and roof trusses; reinforced concrete beams, columns and slabs; timber joists and columns; and masonry walls and columns. Like most civil engineering students, I have studied these components. But this book, which I used as part of my studies last year, was my first exposure to structural aluminium design. While structural steel, concrete, timber and masonry are widely known and used in the engineering community, structural aluminium elements are used much less frequently.

Ulrich Muller's book effectively highlights the properties and application of aluminium, giving information about the material itself, as well as its fabrication, structural design and corrosion potential. The book also considers aluminium's properties, such as prises, recycling, resistance and weight, and compares it with those of other commonly used materials, and especially steel, which is the structural material used most often in modern construction. Additionally, the book considers design standards such as the British Standard and Eurocode.

The book is well designed and organised. It allows the reader to consider how aluminium might be improved structurally to be used more widely in future, in order to save money and meet not only structural requirements but also safety and serviceability.

As an aside, students who are less strong in mathematical skills may find some chapters of the book less enjoyable than others.

In considering this book I am reminded of one by Philip Garrison, Basic Structures for Engineers and Architects, which I used in my first-year studies. It offered an excellent explanation of terms used by structural engineers, as well as considering how structures behave in terms of forces, mass, weight and loading. A textbook that combined the information presented in these two books on the structural design of various materials would be even more valuable to students.

Who is it for? Undergraduates and postgraduates, primarily in structural design and structural engineering.

Presentation: Excellent and well organised.

Would you recommend it? I would definitely recommend it to anyone studying structures, structural design or analysis at any level.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns