In the event of a disaster, expert knowledge is essential in order to make a rapid assessment of the situation. Once the cause is known, the appropriate measures can be taken. Information from a disaster can also be used to prevent similar incidents and is useful input for formulating standards, regulations and guidelines for consultancy firms in the field of design and construction.

The consequences of damage due to a structural fault or structural ageing are often serious. Apart from economic damage, there may also be human victims. TNO provides information by carrying out an independent technical investigation into the causes of the structural damage.

Identifying causes

The causes of damage to a structure can be established in various ways:

  • by inspecting the site
  • by conducting interviews
  • by assessing the design calculations and other documents
  • by making additional calculations
  • by assessing possible scenarios against current regulations
Background information on regulations is essential in order to determine whether calculations are applicable and accurate. TNO has this knowledge because it contributes to the formulation of national and international regulations, and is therefore a reliable partner in the provision of specialist knowledge in technical investigations.

Examples of projects

TNO has been involved in many damage investigations in recent years, including ASR damage in bridges and viaducts, the locks at Eefde and Kampen, the B Tower in Rotterdam. We also use our expertise to analyse damage in other types of buildings.

Our work

Probabilistic method

Probabilistics is a methodology for dealing with uncertainty in calculations. It is a core area of expertise for TNO and we apply it in our research on various safety issues. We use probabilistic methods... Read more
Our work

Steel structures

Fluctuating loads, such as traffic or train loads on bridges or wave load on lock gates, may initiate fatigue failure in steel structures. Eventually this may lead to unacceptable cracks and possibly... Read more
Our work

Concrete and concrete structures

Structural concrete is a versatile construction material that is used for over 100 years already. TNO has the knowledge required to understand the structural behavior of concrete structures. In practice,... Read more
Our work

Impact of traffic on civil works

Bridges must be expected to be safe. But what traffic loads should be counted for when designing new bridges or assessing existing ones? TNO uses measurement data to develop probabilistic models for determining... Read more
Our work

Safety and risk assessment

Safety is a precondition for our infrastructure. In many cases, current regulations are not adequate for existing buildings. TNO uses analysis and assessment methods to develop frameworks for ensuring... Read more

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