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The journal of

THE N.Z. INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS, Fourth


Floor, Molesworth House, 101 Molesworth
Street, P.O. Box 12-241, Wellington 1.
President, P. G. SCOULAR, B.E., C.ENG., F.I.C.E..
F.N.Z.I.E., G.A.S.C.E., F.N.Z.I.M.

Leading article
Mass, weight and SI, the practical system of units

125

Secretary, A. J. BARTLETT, M.A. (OXON)

Designed for
The New Zealand engineer and planned to
cover all aspects of professional engineering.
This journal is received by all members of the
N.Z. Institution of Engineers.
Opinions expressed in the journal are not
necessarily those of the Institution or of the
publishers.
Published monthly by
TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS LTD., 127 Molesworth Street, P.O. Box 3047, Wellington, N.Z.
Telephone: 735-739. Telegrams: Tecpub.
Managing Editor
F.

N. STACE, B.E.(ELECT. MECH.), B.E.(MECH.),

C.ENG., F.I.E.E., F.I.S.T.C., M.I.E.E.E., M.N.Z.I.E.


Sub Editor

Papers and articles


The solar buildjng panel concept for the supply of hot water
P. L. Spedding, M. L. Allen, D. Brow

126

Determination of allowable bearing pressure under small


structures
M. J. Stockwell

132

Hong Kong highway system

B. Maxwell

136

Dynamic characteristics of Grafton No. 1 motorway bridge


R. Shepherd, B. M Greensmith

138

Automation and redundancy

140

B. J. Main

ROSEMARY HARDING, B.A.


Advertisement Manager
P. D. DOILE
Business Manager
G. W. CLARK

General
Secretary's newsletter

125

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Paper received

131

Proceedings of Technical Groups

139

Consultants' Notebook

141

N.Z.I.E. news

142

Changes in roll

142

Correspondence

145

Personal

146

Building Services Group

147

Noteworthy

147

Conferences and courses

148

An engineer's bookshelf

148

NZ ISSN 0028-808X
Registered at Post Office Headquarters,
Wellington, as a newspaper.

Cover picture
Grafton No. 1 motorway bridge. (See page 138.)

THE JOURNAL OF THE N.Z. INSTITUTION OF ENGINEERS*

VOL. 32, No. 6, JUNE 1977

Mass, weight and SI, the practical system of units

N preparing a recent paper for publication we had to rule


out a suggestion for expressing the weight of railway trains
in "newtons". The reasoning was impeccableweight is a
force and the SI unit of force is the "newton". However, we
had to point out that SI was originally propounded as, still
is and always must be a "practical system" of units.
The description "practical system" is still part of the formal
and official definition of SI but nowhere in either the formal
or the background literature is "practical system : defined.
One definition would be "does not require a knowledge of
vector algebra". Another would be "is not blind to awkward
facts" and yet another "does not impose technical jargon on
people for whom it has no meaning".
This last definition is the basis for the explanatory note
on "Mass and weight" in NZS 6501 Appendix Y, which the
Metric Advisory Board has approved for use in education.
It is also the basis of the decision of a widely representative
meeting called by the Metric Advisory Board and the
Standards Association, that lifting capacity of cranes, hoists
and slings and the carrying capacity of vehicles and of floors
in buildings should be proclaimed in kilograms (or tonnes).
Thus in large sections of the country's activities, loads,
which are said to "weigh" the number of kilograms (or tonnes)
they equal in weight, are handled with equipment rated in
kilograms (or tonnes) and transported in vehicles rated in

kilograms (or tonnes). To express these weights in "newtons"


would be an unnecessary and quite intolerable complication
for the large numbers of non-technical people who are inevitably involved.
However, when technical calculations are to be made to
determine static forces or stresses in structures or equipment,
"weight" becomes "the force with which the earth attracts a
body" and must be expressed in newtons. For most technical
purposes each kilogram weighs about 9.8 newtons. On the
rare occasions when greater accuracy is required, the local
value of the "acceleration of free fall" must be ascertained.
When technical calculations concern dynamic interaction of
bodies and forces the technical conce pt of "mass", now
nearing its 300th birthday, must be used so that differential
equations of motion can be written.
One of the awkward facts which must not be ignored, is
that SI although helpful in this tricky area, always requires
common sense application in practical matters. Thus engineers
must demonstrate in small matters the clear thinking ability
they claim in large ones, and recognise that "weight" is still
weight in the traditional sense for ordinary folks and is
measured in kilograms, that "weight" is a specially named
force for technical people and is measured like other forces,
in newtons, while "mass" is a technical term used in dynamics
and is measured in kilograms.

Secretary's Newsletter
D URING last year, the Council agreed that the public
relations activities of the Institution should include as
many visits as possible by the President to Ministers of the
Crown, and by branch chairmen to their local members of
parliament and local body politicians. As part of the back-up
to such visits, a brief summary of the Institution's constitution
and activities was to be drafted, to be left behind to remind
those visited of the scope of the work and experience of the
professional engineer. A first version of this sheet has now
been prepared, and copies of it have been sent to the Ministers
visited by the President. The sheet has also been distributed
to branches, and further copies are freely available from
Institution headquarters.

Ars longa, vita brevis


Chaucer bewailed the fact that, with life so short, it took
so long to learn to be a poet. Of course, in his time, everything, including technical treatises, was written in verse. These
days, when we allsome would say, including our poets
write in prose, the di s cipline that has to be applied to writing
appears to be simpler. But it is still an art that takes much
time and practice to learn, and the Institution is generally concerned at the level of written expression among students and
engineering graduates. The tendency in schools to favour oral
expression at the expense of written expression is not likely to
help our young people to marshal their thoughts and express

them on paper in a way that commands respect. Clear thinking


and clear expression is one of the most obvious marks of the
professionaland in the Institution's Professional Interview,
great emphasis is placed on the candidate's ability to express
himself, as it is demonstrated in the three-hour essay period.
There were more than a 130 candidates for the May interviews, so they spent some 390 hours, between them, writing
their essays. I wonder how many hours of practise had been
put in beforehand?

Forms of address
A few years ago, the Institution finally relinquished the
style of "Esquire" when writing to members, a move that was
requested by an annual general meeting that, it seemed, considered the use of esquire to be archaic, though it was liked
by many, who relished its flavour of more formal and elegant
days. Now we are finding that the phrase "dear sir", when
used on the standard letters that we send, particularly, to new
members or members transferring from one grade to another,
is no longer acceptable either. The reason is an excellent one:
many of our members are women. So, in future, as our letters
are reprinted, we shall be using the form of address, "Dear
Member": and in the same way, I expect, we shall see branch
newsletters gradually replace the phrasemembers and their
wiveswithmembers and their partners. A detail? Not to
those directly concerned; and significant, I believe, in assisting
a basic change in attitudes to women at work.
V

* Unless specifically indicated, statements or opinions in New Zealand Engineering do not necessarily reflect the views of the
Institution or the publishers. Correspondence on material published is welcomed.
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

125

The solar building panel concept for the


supply of hot water *
P. L. SPEDDING*
B.SC., M.SC., PH.D., C.ENG., F.I.CHEM.E. (MEMBER)

M. L. ALLEN
B.SC., M.I.CHEM.E., A.N.Z.I.C. (MEMBER)

D. BROW

It is now accepted that world resources of fossil fuels are limited and eventually
must be exhausted at current rates of use. This realisation has caused attention
to be directed at alternative renewable sources of energy. One such renewable
source of energy is solar heat which is virtually inexhaustable in supply and nonpolluting in operation. The utilisation of solar energy is considered to be a
practical proposition in the "solar belt" region of the earth between latitudes
45 north and south. The actual amount of solar energy reaching the earth at
a point depends on the intensity of the sun at that Point and the time the point
is exposed to the sun. Some idea of the solar energy available in New Zealand
can be gauged from the fact that the average amount of solar radiation at
latitude 41S is 6 000 kJ/m 2 a day in mid-winter and 21 000 kJ/ m 2 a day in
mid-summer. The corresponding K values, which are a measure of the direct
sunlight reaching the earth, vary from 0.45 to 0.57.
A solar building panel concept is proposed which serves the dual function of
acting as a solar collector as well as providing weather Protection for a building.
The panel is constructed from standard roofing material for incorporation in the
roofing structure. Where the particular aspect of the building does not allow the
incorporation of the solar building panel in the existing roof, the collector surface
can be made up into a separate solar collector in the normal way.
The straight solar building panel and the glazed solar building panel both can
achieve temperature rise rates and certain other operating characteristics which
are substantially the same as that achieved by the conventional flat, copper,
glazed collector. However, the straight solar building panel only can achieve
temperature rises of up to 30C, which is well below the maximum
temperature rise of the conventional flat, copper, glazed collector. The solar
building panel gave collection efficiencies close to 100% for low temperature
differences of about 10C. This is substantially higher than for conventional units.
The life of the solar building panel can be extended b y suitable pretreatment
and its cost is about $10 to $15/m 2 of collecting surface, which is about onetenth of the cost of a conventional unit.

I. INTRODUCTION
HE obvious application of solar energy in New
Zealand is in the low temperature space-heating and
hot-water heating fields for both domestic and industrial use. At present, the demand for hot-water heating
is met by electric power which consumes approximately one-fifth of the total public utility power generated within the country.' The annual cost of the power
used for hot-water heating in New Zealand has been
estimated as being $90 million of which two-thirds is
the cost of domestic hot-water use. Benseman 2 has
surveyed the subject and concluded that a 4 m 2 collector with a 180 litre storage tank providing 200
litres/day of water at 50C would be the most
economical unit to use in the New Zealand domestic
situation. The collector panel must face within 30

* Associate professor and acting head of Department of


Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of
Auckland.
t Senior lecturer in Department of Chemical and Materials
Engineering, University of Auckland.

126

of north and be tilted upwards between 15 and 50


to the horizontal, depending on location. In addition,
the whole system must cost less than $250 installed as
of 1973 to break even economically, and have an
operating life of 20 years. Such a unit could obtain
60% of its heat from solar energy and the remainder
from electrical power. If a higher water temperature
was used, say 70C, only 35% of the total heat would
come from solar energy. The national saving which
would result from the use of solar hot-water heating
would amount to between $20 million and $35 million
a year, depending on the hot-water supply temperature.
Nationwide the scheme would cost up to $250 million
to install.
This analysis of the situation is in accord with the
findings of other workers, 4 and leads to the conclusions that the systems can be made to work under
certain circumstances, but the installed cost can be so
high as to make the system of doubtful economics at
the present stage, unless special consideration is given
to making the installed cost more reasonable. The
cost benefit therefore is doubtful unless a collector is
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

used which is efficient in the lower temperature range,


around 50C, and is cheap to produce. It was the
purpose of this work to develop a low cost solar
heater which would act as a preheater for the normal
electric hot-water system as well as doubling as weather
protection for the building in which the system is
installed. Such a solar collector must fit naturally into
the architecture of the building on which it is installed
so that the unit is aesthetically pleasing.
2. SOLAR HEATER
A solar heater consists of three essential components
a collector which absorbs solar radiation, a store
for hot-water and inter-connecting pipe work. The
collector virtually is a heat exchanger which is exposed
to solar radiation and thus collects energy from the
sun, some of which is transferred to a heat transfer
fluid. The rest of the heat is lost to the surroundings
by convection and re-radiation. As far as the collectors
are concerned, they can be classified into two types
the flat-plate type and the focusing type. The flatplate collectors usually are stationary and absorb heat
from both the diffuse solar radiation as well as from
direct radiation, thus enabling them to operate on
bright cloudy days. The focusing collector on the other
hand is timed throughout the day to follow the sun, as
it can use only direct radiation, but it does produce
much higher temperatures in the heat transfer fluid. Of
the two, the flat-plate collector is the cheaper to produce and this could find economic application for
domestic hot-water supply. If corrosion is not of
importance it is more economical to use water directly
as the heat transfer fluid in the flat-plate collector.
Usually the flat-plate collector consists of a series of
metal tubes, set between headers, which are physically
bonded to a metal sheet to ensure that good heat
transfer occurs. The sheet and the exposed tubes
absorb solar radiation and transfer heat to the water
in the tubes. The material from which the collector is
made is either steel, aluminium or copper, although
recent developments have seen the use of plastic as the
collector material. The collector material is blackened
to assist in the solar collection process. The body of
the collector usually is enclosed in a sealed casing
with a sheet glass cover and is backed by a layer of
thermal insulation. The glass cover imparts a "glass
house" effect to the collector, trapping the high
frequency radiation from the sun, but acting as a
barrier to the escape of low frequency radiation from
the collector system, while the backing insulation reduces heat losses by conduction from the collector.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

Storage tanks are essential for the operation of


a solar heater because of the intermittent nature of
both the effective solar energy and the use of hot
water. The storage tank and the inter-connecting piping
should be well insulated to avoid heat losses. Circulation between the solar collector and the storage tank is
usually effected by the thermosyphon principle
although, where costs are not important, a simple 10
to 15 W water pump can be used. The advantage of
the thermosyphon system is that it functions automatically whenever the solar energy input is high
enough to heat the water in the collector to a temperature above that of the water in the base of the storage
tank. The thermosyphon system requires that the top
of the collector must be placed at least 60 cm below
the base of the storage tank to prevent back-syphoning
during the night. Where physical considerations prevent
this head criterion being met, a water pump and
associated non-return valving must be used. The hotwater syphon connection from the solar collector to
the hot-water storage tank should enter the storage
tank at a point two-thirds up the side of the tank. Two
suitable designs of solar heater installations are illustrated in Fig. 1.
Forced air circulation through solar collectors has
been in use for some time in the United States and
Australia for home heating and cooling. During the
day, air is circulated from the solar collector to a rockpile storage system installed under the floor of a building. During the night a second air circulation system
draws heat from the rock-pile storage system and distributes the heated air through the building. In addition, a water storage tank embedded in the rock-pile
storage system supplies pre-heated water to the electric
hot-water heater. This method of supplying low
temperature heat solves any problems of corrosion,
pressure head and leakage which arise with the
ordinary solar hot-water system. A variant of the
rock-pile storage system is used to provide daytime
cooling during the hot summer season.
3. DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A
SOLAR BUILDING PANEL
It is obvious from the above general discussion that
in order to make domestic solar hot-water heating an
economic proposition in New Zealand, it is essential
that a solar collector must be devised which is cheap,
reliable, and resistant to damage, while being able to
be blended into the dwelling in an aesthetically pleasing
manner. Therefore, it seemed logical to make a solar
panel from common roofing material which would

127

double as a protection from the weather for the


building on which the solar heater is placed. It would
be a simple matter to form common roofing material
into a double-skin solar collector building panel in a
manner which formed internal ducting through which
water would circulate. The outer surface of the solar
building panel would be coated with a heat-absorbent
surface to enable solar energy to be picked up efficiently. Furthermore, the underside of the panel would
be insulated to cut down heat losses and sheeted to
remove condensation to the roof gutter of the building.
The double skin of the panel would be formed by
joining two sheets of roofing material at various
locations to withstand the pressure of water and so
that freezing would not be a problem. Circulation of
the fluid through the panel would be by the thermosyphon principle. For locations where incorporation
in the roofing is not possible, a solar panel could be
constructed from the solar building panel in the normal
manner. Obviously the cost of this latter design would
be greater than that of the solar building panel and a
lot of the visual appeal could well be lost.
Figure 2 details a design of a solar building panel
made from standard corrugated galvanised steel sheet.5
Two corrugated iron sheets were joined together at the
edges and at the dimples to give a water-tight cavity
with a gap distances of 8 mm. Initially the joining was
by soldering. The panel was pressure-tested under 6
metres of water head to ensure adequate strength.
Other designs are possible which will make construction of the panel easier and give better water distribution within the panel. These are detailed in Fig.
3 together with the sections of other standard building
materials which could be used to make solar building
panels.
4 EXPERIMENTAL
A solar building panel of the design shown in Fig. 2
was made and tested in order to evaluate its performance. The test apparatus is shown in Fig. 4. Performance of the solar building panel was measured and
then compared with that of a copper tube, flat-plate,
single glazed solar collector and a glazed solar building
panel. Data were collected over a period of 18 months,
and details of the corrosion resistance of the system
were noted at the end of this period.
Results given in Table 1 show the peak temperature in C taken in the storage tank after a day's

operation. The apparatus was charged with cold water


at 18C each morning and the average shade temperature over the test period was recorded similarly at
18C. The data in Table 1 show that the copper plate
collector was the most efficient of the three collectors
tested, and there were 5-6C difference between the
peak temperature which was achieved for the copper
plate, glazed collector and the solar building panel.
The winter period is even more instructive and detailed
results are given in Fig. 5. The rate of temperature
rise for the solar building panel parallels that of the
copper plate, glazed collector, but the maximum temperature again lags behind by 5-6C. Under heavy
cloud conditions very little heating was achieved and
the difference between the solar building panel and
the copper plate, glazed collector was 0.5C. In
Fig. 6 (a) the area of the solar building panel was
doubled enabling the peak temperature to be achieved
more rapidly while its value only was 1.5 to 2C
below that of the copper plate collector.
A test was run on the solar building panel using
forced air circulation. Figure 6 (b) shows the results
from a solar building panel using an air rate of 100
litres/min with a panel area of 0.558 m2.
Estimates were made of the corrosion to be expected
of the solar building panel after 18 months service
with water as the heat transfer medium. From these
data it was estimated that a service life of 8 to 10
years could be expected from the solar building panel
if contact with the copper hot-water storage tank and
connecting piping was avoided. The life estimate of
the solar building panel in the case of using air as the
heat transfer medium was considerably above this
period.

4.l Standard test


The initial work performed on the solar building
panel looked promising, and so more stringent tests
were undertaken. A second corrugated solar building
panel was made following the details given in Fig. 2.
128

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

Fig. 4 (a): Performance comparison test apparatus.

Fig. 4 (b): Standard solar heater test apparatus.

In this case the edges and dimples were resistancewelded while the pipe connections were soldered. The
inside surface of the panel was coated with tar epoxy
resin. The panel was then tested in the rig illustrated
in Fig. 4 (b) following the proposed standard test
code drawn up by Bates and White. 6 The test criteria
which were adopted so that reproductible tests may be
carried out were:
1. The collector panel must be within 5 of the
normal to the sun in both planes for each test.
2. The minimum head for thermosyphoning to the
collector water tank will be 60 cm above the collector
panel outlet port. The outlet connections must have
a positive gradient greater than 20.
3. In the case of forced circulation the same constant flowrate for each test will be used. Values
between 20 to 40 ml/m2s will be acceptable.
4. Thermocouple probes must be sufficiently immersed into the fluid at inlet and outlet to ensure the
thermocouple is at the same temperature as the water.
A length of not less than 5 cm is necessary.
5. For testing, a clear sky for the duration of the
test and time to reach steady state conditions are
essential. The pyranometer gives sufficient indication
of any unfavourable drops in isolation. Excessive windy
and haze covered days should be avoided.
6. The collector undersurface and the hot-water
storage tank with its connecting piping shall be well
insulated.
Detailed results are given in Fig. 7 in which the
heat input and output are calculated from

conditions of the system. The insolation rate G was


measured on a pyranometer. The data are presented
as a plot of the parameter x = Td/G against efficiency
of collection. For comparison, the data from three
commercially available, single glazed collectors were
obtained at the same time and they are included in
Fig. 7.
The solar building panel registered abnormally high
efficiencies under certain conditions in the low temperature difference region. This was caused by the transfer
of heat to the water from the surface of the collector
beyond the wetted area. In other words, the metal
beyond the extremities of the water cavity contributed
a certain amount of heat to the system by conduction
through the metal. To eliminate this effect two runs
were made for each test on the same collector in the
same temperature range, but in the first of these tests
the collector was exposed to the sun completely while
in the second test the collector was masked so as to
expose only the wetted area to the sun. The results
from the two runs were averaged on the assumption
that the heat gained by the totally exposed panel
would be equal to the heat lost to the shaded area
with the masked panel. This, of course, would not be
the case because the temperature difference driving
forces will not be the same, but by using the average
of the two tests the result will be correct within the
expected normal experimental error. There was on an
average a 12% difference between the operation of
the straight solar building panel and the shielded
building panel. Actually, the solar building panel will
operate in the unshaded condition and therefore in
practice will register efficiencies about 6% higher than
those shown in Fig. 7 since the results are based on
the actual wetted area of the solar building panel.
However, accepting Fig. 7 at face value as a mean-

to give the efficiency of collecting H o/H i at the density


and specific heat for water under average temperature

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

129

ingful comparison between solar panels, it is clear


that the solar building panel gave high efficiencies
close to 100% at low values of x under 10, while in
the same region the glazed panels achieved efficiencies
of about 50%." At high values of x around 35 the
solar building panel gave low efficiencies between 20
and 40% while the maximum temperature which could
be achieved by the panel was between 60 and 61C.
The glazed panels on the other hand gave efficiencies
of 45 to 50% and exhibited a greater range of operation than the solar building panel at high values of x
because the efficiency curve was relatively flat by comparison. The maximum temperature which was
achieved by the glazed collectors was about 100C.
The rate of temperature rise for the two types of panel
was the samenamely, 4.9C/h.
At values of x below 10, a considerable portion of
the solar heat supplied to the glazed collector either is
reflected from the glass or is used to maintain the
temperature of the glass and enclosed air. Furthermore, the conduction of heat through the glazed portion of the collector is low relative to the actual
absorbing copper plate or the collecting surface of the
solar building panel. These circumstances resulted in
the efficiency of the glazed collectors being about 50%
at values of x below 10, while the solar building panel
had a higher efficiency in this region as it is unencumbered by the heat resistances and loss characteristics of the glazing. When values of x are above 30,
the solar building panel suffers considerable heat loss
* It is recognised that this is a somewhat lower value than
reported by many other workers, but all data in the figure
were obtained experimentally under consistent conditions
and so are internally comparable.

130

to the surrounding atmosphere, as the temperature


difference between the water in the cavity of the panel
and atmosphere is large. The glazed panels operating
in this region, on the other hand, are not as subject to
losses as a result of the insulating effect of the glass
and therefore can operate in the x region above 30
where temperature differences are large. Two runs
were conducted at conditions which were outside the
standards laid down. The results are included to illustrate the adverse effect such a circumstance does make
on the efficiency.
The results from the glazed solar panels shown in
Fig. 7 are of interest. The solar panel units used were
a standard copper plate panel which had an intermediate collection efficiency, a finned tube panel which had
the lowest collection efficiency and a high temperature
p.v.c. plastic panel of flattened form which had the
highest collector efficiency. The reason the plastic unit
performed best was that the collecting surface of the
panel and the wetted area were substantially the same
and there was no need for the collected energy to be
transferred along a surface of the collector to the
wetted area. The standard panel collector depended
on heat collected by the flat plates of copper being
transferred to the inner wetted surface of the tubes
containing the water and therefore exhibited a lower
collector efficiency than the plastic collector. The heat
transfer process was not as efficient as with the case
of the plastic unit where the collecting surface is the
same as the wetted surface. The finned tube unit was
a less efficient solar collector than either of the other
glazed collectors because the fins were presented side
on to the incident rays from the sun and thus could
not be expected to be as efficient in intercepting the
solar radiation as a continuous flat sheet collector.
Mechanical tests demonstrated that the solar building
panel was sufficiently robust to be free of the possibility of mechanical damage in service, while alternative designs, such as those shown in Fig. 3, have
adequately handled certain practical problems such as
the non-uniformity of flow in the panel.
The only major problem associated with the solar
building panel is the life of the unit. Epoxy tar lining
or a specially baked surface treatment are possible
methods of extending the life of the panel to the
required 20 years' service. Apparently, one of the
major problems which leads to corrosion is the inclusion of air in the water. A closed recirculated heating
fluid of the design illustrated in Fig. 8 would eliminate
this problem. The heating fluid used in the panel
would be a solution of diethylene glycol or other suitable heat transfer medium. The heat transfer fluid
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

6. REFERENCES

would circulate in a closed system to the outside


section of a double storage tank in such a manner as
to avoid oxygen entrainment. The inner section of
the storage tank would be made of copper and would
be insulated from contact with the outer section of the
tank. A detailed study by Banks' has shown that the
total volume of the storage system is optimum at
50 litres/m 2 of solar building panel area.

1 BLAKELEY, P. W. (1974) : "Patterns of use of electrical


energy in New Zealand", pp. 66-78 Proc. N.Z. Energy Conf.,
Auckland University.
2 BENSEMAN, R. F. (1974): "Solar energyan indigenous
fuel", Physics and Engineering Laboratory, D.S.I.R., Wellington.
CHINNERY, D. N. W. (1971): "Solar water heating in
South Africa", Nat. Build. Res. Ind. Bull., 248 CSIR.
4 MORSE, R. N., COOPER, P. I., PROCTER, D. (1974) :
"The status of solar energy utilisation in Australia for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes", Report 74/1, July,
CSIRO.
5 BROW, D. (1975) : "A solar building panel", N.Z. Patent
175, 439.
6 BATES, R. M., WHITE, M. C. (1975): "A proposed
standard test code for solar water heaters", PME 75/1; "A
standard test specification for solar water heaters", PME
75/35, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University
of Auckland.
7 BANKS, C. K. R. (1974): "Utilisation of solar energy for
heating water", Department of Chemical and Materials
Engineering, University of Auckland.

5. CONCLUSION
The solar building panel can operate effectively as
a solar hot-water system collector as well as doubling
as a means of weather protection for the building in
which the hot-water system is housed. Collection efficiencies are higher than with the glazed solar collector
for water temperatures up to 50C. To achieve higher
temperatures than 50C a glazed collector must be
used, but at an overall efficiency of well below that of
the solar building panel in its normal range of operation. In addition, the solar building panel can be
supplied at $10 to $15/m 2 or one-tenth the cost of
the glazed collectors.

PAPER RECEIVED
R. B. WilkinsonSpeech transmission standards in the New Zealand telephone network.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

131

Determination of allowable bearing pressure


under
structures

small

M J. STOCKWELL*
B.E., C.ENG., M.I.C.E., (MEMBER)
This paper describes Procedure for assessing the allowable bearing pressure
,ender small structures without the need for testing samples in the laboratory.

I. INTRODUCTION
l.1 Preamble

HE object of this paper is to provide some practical


guidance for a person with limited experience in
soil mechanics who wishes to establish the allowable
design bearing pressure under a small structure. Hopefully, the paper will also be useful to the busy practising engineer who requires a quick answer. The
material presented has been gathered together from the
literature and is intended to provide a simple approach
to the problem using minimum equipment without the
necessity for .laboratory testing. A small structure is

arbitrarily defined by the author as a one- or twostorey building, although the methods discussed apPly
equally well to foundations for other small structures,
such as portal frames and water towers etc.

For heavier, more important structures, laboratory


compression testing of undisturbed soil samples may
be carried out to establish density, angle of internal
friction and cohesion values for thc soil. Formula and
graphs from the literature (e.g., Terzaghi) can then
be used to calculate allowable bearing pressures.
While providing the most reliable assessment of allowable bearing pressure, this procedure is very time consuming, and, the author contends, quite unnecessary
for most small structures.
1.2 Experience and local knowledge

For many building sites no foundation investigation


is carried out other than the builder or local body
inspector examining the bottom of the foundation
trench. His local knowledge tells him whether the
presence of soft underlying layers is unlikelyhence
whether a settlement type failure is precluded (refer
type (c), section 2).
Similarly the inspector will use his experience to
judge visually that the foundation soil is capable of
supporting the building without the risk of a shear
failure(refer types (a) and (b), section 2). He
often probes the ground with a bar or boot heel, and
by this process is in fact categorising the soil into one
of the classifications of section 3.2.
These methods of site evaluation are somewhat
bewildering to the inexperienced person who, it is
suggested, would be better to follow the more formal
procedure of section 3.

the foundationsin this case the foundation will


settle suddenly with an accompanied heaving of the
surrounding soil.
(b) Slow plastic (i.e., shear) movements of underlying soft strata resulting in gradual lateral displacement of the soil from beneath the foundations.
(c) Gradual settlement of the foundation caused by
consolidation of underlying stratathe consolidation
is caused by expulsion of air and water from the
voids.
Type (a) and (b) failures:

The allowable bearing pressures established by the


methods described later, are intended to ensure against
failure types (a) and (b) above. If these allowable
pressures are used, settlement should generally be
within the following limits: (i) maximum settlement of
any one of a group of footings = 25 mm; (ii) maximum differential settlement between footings =
20 mm.
These deflections are regarded as the acceptable
limits a modern building can withstand without
distress.'
Type (c) failure:

When underlying strata such as peat or soft clay


are present, they are likely to consolidate as a result
of an increase in pressure, and the settlement can be
calculated only after laboratory testing soil samples to
estabilsh co-efficient of volume compressibility as described in the literature,' et al. It is not intended to
discuss consolidation here, other than to suggest that
the possibility should be assessed by: (i) examination
of adjacent structures for excessive settlement (say
greater than 25 mm) ; (ii) drilling boreholes to locate
soft strata. For small structures borehole depth and
pressure limits on soft strata to reduce settlement are
discussed in Appendix B.
3. SITE INVESTIGATION

The following procedure is suggested.


3.1 Boreholes

Drill boreholes to determine soil type and level of


water table. As discussed in Appendix B, a borehole
depth of about 2 m will generally be sufficient below
most small structures.

2. FOUNDATION FAILURE

3.2 Visual classification

As described in C.E.C.P. No. 4, 2 foundations may


fail due to any of the following causes:
(a) Rapid local failure by shear of the soil beneath

Carry out a visual classification of the soils encountered into the following broad categories, using
the tests listed:
( a) Clay and silt:
Class 1: Very soft; core (height = twice diameter) sags under own weight.
Class 2: Soft; consistency of soft putty; can be

* Structural staff engineer, city engineer's office, Christchurch


City Council.
This paper was first received on 21 May 1976 and in revised
form on 14 December 1976.

132

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING

(32, 6) 15

JUNE 1977

used to check that the dispersed pressure pd at the


lower level does not exceed qa for the stratum at that
level. A type (a) and (b) failure will hence be
avoided.
4.2 Clay and silt
The following definitions apply:
H = depth of bottom of footing below ground (m)
B = width of footing (m)
qa = allowable bearing pressure (kPa)
qm = modified allowable bearing pressure (kPa)
For isolated and strip footings the value of qa can
be modified for the following effects:
(a) Depth of isolated and strip footings:
qm = qa (1 + H/ 4B), but not more than
1.5 qa ref.2.
The increase in qa is for the enhancing effect
of soil confinement below ground level.
(b) Width of isolated and strip footings:
qm
qa in all cases ref. 2.
(c) Vibrational effects (including earthquake) :
For clays in the Class 4 to 6 range
qm= 1.5 qaref. 3.
For silts, no increase is allowed, and if the
sand content is high the reduction for sand
should be used.
pinched in half between fingers; shows heelmarks when walked on; 12 mm bar can
be pushed in under moderate steady hand
pressure.
Class 3: Medium; consistency of firm putty; can
be imprinted with fingers; shows faint heelmarks when walked on.
Class 4: Stiff; not wet or sticky; difficult to
mould in fingers; difficult to imprint with
fingers; does not show heelmarks when
walked on; difficult to remove with spade or
grafting tool.
Class 5: Very stiff; cannot be moulded or imprinted with fingers; difficult to remove with
wetted grafting tool.
Class 6: Hard; difficult to excavate with pick.
(b) Sand
Class 1: Uniform loose; easy to excavate with
shovel; offers little resistance to 12 mm bar
under steady hand pressure.
Class 2: Uniform compact; well graded loose;
properties between Classes 1 and 3.
Class 3: Well graded compact; difficult to excavate with shovel; offers high resistance to
12 mm bar under steady hand pressure.
3.3. Penetration results
Carry out Scala penetrometer tests on the "raft" of
soil immediately below the foundationsthe Scala
penetrometer and its operation are described in
Appendix A.
4. EVALUATION OF RESULTS
4.1 General
From the Scala penetrometer results and the visual
classification of section 3, qa can be evaluated from
Fig. 2 where:
qa = proposed allowable bearing pressure including
a factor of safety of 3 against a type (a)
failure.
If penetrometer tests reveal weak layers below the
surface, then equation B.1 of Appendix B should be
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

4.3 Sand
The value of qa should be modified for the following
effects:
(a) Depth of isolated and strip footings:
qm = qa (1 + H/B), but not more than
2 qa, ref. 2.
As for cohesive soils the increase is for the
confining effect of pressure below ground.
(b) Width of isolated and strip footings:
when B < 1 m; qm = qa X B, ref. 2.
B 1 m; qm = qa
The reduction in qa for narrow footings is
due to a "knife edge" effect. The author
suggests that this effect can safely be ignored
for buildings where a floor slab is cast monolithically with the strip footing due to the
compensating effect of the width of the floor
slab.
(c) Saturated conditions:
According to Terzaghi, 1 saturated conditions beneath footings on sand cause approximately double the settlement to occur. If the
water table is at depth B, or greater, below
the footing base, then dry conditions can be
assumed. However, if the water can rise to
within depth B from the base then saturated
conditions should be assumed to exist and the
following reductions made:
when H/B /< 1; qm = qa/2
H/B > 1; qm = 2 qa/3
(d) Vibrational effects (including earthquake) :
qm = 0.75 qa, ref. 3.
4.4 Soil classification
Fig. 2 correlates qa with the soil classifications 1
to 6 of section 3.
The correlation for clays has been taken from refs.
1, 2,
5 and the author suggests that this correlation
can be extended to silts. The more conservative values
of qa from ref. 1 for continuous footings on clay have
been adopted. Values for square footings on clay
could be increased by a factor of 1.2/0.9 = 1.33.
133

The correlation for sands has been taken from ref. 3.


Gravels have not been included in this discussion as
the small cone of the Scala penetrometer cannot penetrate material with particle sizes greater than sand
grains.
4.5 Scala penetrometer
Curves 1, 2 and 3 on Fig. 1 show the correlation
between C.b.r. and e, where:
C.b.r. = California bearing ratio % at 2.5 mm
penetration
e
= Scala penetrometer value in mm per blow.
Curve 2 is taken directly from Scala's soil tests in
Victorian roads covering a range of soil subgrades,
including clays, silts and some sands.
Curve 1 is plotted from the following theoretical
relationship between e and C.b.r.:
e =. 0.35 / (C.b.r 0.88) . . . . equation (4.1)
The derivation of equation (4.1) is given in Appendix
A.
Curve 3 is plotted midway between the experimental
curve 2 and the theoretical curve 1 and it is this
curve that the author suggests for use in establishing
qa.
Curve 4 on Fig. 1 correlates C.b.r. with qa. This
curve has been taken from Middlebrooks and Bertram6
and was derived from the results of plate-bearing tests
with pressure taken at a deflection of 2.5 mm.
Most foundation soils are capable of deforming at
least three times this deflection (i.e., 7.5 mm) before
reaching yield point and generating the type (a)
foundation failure of section 2. (Hence the factor of
safcty for qa against a type (a) failure is 3, as stated
in section 4.1.) The values of C.b.r. versus qa given
in ref. compare well with those given by Cassagrande.7
Direct correlation of qa with Scala penetrometer
readings e is shown on Fig. 2. This curve has been
derived from curves 3 and 4 of Fig. 1. With reference
to Fig. 1, a typical correlation of e versus qa is
derived as follows:
given e
50 mm/blow and using curve 3
read C.b.r. = 4.3 (point A on the curve)
then from this value of C.b.r. and using curve 4
read qa = 68 kPa (point A on the curve)
134

Hence e is correlated with qa and replotted to form


the curve of e versus qa on Fig. 2.
5. CONCLUSIONS
The author contends that the use of Fig. 2 in
evaluating qa for small structures will give a quick
reliable result.
Fig. 2 is based on curve 3 of Fig. 1, which has been
arbitrarily positioned midway between curves 1 and
2. The use of Fig. 2 should ideally give a factor of
safety against foundation failure, types (a) and (b),
of about 3. However, this figure will be modified, as
the real soil characteristics range between curves 1 and
2, giving an actual factor of safety ranging between
about 1.6 and 5.8. Even the lower figure of 1.6 should
provide an adequate margin of safety against failure,
thus enabling qa to be read from Fig. 2 with some
measure of confidence for small structures.
6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author thanks the Christchurch deputy general
manager and city engineer for permission to publish
this paper. Thanks are made to J. A. Ince of the city
engineer's department for his helpful comments.
7. REFERENCES
1 TERZAGHI, K. and PECK, R. B. (1960) : Soil Mechanics
in Engineering Practice, John Wiley & Sons, N.Y.
2 I.C.E. (1954) : Civil Engineering Code of Practice No. 4.
3 N.Z.S. (1973) : "Provisional code of practice for design of
foundations for buildings", N.Z.S. 4205 P.
4 SCALA, A. J. (1956) : "Simple methods of flexible pavement
design using cone penetrometers", N.Z. Engineering,
February.
5 PARCHER, J. V. and MEANS, R. E. (1968) : Soil Mechanics
and Foundations, Charles E. Merrill, Columbus, Ohio.
6 MIDDLEBROOKS, T. A. and BERTRAM, G. E. (1942) :
"Soil tests for runways", Highway Research Board, 22nd
Annual Meetings Proceedings.
7 D.S.I.R., R.R.L. (1961) : Soil Mechanics for Road Engineers,
Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

APPENDIX A
Scala penetrometer
A.1 Description
The penetrometer designed by Scala 4 and discussed in sections 3 and 4 of this article is shown in Fig. 3. By making
up a duplicate 914 mm long shaft for use as an extension,
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

the penetrometer can be used for testing to about 1.8 m below


ground level.
The case hardened cone is driven into the soil by successive
blows of a 9.1 kg hammer dropping 510 mm vertically on to
a steel anvil. A record of depth of penetration for each blow
of the hammer is kept by the operator as the cone is driven
through the soil strata under investigation. Finally a graph
is plotted with penetration in mm as the ordinate and number
of blows as the abscissa. The slope of the graph at any point
gives e (mm per blow) at that depth in the soil strata. It is
suggested that one blow of the hammer is used to "bed" the
cone into the soil, and the zero point for depth and number
of blows is taken neglecting this first blow.
A.2 Derivation of equation (41)
From the principle of conservation of energy and momentum
it can be shown that:

Rd = 0.155/e + 0.386 ref.

where Rd = the dynamic resistance to penetration of a cone in


kPa.

e = penetration in mm per blow for the Scala penetrometer.


It has also been shown experimentally:

Rd = 0.441 C.b.r. ref.4


where C.b.r. = California bearing ration at 2.5 mm penetration.
Hence, eliminating Rd from the above equations we get:

= required depth of soil investigation below bottom


foundation.
Re-arranging:

h = [(pa pd) /pd] . . . equation (B.2)


Using this relationship, h is shown in Table 1 for values of
b and pa typical for single and two-storey buildings with
pd = 10 kPa (assumed allowable pressure for soft clay and
peat as previously discussed).

0.155/e 0.386 = 0.441 C.b.r.


which on re-arranging reduces to equation (4.1)
e= 0.351/(C.b.r. 0.88).

APPENDIX B
Borehole depth
The site investigation of section 3 necessitates borehole
drilling.
Boreholes should be carried to a depth at which the stress
imposed by the foundation can be carried by the soil stratum
at that level with an adequate factor of safety against failure
types (a) and (b) described in section 2. The magnitude of
this stress depends, of course, on soil type. However, the
author suggests a stress of 10 pKa can be sustained by
most soft clays and even some peats (i.e., the weakest soils)
without causing failure.
A pressure spread of 2 vertical to 1 horizontal from the
bottom of the foundation will be adopted, as suggested by
C.E.C.P. No. 4 2 and shown in Fig. 4. More accurate methods
of assessing pressure dispersion, such as Boussinesq's analysis,
are hardly justified, owing to the empirical nature of the other
variables, such as the assumed value of pd.
With reference to the strip footing shown in Fig. 4:

pd= pa [b/ (b+h)] . . . equation (B.1)


where pd = dispersed pressure on underlying soil stratum
pa = applied pressure at bottom of foundation
b = width of bottom of foundation
h = depth of soil stratum below bottom of foundation
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

From Table 1 it can be seen that a maximum depth of


borehole investigation of about 2 m is sufficient below most
single-and two-storey buildings. This depth of soil will form
a "raft" which allows the structure to "float" on possible
underlying soft layers. The soil strength of the "raft" itself
must then be investigated by visual inspection and penetration
testing as described in section 3. Provision against types (a)
and (b) failures of the "raft" soil is ensured by providing a
bearing surface on the bottom of the foundation sufficient to
ensure that pd is less than qa at any depthrefer to section 4.
The preceding principles can, of course, be used to find
the required depth of borehole investigation for other shapes
of footing and varying values of pa and pb. Equation (B.2)
can be easily modified for various footing shapes.
Boreholes are usually drilled either with a hand or mechanical auger. It is often most economic to employ a truckmounted machine auger, with hire rates on an hourly basis.
If only a few extra minutes are required to drill from a
depth of 2 m to say 5 m, then the extra length of borehole
may be good value for money as it will cost only a small
fraction of the total hire and may provide useful additional
informatione.g., if the size of the structure is increased at a
later date.
1 35

This paper is based on an article commissioned by the Public Works Department,


Hong Kong, which was written by an independent freelance writer, B. Maxwell.

I. THE PRESENT
IN 1960 Hong Kong had 800 km of road on which
ran 40 000 vehicles. By 1976 there were nearly
1 120 km handling 190 000 vehicles. Congestion has
been eased by the virtual elimination of all the traffic
police pagodas at busy intersections and Hong Kong,
emphasising the grade separation concept, now has
over 40 flyovers and 300 sets of traffic light signals.
It has one of the world's highest traffic densities and
highest traffic volumes moving at speeds envied by
many other cities.
Road public transport, buses, trams and public light
buses make up 85% of all the 4.75 million daily public
transport trips and move at an average speed of 16
km/h along the major corridors during peak periods.
The target is a minimum speed of 19 km/h.
In the last few years a 1.6 km long, four-lane tunnel
under the harbour, linking Hong Kong island with
Kowloon, has been opened (Fig. 1). A second tunnel
through the Kowloon foothills, providing better access
to the comparatively spacious New Territories, has
almost been finished. Another tunnel, this time under
the Kai Tak international airport, leads from bustling
Kowloon to the fast growing industrial area at Kwun
Tong. And yet a fourth tunnel, from the central commercial district of Hong Kong island to the southern
side of the island (it emerges near Aberdeen) is about
to be built.
These tunnels form an integral part of the trunk
route plan (Fig. 2). Eventually, using them, it should
be possible to drive from one side of the territory of
Hong Kong, including the island, to the farthest opposite extremity, in about half an hour.
2. THE FUTURE
Hong Kong is to spend an estimated NZ$320 million
on roads by 1980, compared with NZ$1 100 million
outlayed in the 15 years since 1960.
Adjustments in priorities are likely to be made after
the Public Works Department and other government
branches have studied a NZ$1.72 million 500-page
"Comprehensive Transport Study" submitted in March
1976 by the American consultant firm Wilbur Smith
and Associatesthe government is expected to publish
a White Paper on the subject later this yearbut where
it affects highways many of the problems have already
been identified in a Green Paper, produced in 1975
to invite public discussion and comment, and in a
1968 long-term road study. The building of a mass
transit underground railway had by then been recommendeda NZ$1 160 million venture. The long-term
road study set out a highway construction programme
to the year 1986 which forms the basis of work
presently taking place.
The plan is to criss cross the 1 042 km 2 territory
with a series of motorway-style trunk routes, but Hong
Kong's mountainous terrain, and the fact that 24% of
the population live on Hong Kong island itself, make
such development difficult.
136

Fig. 1: Once traffic could be controlled by policemen in pagoda


booths. Now only a handful are left. In their place are
hundreds of sets of traffic signals, multi-level flyovers, traffic
separation schemes and a multi-million dollar highways construction programme.

The island section of route 1, dependent on construction of the Aberdeen tunnel, will not be ready
until about 1980. However, the cross-harbour tunnel
and freeway leading north to Lion Rock tunnel through
the Kowloon foothills are in use. The Kowloon section
of the new route to Yuen Long is almost finished and
work is well advanced in other parts of this road. A
shorter but very important commercial link route,
from industrial Kwun Tong to the Kwai Chung container terminals, is also virtually complete.
3. ENSURING ECONOMICAL ROAD USE

Another solution to the congestion problem is to


use the roads in a more economical manner. Consideration has been given to the imposition of quotas. Restrictions already exist on the registration of additional
taxis, light buses and buses, so it would be possible
to extend this system to private cars, motor cycles and
goods vehicles. Private cars account for two-thirds of
all motor vehicle registrations, although a negative
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

0 km 5

Fig. 3: Hong Kong's road structure in the 1980s, with route


numbers, road tunnels, and the three new towns in the New
Territories. The connection to Lantau Island, and the proposed
Route 3 bridge on the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, are
still under consideration.

Fig. 2: One of Hong Kong's interchangespart of a NZ$400


million flyover construction programmeemerges from Manhattan-style Wanehai into the entrance of the mile-long crossharbour tunnel connecting Hong Kong Island with Kowloon.
Slip roads lead off east and west to the motorway along Hong
Kong Island's northern shore. Another tunnel beyond the skyscrapers on the right is being blasted through a mountain to
provide an extra road link with industrial estates and fishing
villages on the southern side of the island.

increase rate was achieved by 1976. But it would be


difficult to decide fairly who should be allowed to
register new vehicles.
Alternatively, assuming emphasis must be placed
on public transport which carries most of the load, and
thus that some form of limitation on private cars, goods
vehicles and motor cycles is necessary, it has been
proposed that
(a) An applicant for a new registration would have
to show that he had a satisfactory off-road parking
place for his vehicle, but this would be difficult to
administer.
(b) An applicant would be allowed to register a new
vehicle only on furnishing proof of scrapping an old
one. This would not be too difficult to administer, but
genuine additional needs, such as expanding commercial concerns, could be difficult to service.
(c) An applicant would have to prove he paid
salaries tax (slightly more than 100 000 of Hong
Kong's estimated 4.3 million population pay salaries
tax). This seems reasonable, but there are drawbacks.
For example, car ownership would be excluded for
citizens not paying tax because their income did not
come from a taxable source (dividends are not taxed
in Hong Kong), and excluded for those whose personal
allowances were high enough to cover income that
might otherwise be taxable. How is a system based on
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

profits tax devised to determine how many vehicles a


business firm should be allowed to operate?
(d) Restricting the size of private cars by requiring
them to conform to specified small dimensions or to a
certain cylinder capacity, but congestions result more
from the number of vehicles on the roads rather than
their size.
(e) Restricting private cars to one per family, but
it is very difficult in Hong Kong to define a family,
check aliases, false names and genuine cases of similar
names.
Alternatively, raising registration fees and road taxes
would discourage the private motorist. The placement
and fees of car parks could also be manipulated to discourage uneconomic road usage during peak periods
in fact, the Comprehensive Transport Study estimated that a volume reduction by 30% could be
attained by these methods which have already been
applied in other territories with similar problems. But
government's policy is that "to own a car is an entirely
legitimate aspiration" and the intention is to try alternatives first.
One such is a proposal to issue supplementary
vehicle licences. Private motorists wishing to travel at
peak periods in congested areas would have to buy a
special licence enabling them to do so. Drivers not
possessing such licences, but wishing to make an
occasional trip to a congestion prone zone, could purchase a daily ticket. The idea is also being contemplated in London, England.
Changes can also be made within the public transport sector. "Bus only" lanes are being tried out with
reasonable successif buses can move faster their
carrying capacity is proportionally increased and more
effective bus routes structures in tandem with the public
light buses are. being created.
Public light buses (14-seaters with no fixed stops)
carried 1.28 million passengers in 3 900 vehicles in the
base year of the Comprehensive Transport Study, but
ironically their operators proved their own worst enemy.
In January 1974 the drivers on Hong Kong island went
on strike for two days. Congestion was eased consider137

4. CONCLUSION
However Hong Kong develops over the next five
years, it is certain that it will have one the world's
most complex and efficient road systems, backed up
by the subway and an array of marine transport ranging
from sampans to hovercraft (also a surface railway
from Kowloon to the Chinese border at Lo Wu, a
cable car on Hong Kong island to the Peak and proposals for other cable car routes). If artificial restrictions still have to be introduced, they will only be
applied with the greatest reluctance after other ideas
have been exhausted.
V

ably, the population was still moved smoothly by the


bus and tram fleets whose capacity due to more rapid
movement was increased by 25 % and the planners
began thinking seriously in terms of reducing the numbers of public light buses and controlling their routes.
The government has been loath to dispense with
trams, although they carry far fewer passengers than
the buses, move slowly and take up a lot of space. A
principal reason has been the experience of other cities
which, in retrospect, wish they had not been so hasty
in removing this mode of transport.

"N.Z.I.E. Transactions" Summary

Dynamic characteristics of Grafton No. I


motorway bridge*
R. SHEPHERD
D.SC., PH.D., C.ENG., F.I.C.E., F.N.Z.I.E., F.A.S.C.E.

B. M. GREENSMITH
M .E.

I. INTRODUCTION
HEN designing a bridge, reliable prediction of
W the dynamic characteristics is necessary if satisfactory behaviour under traffic, earthquake and wind
loads is to be ensured. Knowledge of the vertical
mode shape and frequencies is of particular value if
the effects of dynamic interaction between a bridge
and the vehicles crossing it are to be minimised. A
mathematical model which accurately represents the
bridge has to be selected. The validity of the choice
can be established only by conducting tests on the
finished structure, so providing data with which the
predicted properties can be compared. When the
results of sufficient comparisons are available, it should
prove possible to achieve a greater degree of accuracy
than hitherto in predicting dynamic characteristics at
the design stage and consequently for designers to be
reassured that the desired characteristics are more
likely to be achieved in practice.
To this end, over the last decade, measurements of
the dynamic properties of several New Zealand bridges
have been made. In this paper the steady state vertical
vibration testing of an Auckland motorway bridge is
described. The measured natural frequencies and mode
shapes are compared with those derived using several
different theoretical analysis procedures and the
validity of each method is examined.
2. THE BRIDGE TESTED
The bridge tested, Grafton No. 1, is typical of many
built recently for the Auckland motorway system. It is
a simply supported, continuous, three-span prestressed
concrete box girder structure (see Fig. 1cover picAssociate professor, University of Auckland.
Graduate student, Civil Engineering Department, University
of Auckland.
This paper is a background article on a paper which is
being published in full in N.Z.I.E. Transactions.

138

ture). The lengths of the three spans are 30.4 m,


44.2 m and 34.8 m respectively, the shorter span being
the nearer one shown in Fig. 1. The box section is
l.83 m deep and 5.5 m wide, whereas the total width
of the bridge from one cantilever edge extremity to the
other is 11.8 m. The deck is fixed at the northern
abutment, but the bridge is free to slide at the southern
end where it is supported on two bearings. A similar
provision for sliding it made at the top of the piers.
Each pier is carried on four piles. The southern abutment is founded on undisturbed volcanic tuff rock,
whereas the northern end rests on fill. As the roads
linking the bridge to the motorway system were incomplete, virtually uninterrupted testing was possible.
3. RESULTS
The first four natural frequencies of vertical vibration were measured at 2.53, 3.87, 4.83 and 8.25 hertz
with corresponding damping, expressed as a percentage
of critical equivalent viscous damping of l.3%, 1.0%,
l.0% and 1.3% respectively.
The theoretical analyses were based on the equation
of motion of the steady state vibration of an undamped
structure
w2 [M]-( Y ) = [K] (Y)
where w = the natural frequency of vibration
[M] = the diagonal matrix of element masses
and rotational inertias
[K] = the square symmetric stiffness matrix
( Y) = the vector of the displacements of the
masses
The mathematical models used in determining the
theoretical natural frequencies and mode shapes included both bending and shear deformation and
assumed rigid supports. Initially, no account was
taken of rotational inertia, but in later analyses the
effect of rotational inertiai.e., consistent massof
the elements was incorporated. The natural freNEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

The experimental and theoretical mode shapes


obtained using a 69-segment lumped-mass model, for
the fundamental vertical translation mode is shown in
Fig. 2.
4. COMPARISON BETWEEN MEASURED AND
THEORETICAL MODAL PROPERTIES
There is very good agreement between the experimental and theoretical first mode shapes (Fig. 2) and
frequencies (Table 1). Such discrepancies as are
evident may be explained as arising from movement at
the abutments. This would generally make the bridge
more flexible, and consequently it would be expected
that the experimental natural frequency would be
somewhat lower than the theoretical frequency. The
similarity of the mode shapes and frequencies supports
the contention that the bridge has been reasonably well
modelled for the first mode.
The experimental and theoretical mode shapes were
found to agree reasonably well for the higher modes,
with discrepancies between the two possibly arising
mainly as a result of movement of the abutments and
one of the piers.
The selection of the 69 segments of the initial
lumped-mass model was conditioned largely by the
configuration of the bridge and the position of diaphragm and expansion joints in particular. It was
appreciated that the irregular allocation of the lumped
masses was likely to effect adversely the accuracy of
the modal properties in an unpredetermined manner,
largely depending on the position of the few dispro-

Proceedings

portionately large masses relative to the antipode


points. Several additional allocations of mass lumpings
were tried and the frequency results obtained using a
96-segment allocation are presented in Table 1. In
view of the good correlation between the fourth
mode 96-segment lumped-mass theoretical frequency
and the corresponding consistent mass frequency
values, it was concluded that the few large lumped
masses in the 69-segment model had, in fact, adversely
effected the validity of that representation. As would
have been anticipated, the agreement between the two
consistent mass models is good. Even the several disproportionately large masses in the 69-segment model
appeared not to have distorted the predicted frequencies
to any significant extent.
5. CONCLUSION
The purpose of the study was to compare theoretical
predictions of the Grafton motorway bridge modal
properties with the experimental values obtained. It
was established that the dynamic characteristics can
be accurately predicted, particularly of the fundamental
mode. The prediction of higher modal frequencies was
found to be less successful, but since the first mode of
vertical vibration is usually of predominate importance,
this poorer correlation in the higher modes may not be
of great consequence to a bridge designer.
V

of Technical groups

THE BULLETIN OF THE NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR


EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING
Consequences of earthquake prediction on other adjustments to earthquakes
The centre of earthquake loading on tall buildings
Isolation of nuclear power plants from earthquake attack
Moment redistribution in continuous beams of earthquake resistant multistorey reinforced
concrete frames
Statistical estimates of the likelihood of earthquake shaking throughout New Zealand

VOLUME 9

W. D. Smith

VOLUME 10
Seismic resistance of reinforced concrete masonry shear walls with high steel percentages
Design of shear walls for seismic resistance
Uniaxial dynamic analysis of a six storey reinforced concrete framed structure
Principal earthquakes during the year 1976

Number 4

J. E. Haas and D. S. Mileti


H. M. Irvine
R. I. Skinner, R. G. Tyler and
S. B. Hodder
T. Paulay

Number I

M. J. N. Priestley
I. C. Armstrong
T. E. Kelly
R. D. Adams

The Bulletin costs $4.00 a copy, and may be obtained from the Secretary of the Society, P.O. Box 243, Wellington.
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

139

Automation and redundancy*


B. J. MAIN
B.E.(HONS.), C.ENG., F.I.MECH.E., M.I.PROD.E., A.M.INST.FUEL,
A.N.Z.I.M. (FELLOW)

Automation in New Zealand can improve productivity, raise the standard


of living and improve our competitiveness with overseas countries. The
full advantages of automation can be obtained and redundancy avoided
only if management teams obtain all the relevant facts, and employers and
unions negotiate solutions to the problems of retraining, re-employment,
manning and wage levels before automation takes place.

N the 1950s the author presented a paper entitled


"Automation" which concluded:
Today there is a pronounced shortage of all classes of
labour in most major industrial countries because of the
prosperity of the times. However, this can be too easily
reversed by the world situation, and although automated
production will give a shortening of working hours and
a greater output, it will not raise the standard of living
if the number of unemployed increases to a state of
economic insecurity.

The concept of automation was introduced over 50


years ago and its real impact felt in the motor industry
30 years ago, but intelligent beings have not yet found
acceptable solutions to the people problems. Although
man-controlled processes are as efficient as human
nature will allow, machine-controlled processes are as
efficient as the quality of the machine and its maintenance will allow.
I. AUTOMATION IN NEW ZEALAND
Cassell's dictionary defines automation as "The
use of self-regulating or automatically programmed
machines in the manufacture of goods".
The introduction of such machinery, whether it be
a single unit or a collection of different types of automatic machines joined by transfer mechanisms, was
the result of:
(1) The need to remove tedious, repetitive operations for which labour was difficult to retain.
(2) The problems of obtaining sufficient highly
skilled workers capable of highly accurate production
on an individual or repetitive basis.
(3) The need to increase production while reducing costs.
(4) The reluctance of the general labour force to
work as hard, physically, and for the same extended
hours.
(5) A general shortage of reasonable labour.
New Zealand industry has been slow to move into
automatic processes. One of the major reasons for this
is the difficulty in justifying expenditure on sophisticated equipment. If a company invests a large sum in
an automatic machine or process, it must receive an
adequate pay-back on that investment.
A simple example involves the choice between a
manually controlled machine costing $16 000 and a
tape-controlled unit costing $160 000. Both have the
same rated output, each requires a staff of two and
the floor space is roughly the same for both. As the
operation in question has a high percentage of set-up
* A summary of a paper presented at the symposium "The
engineer and public issues", Auckland, 20-22 May 1976
t The author is general manager, engineering division, U.E.B.
Industries Ltd.

140

time, when compared with running time, 10 of the


manually operated machines would be needed to process the same quantities as the tape-controlled unit.
The savings in manpower and space are obvious.
The introduction of this type of equipment, as part
of an in-line operation, with the intention of reducing
the manpower requirement is probably a step which
has the most attraction for New Zealand industry.
Completely automated processes will not be as common here as overseas.
2. MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There has been too little awareness in most management teams of the implications surrounding the introduction of sophisticated equipment. All new automatic processes or machines require a selling campaign
amongst the management team before ordering. A
successful campaign will result in the commissioning
of a proper study to evaluate the implications of the
installation. This should result in all present management systems being up-dated if necessary and provission made to install any new management control
which may be required to assure full machine utilisation. It must also ensure that equipment needed to
service the installation is to be either part of the
installation cost or, if it can be delayed, quite clearly
included in the overall project for later inclusion.
Members of the management function, staff or line,
must not become involved in adverse criticism of the
labour force and its attitudes before full and proper
attention has been given to the technological and production requirements surrounding the introduction of
automatic equipment or processes. Without such preparation industrial trouble is inevitable. Management
has a responsibility to study these aspects in detail, if
not before the decision is made, then certainly before
the installation date to ensure that communication
with union labour is as effective as possible.
3. LABOUR RELATIONS
Redundancy should not be a problem in New
Zealand because there is just not sufficient labour
available. However, the introduction of automation
within a factory must concern the union because the
immediate reaction is fear of losing jobs. The real
problem is the ability of those employed to be
re-trained.
Automation creates human problems such as:
(a) The need for a technician to act as supervisor where the plant is complex; and a more
highly trained management team;
(b) Less skill is required by those who run the
process or machinethey tend to become
machine minders;
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32,

6) 15 JUNE 1977

(c) A more skilled team of maintenance tradesmen


trained as diagnosticians of engineering problems are required.
3.1 Technicians

Automation introduces the need for higher supervisory skill but lower skill at the machine, or process,
itself because automation has been introduced to
remove the dependence on "hard to get" skilled operators. The existing supervisor, or the most promising
of those likely to be surplus to requirements, can be
retrained to cope with the requirements of the more
complex operation.
3.2 Machine Minders

Machines need to be attended by people who "feel"


for them. Once again there is need to train or retrain
existing labour, but such labour must first be given a
proper foundation by our educational system. Most
factories do allow for those who do not speak English,
but the majority of factory staff must also be able to
read a measuring rule and to be able to count, and this
is not always the case. Although at present our educational system is teaching our young people to question decisions and generally become more independent
in thought, it should also give them more depth of
knowledge. The system seems to penalise the more
intelligent student and to try to remove competitiveness from students' lives, rather than being designed to

ensure all students leave secondary school educated to


a minimum level of School Certificate.
33 Tradesmen

The tradesman of tomorrow, who will become more


and more involved with automation, must have an
absolute minimum educational level of School Certificate, preferably University Entrance. If educational
authorities would concentrate more on what industry
requires and less on the removal of competitiveness, all
parties would benefit.
4. UNION ATTITUDES

With the shortage of labour in this country and


the current need to restrict immigration to protect our
standard of living, it is difficult to understand the
unions' pre-occupation with redundancy. However,
there must be protection for the worker who may be
suddenly dumped because an automatic machine or
process has replaced him.
The unions' insistence on manning scales is to the
detriment of our economy. There are still problems
with the use of automatic welding machines in this
country, yet similar machines were being used in
Scotland in 1956. Cases exist where 10 men have to
be employed for eight hours when for at least six
of these hours one man could quite satisfactorily press
the one button. If there were a more enlightened employment policy those surplus men should be retrained
for other employment.

Consultants' Notebook
Enex project
ENEX-DESIGNED POWER
STATION OPENED IN FIJI
The Vuda thermal power station,
situated between Nadi and Lautoka, was
officially opened recently by Jonati
Mavoa, the Fijian Minister for Communications, Works and Tourism.
The diesel-powered station, which has
a capacity of 11.4 MW and cost about
$7 million, was completely designed by
an ENEX consortium of engineering
firms. ENEX also supervised the construction of the station, which involved
a number of New Zealand contracting
and manufacturing firms.
The Fiji Electricity Authority corn-

missioned the ENEX firms of Worley


Downey Muir and Associates (Auckland), Mandeno Chitty and Bell (Auckland), Ensor Morton and Associates
(Auckland), Tonkin and Taylor (Auckland) and Hadley and Robinson (Dunedin) to commence the design of the
station in 1972. The project was financed by an Asian Development Bank
loan.
Two large diesel engines, each producing 6 000 kW, generate electricity
which is distributed to Nadi and Lautoka
by 20 miles of 33 kv transmission lines.
These turbocharged engines are
amongst the biggest of their kind, operating at 500 rev./min. with air cooling.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

They were manufactured in England by


Mirrlees Blackstone Ltd.
As part of the initial studies for the
project, ENEX investigated alternative
fuel options, which became more important following the recent rises in oil
prices. Although using diesel fuel at
present, the Vuda engines are designed
and equipped to be capable of using
low-grade residual fuel oil.
ENEX has also carried out a power
generation and distribution study for
Fiji under the New Zealand bilateral
aid programme, and is currently working
on another thermal power project in
Ujung Pandang, Indonesia, financed by
the Asian Development Bank.

141

SUBMISSION TO THE COMMISSION ON THE ENQUIRY INTO THE


HEAVY ENGINEERING INDUSTRY

The following additions to and changes in the roll of members result from recent
decisions of the Council, subject to confirmation under the provisions of rule 7.1 where
applicable.

Institution's submission was preTHEsented


by F. J. G. Rice (M) who
was the chairman of the Auckland subcommittee of Council that undertook
the preparation of the submission to
meet the Commission's deadline of 17
January, 1977.
The submission first considered the
need for a heavy engineering industry in
New Zealand. It was pointed out that
some members of the Institution questioned this need for any other reason
than to service the industries exploiting
our national resources, since competition
from Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan
meant that there was little chance of
exporting heavy engineering works from
this country. At the same time, it was
recognised that the heavy engineering
industry must be kept at work to justify
its continuance which would depend on
several factors, especially:
continuing steady work loads,
improved financial management at all
levels,
overcoming present industrial relations
problems,
the establishment of national workload planning facilities,
the establishment of heavy engineering
training facilities.
The submission then put forward
points in relation to the Commission's
terms of reference, under three main
headings:

(a) The factors that have contributed


to the closure of individual undertakings
in the heavy engineering industry over
the last decade.
The unions were often blamed for
such closures, but the Institution recognised that management failures had proably contributed to the lack of continuing viability of a number of ventures.

(b) How any such factors or other


matters prejudicial to the continued
viability or efficiency of existing undertakings within the industry can, or should
be, removed and avoided.
This was dealt with under two headings, commercial and human.
From the commercial point of view,
it was noted that the actual work of
estimating was frequently cut short to
save money, and rules of thumb employed. This could result in a company
disastrously underestimating the costs of
a given job. At the same time, the cost
of estimating was a significant overhead,
the charges for work done on unsuccessful bids having to be carried by those
that were successful.
Only a steady flow of work could
reasonably allocate such overhead
charges, together with other overheads
such as the provision of new manufacturing space and facilities. The stop-go
nature of New Zealand's heavy engineering work-load had contributed to the
inefficient use of resources available and
the resulting economic losses and com-

142

ADDITIONS
Members
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.

S. F. Ip, B.Sc.(Eng) (Taiwan) M.E.(Civil Eng), Flat B, 133 Hataitai Road,


Wellington.
R. S. Laycock, B.E.(Mech), 173 Ohiro Road, Wellington.
G. T. F. Mao, B.E.(Hons) (Civil) (NSW), M.I.C.E., 114 Tin Jau Temple
Road, 1st Floor, North Point, Hong Kong.
W. F. C. Moxon, M.I.Mech.E., 57 Wellington Road, Paekakariki.
T. Nicol, B.Sc.(Eng) (Strathclyde), M.I.C.E., 56 Fife Street, Westmere,
Auckland.
A. G. Rogers, B.E.(Civil), 17 Albert Street, Papakura, Auckland.
W. B. Pehi, B.E.(Civil), 18 Burnside Street, Lower Hutt.
J. D. Warne, B.E.(Elect), 13 Wanita Place, Glenfield, Auckland.
M. M. White, B.Sc.(Hons), 11 Taipari Road, Auckland.
L. M. Wong, B.E.(Mech), 4 Brough Place, Hamilton.
R. I. Woodroofe, F.I.Mar.E., 2 Dorset Lodge, Giggs Hill Green, Thames
Ditton, Surrey, United Kingdom.
W. W. Yardley, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 12 Berwick Place, Tokoroa.

Associate
Assoc. G. M. Crockett, M.N.Z.I.E.T., 71 Udy Street, Petone.

Graduates
Grad. W. D. S. Brander, B.E.(Elect), 41B Fendalton Road, Christchurch 1.
Grad. J. J-J. Chen, B.E.(Hons) (Chem & Mats), 392 Centre Street, Invercargill.
Grad. C. I. Chiang, B.E.(Chem & Mats), 23A Harding Avenue, Mount Wellington,
Auckland.
Grad. J. M. Clark, B.E.(Hons) (Elect), 185 Waimairi Road, Christchurch 4.
Grad. Miss E. A. Coe, B.E.(Elect), P.O. Box 22-672, Christchurch.
Grad. S. B. Heinemann, B.E.(Hons) (Chem), 23A Carr Street, Kamo, Whangarei.
Grad. R. J. Howarth, B.E.(Hons) (Elect), Flat 2 297 Hereford Street, Christchurch.
Grad. A. J. Ireland, B.E.(Hons) (Elect), P.O. Box 5147, Mount Maunganui.
Grad. M. J. Leak, B.E.(Civil), 6 Munstead Place, Northcote, Auckland.
Grad. J. S. Lockwood, B.E.(Civil) ., 39 Ranelagh Street, Karori, Wellington.
Grad. B. J. Louden, B.E.(Civil), B.Sc.(Maths), 3 Madison Place, Forrest Hill,
Auckland 10.
Grad. W. Mitchelmore, B.E.(Civil), 45 Abbott Street, Wanganui.
Grad. B. J. Quinn, B.E.(Hons) (Elect), 40 Claridge Road, Christchurch 5.
Grad. M. A. Sims, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 3 Linda Street, Oakura.
Grad. E. R. J. Tomasek, Dip.Ing(Elect3(Vienna), 18 Nereus Place, Mairangi Bay,
Auckland.
Grad. S. F. Wilson, B.E.(Chem), Flat 2, 10 Ronald Street, Strandon, New Plymouth.

PROMOTIONS
Members to Fellows
F.
F.
F.

C. D. Clayton, M.I.C.E., 36 Fairway Drive, Whangarei.


D. E. Hollands, M.I.C.E., M.I.E.Aust., M.N.Z.I.S., P.O. Box 2810, Auckland,
10.
M. D. Palmer, B.Sc.(Eng), M.I.C.E., M.I.W.E., M.S.A.I.C.E., P.O. Box
868, Tauranga.

Graduates to Members
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.

D. J. Bates, B.E.(Civil) (Hons), 77 Gayhurst Road, Christchurch 6.


V. J. Bidwell, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), Ph.D.(Eng), N.Z.A.E.I., Lincoln College,
Canterbury.
W. D. Coatsworth, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 152A Beach Road, Christchurch 7.
R. G. Finley, B.E.(Civil), 10/75 Carrington Street, New Plymouth.
R. A. Firth, B.E.(Civil), 1 Elgin Place, Mosgiel.
D. W. Goss, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), Beca, Carter, Hollings & Ferner, P.O. Box
6345, Auckland.
D. C. Graydon, B.E.(Civil), 23A Appleyard Crescent, Meadowbank, Auckland.
G. Green, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 22 Gilletta Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland 4.
A. Gulab, B.E.(Elect), District Engineer's Office, P.O. Box 434, Hamilton.
C. P. Gulliver, B.Sc., B.E.(Hons) (Civil) 28 Patikura Place, Turangi.
P. J. Harris, B.E.(Civil), Associate Member I.C.E., Associate Member
I.Struct.E., 10 Faulkner Road, Auckland 9.
G. M. Hodge, B.E.(Elect), 26 Glamorgan Drive, Torbay, Auckland 10.
W. G. McQuarrie, B.E.(Civil), 4 Waitangi Road, Onehunga, Auckland 6.
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.
M.

E. D. Mayson, B.E.(Civil), 45 Grey Street, Wanganui (member overseas).


T. A. Moore, B.Sc.(Maths), B.E.(Hons) (Civil), Structural Design Office,
Ministry of Works & Development, P.O. Box 12-041, Wellington.
J. C. Morris, B.E.(Civil), 1020 New North Road, Auckland 3.
L. S. Olsen, B.E.(Elect), Sub-stations, Standards Section, N.Z.E.D., Private
Bag, Wellington. Associate Member I.Chem.E.
J. M. W. Ridge, B.Sc.(Eng) (London), 7 Fantain Grove, Lower Hutt.
B. A. Roberts, B.E.(Civil), 33 Mohaka Street, Wainuiomata.
J. k. Sinclair, B.E.(Civil), 10 Taylor Street, Wanganui.
R. F. Slaughter, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 3 Hawthorne Street, Christchurch.
M. J. Suggate, B.E.(Mech), 7 Liardet Street, Vogeltown, Wellington 2.
C. W. Sutton, B.E.(Elect), 7 Stephen Street, Johnsonville, Wellington 4.
D. Tai, B.E.(Hons) (Mech), M.E., 79 Epuni Street, Lower Hutt.
M. W. Thomas, B.Sc., B.E.(Ag), M.W.D., P.O. Box 12-041, Wellington.
D. A. Thomson, B.E.(Civil), M.App.Sc., M.I.C.E., Civil and Civic, P.O. Box
27-044, Wellington.
R. M. Walsham, B.E.(Civil), Murray-North Partners, P.O. Box 9041,
Hamilton.
I. S. Williams, B.E.(Civil), P.O. Box 1163, Whangarei.
P. R. Woodfield, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), 17 Aintree Street, Christchurch.
M. R. Fletcher, B.E.(Hons) (Civil), D.B.A., 39A Flockton Street, Christchurch 1.

Students to Graduates

SUMMARY AND
RECOMMENDATIONS:
(1) Both economic and social pressures had combined to force the closure
of some important units of the heavy
engineering industry. These two factors
had to be considered together.
(2) The heavy engineering industry
was considered a national facility. Planning for a steady work-load on a
national scale would stabilise the industry
and its ability to provide steady employment.
(3) Training in management and trade
skills was an essential to the long-term
success of the industry.
In an appendix to the submission
detailed comments were given to support
its main contentions.
Copies of the full submission may be
obtained from the Secretary of the
Institution, P.O. Box 12-241, Wellington,
at a cost of $1.00 each.

Grad. M. J. Wood, B.E.(Elect), 6 Elm Grove, New Plymouth.


Grad. M. D. Young, B.E.(Elect), Flat 1, 91 Panama Road, Mount Wellington,
Auckland 6.
pany closures. This could have been
mitigated by better forward planning on
a national scale. Heavy engineering
facilities should be regarded as a
national resource as well as a commercial one. Planning of the national
heavy engineering work-load could promote substantial substitution of imports
by local manufactures in this field. Only
when the national heavy engineering resources were fully and continuously committed, should it be possible to justify
the purchase of goods from overseas.
Looking at the human aspect of the
question, job satisfaction in the heavy
engineering industry was definitely
present for the industrialist, the engineer
and designer, but was not so obvious
for the shop floor worker. He laboured
under hard conditions and it had to be
appreciated that such work attracted few
people for other than monetary rewards.
With regard to the staffing of the management structure, there tended to be
few vacancies above journeyman level.
When such vacancies occurred senior
journeymen looked for promotion from
amongst their number, and if an outsider
were brought in this could cause resentment. However, first-class tradesmen
did not always make first-class managers,
and their promotion tended to be a loss
in two waysthe loss of a skilled tradesman and the lack of an adequate foreman or supervisor. Supervisor training
schemes, undertaken in advance or independent of specific vacancies, could help
to a certain extent, yet such was the
mobility of staff in the industry that few
employers could use them on a long
term selection basis.
The problem of restrictive practices
was discussed. It was pointed out that
many members of a union are not fully
trained journeymen but may be welltrained and experienced in a specialist
sub-trade, good at their speciality but
unable or unwilling to do work outside
their special skill. This may be as much
a result of restricted training and experience or restricted opportunities to learn
NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING

the various skills, as of personal choice.


Some unions did not acknowledge this
fact of narrow skills or experience, all
workers being equal under their banner.
Some employers had endeavoured to
make the best of such a situation by, in
effect, creating a production line, programming the work step by step. This
reduced the opportunities for workers to
acquire extra knowledge and skills.
Workers' reactions to the fluctuation
of work-load in the industry had been,
inevitably, to attempt to extend every
period of employment by any means,
such as restrictive trade practices, stoppages and strikes. If planning could
ensure continuous employment for those
who wanted it, efforts at increasing productivity could be expected to bear fruit.
Worker training on scarce heavy
engineering facilities could well be regarded as an industry privilege, and
should receive industry and government
support. There should be recognition by
employers and unions that added skills
must be acknowledged by extra recompense.
(c) Any associated matters that the
Commission may deem to be relevant
to the general purposes of the enquiry;
It was pointed out that the closure of
heavy engineering enterprises produced,
among other things, loss of actual and
potential employment opportunities for
professional and graduate engineers, loss
of potential engineering experience in
heavy engineering design and construction, loss of trade skills and training
faciltities and the loss of facilities for
the maintenance or repair of New Zealand industry. When repairs had to be
sent overseas, time loss increased and so
did the cost of repairs; spare parts inventories had to be increased and the
cost of these rose also. And there was
loss of overseas exchange when orders
for heavy engineering work, that could
otherwise have been done in New Zealand, had to be placed with overseas
manufacturers.

(32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

COUNCIL TOPICS
T the April Council meeting, the
1977 Council considered a number
of major topics.
The Executive Committee for Professional Qualification received reports
from the examinations committee on
the plan for monitored professional development, intended to provide a framework for the proper training of graduates heading for Professional Interview.
The purpose was to make contact with
graduate engineers as early as possible,
so that they could plan their professional development in general accordance with the requirements of the Institution,s training regulations. One
aspect of this is the proposal that the
preliminary application to attend an interview would be required some 12
months in advance of the attendance
date. Implementation of this programme
is to begin next year, with full implementation in 1980. The executive
committee also considered the question
of continuing education and a proposal
from the Auckland branch sub-committee that a part-time administrator
be employed to develop the project.
This proposal had been considered by
the Administration Committee but it was
not possible within the framework of
the current budget to provide immediately the required funds. However, the
point was made that some funds could
be made available if these could be usefully employed in furthering the committee's objects. The importance of continuing education was fully appreciated,
however, and it is a matter for further
discussion.
Among the many questions of committee representation and activity
handled by the Executive Committee
for Engineering Science was the establishment in the Auckland area of an
awards committee sub-group to handle
the Freyssinet Award. The Auckland
branch chairman, Brian Bartley, reported that the branch had the matter
in hand and that he would be reporting
names at the next meeting. The com-

143

mittee received reports of the Institution,s submission on the current revision


of the Public Works Act, and its submission to the Commission on the Heavy
Engineering Industry.*
Regarding awards, there was discussion as to whether the Institution could
give consideration to the making of
awards for papers presented to the technical groups by non-members of the
Institution, and this thought was referred to the awards committee for consideration.
Reports of the technical groups were
received and it was noted that the
management committee of the Chemical
Engineering group had now moved from
Wellington to Auckland.
The Executive Committee for Professional Practice was concerned with
unionism and the Industrial Relations
Act, and the questions of conditions of
engagement of local body engineers and
the erosion of responsibilities of the engineer in local bodies. Comment is being received from the branches on these
matters and they are being actively discussed with the Municipal and Counties
Associations and with government.
The full Council meeting discussed
the activities of the Institution in
general. Discussion ranged from questions of communications with students
and g raduate engineers to branch activities, communication links between members and the members of Council, and
the general question of the publication
in New Zealand Engineering of Institution news. It was agreed that the amount
of Institution news should be increased,
if necessary at the expense of technical
material. A point that reflected the
changing temper of the Institution was
the agreement by the Council that the
office of President should now be seen
to be involved in contentious matters.
When the office was defined by the
1969 task committee, it was specifically
stated that the President should be
somewhat removed from the issues of
the day. The Council agreed that, in
1977, the President would be expected
to get involved, and be seen to be involved, in issues that were the Institution's proper concern.

PRESIDENT SEES MINISTERS


During April, the President, P. G.
Scoular, accompanied by the Secretary,
paid visits to three MinistersL. W.
Gandar, D. A. Highet and J. B. Gordon.
Discussions with the Minister of
Labour (Mr Gordon) dealt particularly
with the problems seen by Institution
members in their dealings with the
Higher Salaries Commission, and with
the possible exemption of Institution
members from compulsory trade union
membership under the Industrial Relations Act. Both these matters are to be
taken further with departmental officers.
With Mr Gandar (Minister of Science
and Technology and Minister of Education) the President stressed the role of
the Institution as a learned society. Mr
Scoular offered the services of the In* See page 142.
144

stitution in making presentations to


members of Parliament on technical
issues, and it is likely that this offer
will be taken up in conjunction with
similar presentations currently being
made from time to time by the Royal
Society.
Engineers in local bodies was the
main topic of the conversations with
Mr Highet. The President reminded him
of the points made in recent correspondence concerning the profession's
interest in the general administration of
local bodies, and the means available
for prior consultation with government
on proposed legislation were discussed.
To all three Ministers, the President
described the Institution and its activities, and discussed the way in which
the Institution could assist in the selection of appointees for authorities, committees and commissions by putting forward the names of suitable engineers.

I.E.E. VISITORS
The President of the Institution of
Electrical Engineers, London (E. S.
Booth), accompanied by Mrs Booth and
the secretary of the Institution (Dr G. F.
Gainsborough), visited Wellington in
May during a short tour of New Zealand. While in Wellington Mr Booth
and Dr Gainsborough met members of
the Council of the N.Z. Institution of
Engineers under the chairmanship of
the vice-president (P. W. Blakely),
general manager of the N.Z. Electricity
Department and a member of I.E.E.,
and discussed various topics of mutual
interest.
Following the Council meeting a
social function was held, when guests
included the Mayor Wellington (E. M. C.
Fowler) and N.Z.I.E. past presidents,
G. F. Bridges, K. Christie, A. F. Downer,
F. W. de Lisle, J. H. Ingram, G. F.
Milne and F. D. Tonkin.
Mr Booth is a Companion of the
British Empire, a Master of Engineering
and Fellow of the Institutions of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, and
of the Royal Society. He is at present
chairman of the Yorkshire Electricity
Board. His early training was with
Metropolitan Vickers, an earlier period
with the Yorkshire Electricity Board, and
as city electrical engineer at Salford,
Lancashire. This was followed by a
period as chief design and construction
engineer of the Central Electricity
Generating Board, of which he ultimately became a board member. In this
position he was responsible for the design and construction of the generation
and transmission system as it exists in
the United Kingdom.
Dr G. F. Gainsborough has been
secretary of the I.E.E. for 13 years, and
has also been heavily involved in the
Commonwealth Engineering Council and
the World Federation of Engineering
Organisations, having occupied the position of secretary-general of both. Conferences of both these bodies are to be
held this year when New Zealand will
be represented by the N.Z.I.E. president
of the New Zealand Institution (P. G.
Scoular) and by the secretary (A. J.
Bartlett.

REPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
PROCEDURES NEEDED
"An overall review of requirements
for environmental reports and procedures is overdue," said P. G. Scoular,
President of the Institution, on 14 April,
commenting on a statement made by
the Leader of the Opposition (W. R.
Rowling), who said that his party saw
a need for the simplification of environmental procedures.
Mr Scoular said that costly delays
were being incurred because of objections raised to projects after extensive
design work had been undertaken. He
believed that it would be worthwhile to
conduct cost analyses of several major
projects to acquaint the public with the
huge expenses involved in delays.
Changes in major schemes at a late
stage raised problems with staff morale
and delays could give rise to unemployment. Such delays could only be avoided
by consulting recognised environmental
organisations on all major projects at
an early stage.
At the same time, it also had to be
recognised that the cost of preparing
submissions to the various commissions,
committees and appeal boards was such
that few organisations could afford to
make worthwhile contributions. Consideration should be given by the Government to grants towards the costs of such
submissions.
Mr Scoular said that the Institution
would be pleased to assist in any possible way with a critical examination of
environmental procedures.

NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING
ASSOCIATION
The Non-destructive Testing Association is a new technical group of the
Institution. It is holding a symposium
in Wellington on 14 July in the Caltex
Lounge, Wellington. The symposium will
be preceded by the first general meeting
of the Non-destructive Testing Association. Further information is available
from J. D. Whitehurst, D.S.I.R., Chemistry Division, Private Bag, Petone.
(Telephone 666 919.)

SYMPOSIUM ON EARTH
REINFORCEMENT
Call for abstracts/papers
Abstracts for potential papers are requested prior to 31 August 1977 for a
one-day symposium on earth reinforcement which will be held during the
A.S.C.E. annual national convention,
Pittsburgh, Penn., 24-28 April 1978. The
subjects of the symposium will include
most types of soil improvement through
reinforcement; tensile members, such as
strips, mats or fibre or as compression
reinforcement, such as root piles and
sand columns. Excluded are papers dealing with membranes for filters or
moisture control, etc.
The chairman of the publications committee, to which all abstracts should be
sent, is Dr Anwar E. Z. Wissa, Ardaman
and Associates, P.O. Box 13003, Orlando,
Florida, 32809.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

The Australian Institute of


Refrigeration Air Conditioning
and Heating (Inc.)
Call for 1978 Conference papers
Technical papers dealing with aspects
of refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, solar energy and energy conservation are being sought for presentation
during the 1978 annual AIRAH Conference to be held in Adelaide, South
Australia, during the first week of May.
Synopses of intended papers should be
no more than 300 words and should be
submitted by 31 August 1977 to the
Conference Convener, AIRAH, South
Australia Division, 11 Meredith Street,
Broadview, South Australia 5082.

ANZAC FELLOWSHIPS 1978


Applications are invited for ANZAC
Fellowships which are available for
study or investigation in Australia during
1978.
The fellowships are tenable for periods
of three to 12 months. They provide a
living allowance of $A21 per day
($A7 665 p.a.), plus an allowance at the
rate of $A600 p.a. for a dependent
spouse and of $A240 p.a. for each dependent child. In addition, provision is
made for the payment of certain tuition
and travel costs.
No specific qualifications are laid
down for ANZAC Fellows, but where
all other factors are equal, preference
will be given to candidates under the
age of 45 years.
Application forms and further particulars may be obtained from the
Secretary, ANZAC Fellowship Selection
Committee, c/- Department of Internal
Affairs, Private Bag, Wellington, or
from the Department's District Offices
in Auckland and Christchurch. Applications close on 1 August 1977.

WINSTON CHURCHILL
MEMORIAL TRUST
Applications for Churchill fellowships
will be accepted until 31 July and will
be for projects to be carried out in
1978.
The fellowships are made to New
Zealand citizens for any project, to be
carried out in any country, which will
benefit their occupation, calling or field
of interest and which ultimately will
benefit New Zealand. Although no
specific qualifications are laid down,
applicants are expected to have sufficient
experience and ability to be regarded as
likely to make a contribution to New
Zealand through their various career
fields.
Application forms and information
leaflets are obtainable from the Secretary of the Trust, P.O. Box 12347,
Wellington N., or from the Auckland,
Wellington and Christchurch offices of
the Department of Internal Affairs.

CORRESPONDENCE
PLASTICS
Sir,
I am writing about the article appearing on pp. 12 and 13 of your November
issue. A second similar article appears
in the December issue. These appear to
be "advertisers announcements" by Winstone Plastics although the presentation
and layout give them the appearance of
technical papers.
One ought not perhaps to be surprised therefore at the somewhat biased
text which appears to show that u.p.v.c.
pipes are the answer to any engineer's
dream with no shortcomings whatever.
However, like any other commodity
there are advantages and disadvantages
and in order to restore the balance somewhat I set out below some of the drawbacks or shortcomings of u.p.v.c pipes.
(a) Most plastics are inert to weak
acids, weak bases and aqueous salt
solutions, but can be subject to attack
by strong oxidising acids. Organic solvents, fats and oils also affect plastics
to varying degrees and it follows that
although plastic pipes for water supply
may be free from attack (from the
inside at least) the same cannot necessarily be said in the case of sewers.
Plastic sewers have not been in service
long enough to prove their long term
durability.
(b) Plastic pipe service to occupied
premises cannot be used for earthing
electrical equipment. Moreover plastic
surfaces can generate and retain electrostatic charges which can in turn result
the unsightly accumulation of dust.
(c) Although impact strength may be
good u.p.v.c. is not so good in this
respect as a.b.s. (acrilonitril-butadienestyrene) or h.d.p.e. (high-density polyethylene). Moreover plastics become
brittle at low temperatures, the temperature at which they shatter depending
on the plastic. P.V.C. is brittle at 0C
and a sharp kick at this temperature
would cause far more damage by the
consequent loss of water than a hole
punctured by a pick. Many users accustomed to handling plastic pipes in warm
weather would be unaware of the fragile
nature of the product at low temperatures.
As the temperature rises, the
(d)
mechanical properties deteriorate and
care must be taken to relate the requirements of plastic pipe to its physical
properties as its temperature approaches,
say 50%, of its softening point. In the
case of u.p.v.c. this would be about 35
or 40C.
(e) The coefficient of linear expansion
is much higher than that of steel so that
100 m of pipe lying alongside a trench
will expand as much as 500 mm for a
30C rise in temperature. A closure
length cut at noon could well be too
short by 5 p.m.
(f) Quite obviously plastic pipes cannot be used for sprinkler systems or for
services likely to be exposed to heat as
they soften and burn slowly giving off
hydrochloride gases.
(g) Long-term strength characteristics

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

for pressure pipes have not yet 'been


proved (satisfactory or otherwise).
The evidence is that u.p.v.c. may lose
as much as half of its strength at a
given temperature over periods of 10 to
50 years.
(h) Performance under surges or conditions of marginal positive pressure can
be questionable and thin-walled plastic
pipelines have been known to collapse
owing to negative pressures. Atlhough
the same can also be said of steel, concrete and asbestos-cement, they are not
so sensitive.
(i) Lead stabilisers are used in the
manufacture of u.p.v.c. which in new
pipes tends to leach out into the carried
water. It has not yet been established
with certainty how long this process continuesto the detriment of the consuming humans.
(j) Ovality may be caused by poor
compaction of backfilling and although
this may not be important in water
supply it would be critical in sewers.
However Americans have proved that up
to 15% deflections do not affect the
long-term strength of the pipe.
(k) The bedding, side fill and first
cover over p lastic pipes need more
careful supervision than do "conventional" pipes of steel, concrete and
asbestos-cement, because of the danger
of stones penetrating the side wall of
the pipe under prolonged contact. It is
therefore not quite so straightforward
as the "simple on site compaction test"
as the advertisement would have us
believe.
(1) The deterioration of plastics under
the influence of ultraviolet light is also
well known and, clearly, such materials
cannot be used in situations ex p osed to
the light.
In writing the above I have drawn on
my own experience and have also made
reference to a paper by D. S. Gebhart
of the Johannesburg City Engineer's
Department.
I am, etc.
M. D. PALMER

Tauranga
R. Tingey and B. A. Wenmoth of Winstone Plastics Ltd., Palmerston North,
reply:
Sir,
We were interested to receive M. D.
Palmer's letter regarding our editorial
advertisements in the November and
December issues of New Zealand Engineering. It was our desire, in these series
of editorial-type articles, to disperse
opinions currently held by New Zealanders and replace them with facts
about our product. At no stage do we
claim that u.p.v.c. is a wonder material
but, within limitations, it is ideal and
proven in many specified tasks. Many
objections commonly raised in the past
have been exaggerated as potential
hazards occur with all materials. The
most essential properties of u.p.v.c. are
different from those of other materials,
as are the recommended techniques for
installation and jointing the pipe. Any

145

engineer responsible for pipeline engineering who is not fully conversant with
the properties, advantages and disadvantages of these u.p.v.c. pipe systems cannot be efficiently serving the interests of
those who employ him.
We think it is advisable to answer Mr
Palmer's letter by commenting on each
clause which states some of the drawbacks and shortcomings of u.p.v.c. pipe.
some are undeniably true, while others
fall short on giving an overall correct
statement.

(e) Linear expansion


Our recommendation for rubber
jointing u.p.v.c. pipelines ensures that
pipe contraction and expansion are
catered for in the installation.

(f) Fire protection sprinklers


It is logical that u.p.v.c. pipe is not
used for this type of installation and
local authorities are aware of the need
for protection of u.p.v.c. pipes when
they penetrate fire walls.

(g) Long-term strength characteristics


(a ) Chemical resistance
One cannot generalise with plastics on
this matter as there is such a large grouping of various types of plastics materials
each with different properties. Resistance of u.p.v.c. has been well documented and is noted in the various
standards relating to the product. These
standards must be met by the manufacturer and include a 30-day immersion
test in both sulphuric acid and caustic
soda of high concentration. Sewers of
u.p.v.c. have been used for more than
10 years in New Zealand and for at least
25 years overseas. This, with scientific
testing, has proven their long-term durability. The only problem area with
with sewers being attacked from inside
could be by the discharge of organic
solvents in high concentration. A discharge of this dangerous effluent is controllable by the local authority, who can
take appropriate steps to ensure correct
dilution so that u.p.v.c. sewers are not
subjected to this type of discharge.
(b)Electrical earthing
Electrical authorities have now discontinued using pipelines for earthing
electrical equipment. All installations
must now have an earth rod fitted. The
underground and normal use of u.p.v.c.
pipes do not subject themselves to
electrostatic charges.

(c) Impact strength


It is correct that there are other
plastics materials with better impact
strength but these plastics have other
properties which make them unacceptable for pipelines. It is true that u.p.v.c.
pipes at 0C need more careful handling
than at normal temperatures (so do castiron pipes) but breakages are rare during
transport and laying, and virtually
unknown from this cause when underground. Our Terrain housedrain pipe
has an additive which enables lowtemperature impact strength to be
achieved. Impact strength is also an
important facet of the New Zealand
standard for u.p.v.c. pipes and all pipe
is tested to ensure it meets this standard
in most plastics manufacturing plants.

(d) Temperature limitations


Again, the properties of u.p.v.c. are
well documented and the limitations are
well known. New Zealand Standard
7649 for sewer pipes requires 24 000
cycles of hot (90C) and cold (20C)
to be passed through the system under
test without leakage before the system
is approved. We consider that this is a
rigorous simulation of the conditions met
in the field.

146

Scientific and practical installation


tests have proven the performance of
u.p.v.c. pipelines. It has been reported by
D. G. Davies, B.Sc. (Eng.), C.Eng.,
F.I.C.E., M.I.W.E., A.M.B.I.M., that
regression of u.p.v.c. and its resistance
to failure theoretically calculated originally was incorrect. Pressure pipe removed
after 10 years in service showed less than
the calculated loss of strength as was
expected. The New Zealand Standard
for pressure pipe, NZS 7648: 1974, is
calculated on a service life of at least
50 years.

the high solar-heat conditions by manufacturing it in light-reflecting colours.


We would be very pleased to answer
any further queries engineers may have
on the suitability of u.p.v.c. as a yipe
material. The growth of this product
overseas indicates that New Zealand
engineers should make themselves fully
conversant with the capabilities of
u.p.v.c. when installed. At present, our
company, combined with other u.p.v.c.
pipe manufacturers, is requesting the
Standards Association of New Zealand
to adopt a "Code of practice for the
installation of unplasticised p.v.c. pipe
systems". After adoption, this will be
made readily available to all parties. We
are able to answer inquiries and give
technical advice based on knowledge,
gained from our laboratory testing, installations here and overseas, and using
a technical agreement signed with one
of the largest European producers of
u.p.v.c. pipe, Wavin Overseas Ltd.

PERSONAL

(h) Surges and marginal pressure


It is essential that pipelines are designed by an engineer to ensure that all
the parameters of u.p.v.c. pipe are understood. Marginal design for a cost-saving
benefit can often result in poor performance.

(i) Lead stabilisers


New Zealand health requirements are
very stringent on the use of lead stabilisers in pressure pipe. Whereas overseas
standards measure only the leaching of
lead from the pipe, the New Zealand
Department of Health ensures that
u.p.v.c. water pipe contains less than 1%
of the total product. Extensive leadleaching tests carried out show that water
carried through p.v.c. pipe meets World
Health Organisation requirements in
respect of dissolved lead content.

(j) Ovality
Overseas and in New Zealand many
tests have been made regarding the
ovality of the pipe when installation is
incorrect. In most cases, no more than
5% deflection has been noted. Winstone
Plastics has spent considerable effort
in ensuring the correct methods are used
to prevent any deformation of the pipe.

(k) Back filling


All pipelines need careful supervision
in this stage, although we agree that it is
essential for u.p.v.c. products. Our reference to the sample of site compaction
tests refers to our technical leaflet which
enables a drainage contractor to determine if the material dug from the trench
is able to be used as back-fill.
(1) Ultraviolet light deterioration
Once again, this problem is well documented. Pipes known to be used exposed
to the light are specially formulated to
withstand such exposure. Although not
required for underground pipes, we still
do incorporate opaquing agents which
work as ultraviolet absorbers. We also
have ensured that all pipe can withstand

F. A. FOSTER, A.C.A., D.B.A.,


has been appointed assistant general manager of the Auckland Electric
Power Board. Mr Foster was formerly
assistant general manager (administration) of the New Zealand Electricity
Department. Since 1971, when he was
appointed to the N.Z.E.D., he has been
responsible for non-technical administration which covers finance, personnel,
legal, stores and management services
activities. From 1971-1977 he has been
a member of the Rural Electrical Reticulation Council.
K. S. TURNER, M.E., an engineer
with the New Zealand Electricity Department in Dunedin, has been awarded
the department's Fellowship in Power
Engineering, which is intended to assist
study towards the degree of doctor of
philosophy in engineering at the University of Canterbury, and was first awarded
in 1968. Mr Turner began his studies in
April. He is investigating the dynamic
stability of the New Zealand electric
power system with emphasis on the
inter-island link.
D. A. FERRIER, B.E., B.Sc., D.I.C.,
F.N.Z.I.E., who has been chief public
health engineer with the ministry of
Works and Development, Wellington,
since 1964, moved to Christchurch at
the beginning of May to take up the
position of scientist-in-charge of the
M.W.D. water and soil science centre.
The centre is concerned with research
and national survey activities, mainly
related to physical water resources, but
including river mechanics and land
capability surveys.
D. N. HALIBURTON, M.I.Struct.E.,
M.N.Z.I.E., has been appointed chief
engineer of the N.Z. Housing Corporation. Prior to his appointment Mr
Haliburton had been assistant chief
engineer for two and a half years.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977

Noteworthy
EFFLUENT TREATMENT

B.S.G. MEMBER TRAVELS TO


RESEARCH MEETINGS

URING April and May 1976, H. A.


Trethowen, of the Building Research
Association of New Zealand, spent three
weeks in North America and Canada.
The purpose of Mr Trethowen's visit
was to attend a working group study of
"heat and moisture transfer in buildings".
This meeting was held in Washington D.C. and was attended by 23 people
from research or development laboratories or universities in 11 countries. Mr
Trethowen reports that besides the
formal business of the group and the 21
papers which were presented for discussion the meeting was an occasion to
meet personally people involved in research in other countries on moisture
and thermal properties of buildings. It
was also a chance to review the stateof-art in this subject over the world.
He found that the approach, interest,
and emphasis in the different aspects of
moisture varied sharply between
countries. Part of this is due to the fact
of having few, widely separated specialists, but much is due to variance of
climate and of local construction practices. The work carried out by Mr Trethowen and his colleagues at B.R.A.N.Z.
on building moisture was well received,
particularly by the United States and
Canadian representatives. He also commented that the role attributed to
"vapour diffusion" in building moisture
is being downgraded and consideration
of air-borne moisture given greater importance. The term "vapour barrier" is
actively discouraged in Canada where
they prefer the term "air barrier".
During his trip Mr Trethowen continued on to visit the United States
National Bureau of Standards at Gaithesburg and the National Research Council,
Canada, in Ottawa. The purposes of
these visits were for general education
and idea interchange, with particular
attention to the methods used in those
institutes for selecting managing, evaluating and disseminating projects and
information.
Especially in Canada at the N.R.C.
building research division, Mr Trethowen
said there was a striking similarity in the
corresponding features which have been
set up in the B.R.A.N.Z. Both establishments enjoy a well deserved reputation
for soundly based research in building.

A $205 000 modification programme


on the Kinleith effluent treatment system
which extended over nearly two years
has been completed by N.Z. Forest Products Ltd. The company has installed
four new floating aerators in its 13 km
Kinleith effluent treatment networktwo
of which have been positioned at the
effluent outfall in an arm of Lake
Maraetai.
Although N.Z.F.P. had been working
on an improvement in its effluent oxygenation capacity for some time, the
matter became more urgent following an
incident at Lake Maraetai last year when
a large number of small fish died during
a reduction in dissolved oxygen levels in
the lake's Kopakorahi arm, which
received treated effluent from the Kinleith pulp and paper mills. The fish kill
occurred after an unexpected shutdown
of the entire Kinleith plant during
August, and for nearly two weeks the
discharge of treated effluent was greatly
reduced. But when the mill resumed
production and the effluent flow returned
to normal, a severe deterioration in oxygen concentrations was recorded in the
lake arm.
The new aerators should greatly improve the company's ability to meet at
all times the conditions of its permit to
discharge effluent.
The floating aerators were designed

ANTIVIBRATION AND SOUND


TRANSMISSION ATTENUATION
EQUIPMENT
Forgan Jones Ltd., Auckland, has
been appointed sole New Zealand agent
for the antivibration mountings, hangers
and acoustical attenuation equipment
manufactured by Mason Industries Inc.,
New York.
The range of antivibration equipment
includes: Neoprene mountings, spring
mountings complete with neoprene
acoustical friction pads between the
baseplate and support, restrained mountings which limit upward travel when
weight is removed, neoprenespring
combination hangers, flexible. neoprene
connectorsexpansion joints rated at a
minimum of 1 000 kpa and 100C,
flexible metallic hoses for high temperatures, earthquake snubbers, bridge bearing pads and a complete range of bases
and rails for fans and pumps.

Two of the new pontoon-mounted aeration units installed by N.Z. Forest Products Ltd., operating in the Kopakorahi
arm of Lake Maraetai.
within the company and fabricated near
Kinleith, using only a small proportion
of imported components. They consist of
a conical surface agitator powered by a
15 kW electric motor and have been
specifically designed for duty in bays and
inlets where effluent may otherwise
stagnate.

Circle 52 for more information

SWISS REINFORCEMENT
DETECTOR
A direct-reading, electronic measuring
instrument, manufactured by the Swiss
organisation Proceq SA of Zurich, is now
available in New Zealand through Technical Engineering Development and
Export Co. Ltd.
Known as a Profometer, the instrument enables non-destructive checking
of steel reinforcement in concrete structures and prefabricated elements. It
accurately determines position, direction,
bar size and concrete cover using an
alternating magnetic field and, with the
addition of a selective, supplementary
probe, simplifies even the most difficult
measuring problem.

Circle 56 for more information

MAJOR AUTOMOTIVE MERGER

The National Electrical and Engineering Company has been appointed sole
sale agent for William McGeoch and
Company (Birmingham) Ltd., manufacturer of electric plugs and sockets, indicator light fittings and specialist lighting
units.

Ground Engineering Ltd. of Auckland


have recently been appointed sole agents
in New Zealand, Australia and the
Pacific Islands for Engineering Laboratory Equipment Ltd., Hemel Hempstead, U.K., who manufacture a comprehensive range of materials-testing
equipment for soils, rocks, concrete and
bitumen.

Andrews & Beaven Ltd. has established


a joint manufacturing venture with Automotive Products (U.K.) Ltd., the largest
manufacturer in Europe of automotive
components, which markets its main
products under the trade names Borg &
Beck and Lockheed. The deal involved
the purchase of a majority shareholding
in Automotive Products Company (N.Z.)
Ltd. which has now been restructured
and in turn has purchased the brake
bonding and clutch reconditioning plant
in Dunedin formerly owned by Andrews
& Beaven Ltd.

Circle 55 for more information

Circle 54 for more information

Circle 53 for more information

Circle 51 for more information

ENGINEERING LABORATORY
EQUIPMENT
NEW NATIONAL ELECTRIC
AGENCY

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32,

6) 15 JUNE 1977

147

CONFERENCES AND COURSES


New Zealand
Sixth Australasian Conference on Mechanics of Structures and
Materials, University of Canterbury, 22-24 August 1977.
New Zealand Hydrological Society, 1977 Symposium, Canterbury University, Christchurch, 22-24 November 1977.

Overseas
International Conference on Production Engineering, New
Delhi, August 1977.
IFIP Congress 77, International Federation for Information
Processing, Toronto, Canada, 8-12 August 1977.
Fifth Danube European Conference on Soil Mechanics and
Foundation Engineering, Bratislavia, Czechoslovakia, 5-7
September 1977.
Euromeas 77, European Conference on Precise Electrical
Measurement, University of Sussex, 5-9 September 1977.
C.I.B., the International Building Research Council, 14-21
September 1977, Edinburgh.
International Symposium on the Geotechnics of Structurally
Complex Formations, Italy, September 1977.
Second International Conference on Pipe Protection, at the
University of Kent at Canterbury, England, 7-9 September
1977.
Symposium 1977 on Problems Associated with Design and
Construction in Developing Countries, 24-26 October 1977,
Munich, Federal Republic of Germany.

International Post-graduate Course in Hydraulic Engineering,


organised by the International Institute for Hydraulic and
Environmental Engineering, Delft, the Netherlands, 11
months from October 1977 to October 1978.
Conference on Remote Control and Monitoring in Mining,
accompanying the International Mining Exhibition, Conference Centre of the Birmingham Metropole Hotel, 11-13
October 1977.
Symposium on Hazard-free Operation against Potential Emergencies, Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, 30 October
to 2 November 1977, Tokyo.
Second International Symposium on Dredging Technology,
Texas A. & M. University, 2-4 November 1977.
Symposium on Coastal Sediments and Structures Related to
Shore Protection and Inlet Stabilisation, Mills Hyatt House,
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A., 1-5 November 1977.
Conference on Microprocessor Systems, Melbourne, 15-17
November 1977.
The Design and Application of e.h.v. substationsIEE, London, 22-24 November 1977.
New Developments in Automatic TestingBrighton, England,
30 November to 2 December 1977.
International Conference on Water Resources Engineering, 1013 January 1978, Bangkok.
Further details of these may be obtained from the Secretary,
N.Z.I.E., P.O. Box 12-441, Wellington.

AN ENGINEER'S BOOKSHELF
PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS OF
TRIBOLOGY, by Desmond F. Moore, 388 pp.,
illus. (Pergamon, Oxford, 1975, $15.00).
Since the report by the committee on tribology in the United Kingdom in 1965 it has
become generatly accepted that a knowledge of
tribotogythe science and technology of interacting surfaces in motionis of importance to
machinery designers in avoiding unnecessary
friction and wear, and to plant engineers in
diagosin g inefficiencies and in alleviating them.
Unfortunately, the acceptance of the desirability
of a state of affairs is far removed from its
being extant. For a relatively new area of
knowledge the information must be distilled
from reports of research and of practical experience and assembled in an easily accessible
form. This the author has done in presenting
in a clear and readable style information on
the principles of the physicat mechanisms
involved and in describing their use in explaining the . operation of practicatly useful machine
components.
The chapter headings in Part I are: Principles
include surface topography; Friction of metats;
Elastomers, and other materiats; Hydrodynamic,
boundary, and elastohydrodynamic lubrication;
Wear and abrasion; Internal friction; and Experimental methods. In Part IIApplicationsthey are: Manufacturing processes; Automotive
applications; Transport and locomotion; Bearing design; and Misceltaneous applications. The
chapter on manufacturing processes is principally concerned with metal cutting.
The author, who is a lecturer in mechanical
engineering in University College, Dublin, aims
"to impress upon the student the relevance of
tribology to the entire mechanised society". The
reviewer believes that that aim could have been
better achieved if the author had supplied questions to enable the students to exercise and
reinforce their knowledge of the subject with
a view to gaining understanding. Nevertheless,
as a first stage text, it should be a valuable
addition to the literature.
H.McC.
SYSTEMS ANALYSIS FOR PRODUCTION
OPERATIONS, by C. Carl Pegels, 471 pp.,
illus. (Gordon and Breach, New York 1976,
$10.70).
The term "systems analysis" has many meanings. To the author, who is an associate pro-

148

fessor of management science; State University


of New York at Buffalo, it means an economic
analysis by means of mathematical and simulation models. As the title indicates the models
are of production operations. The extent of
the coverage may be gathered from the chapter
headings. In Part ISystems analyses and
facility planning modelsthey are: Introduction
tg systems analysis; Simulation of an industrial
system for planning purposes; Analysis of an
industrial system with the aid of a simulation
modet; Analysis of a plant electricat power
system; Capital investment analysis by decision
trees; Capital investment analysis by simulation.
In Part IICapacity planning modelsthe
chapter headings are: Capacity and input substitution analysis; Capacity planningbased on
exogenous relationships; Capacity planning
based on endogenous relationships. In Part III
Plant layout planning modelsthey are: The
basic plant layout problem; Plant layout by
heuristic methods; Ptant layout by optimisation methods; and finally for Part IVOperations planning modelsthey are: Projection of
production costs during start-up phase; Forecasting demand on the basis of exogenous factors; Forecasting demand by exponential
smoothing methods; Determination of decision
rules for production, inventories and work force
levels; Production, inventory and work force
planning with linear programming model; Work
force and production planning through inventory
projection by input-output analysis.
The emphasis of the book is on "application"
of the techniques advocated. The author has
obviously aimed at making production managers
aware of how to select values of variables to
minimise costs, by exposing them to a series of
realistic examples.
H.McC.
MODERN ELECTRONIC MATH, by Jerrold
R. Clifford and Martin Clifford, 684 pp., illus.
(TAB Books, 1976, $9.95).
This text aims at providing a refresher course
for the students of electronics.
It fatls into three main sections:
Chapters 1-6 cover elementary arithmetic and
algebra, with chapters on trigonometry and
logarithms. In each chapter the relevant mathematical topic is discussed and then applied to
calculations from circuit analysis. Chapter 3 is
devoted wholty to catculations with formulae
for d.c. and a.c. circuits.

Chapters 7-9 deal with number systems to


bases two, eight and sixteen, and chapter 10
introduces Boolean algebra and related circuit
reatisations.
Chapters 11-13 give an introduction to graphs
and to the differential and integral calculus.
The last two chapters, 14 and 15, provide a
range of mathematicat table and formulae.
There are many misprints and errors. For
example, in the chapter on Boolean algebra
essential brackets are left out, and intersection
and union signs are confused. The explanation
of the null set is unsatisfactory.
The reproduction process is poor and many
signs have been lost, particularly in indices.
A wide range of circuit formulae are introduced and manipulated, but the mathematical
presentation leaves much to be desired.
J.T.C.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN THE HOSPITAL, by W. H. Buschbaum and B. Goldsmith, 111 pp., illus. (Van Nostrand Reinhold
Company, 1975, $9.95).
With a great deal more concern in recent
years on electrical safety in the hospital, electrical engineers would no doubt have found a
book with such a title to be of special interest,
particularly as it seems at present that in the
literature normally scanned by engineers a lot
of the information regarding electrical equipment used in the treatment of patients has to
be gleaned from numerous sources.
While this book collects together in one
volume a certain amount of information regarding the effect of electric current on the
human body and the operation and safety of
hospital electrical equipment, it is obviousy
written for the use of medical personnel.
The first third of the book is taken up in
explaining matters such as potential difference,
how switches, fuses and relays work, and the
purpose of the earth continuity conductor, and
therefore can offer nothing of interest to
electrically trained people.
It is obvious that the authors felt there was
a need for such a book for medical people,
because there is a limited amount of information which would have special interest to
those working in the electrical industry.
H.R.M.

NEW ZEALAND ENGINEERING (32, 6) 15 JUNE 1977