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Buildings in Philippine erected using weak steel rebars – Report

Steel News - Published on Mon, 04 Jun 2018

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Inquirer Net reported that over the last 12 years, buildings have been erected in the country using a weaker type of steel bars, and manufacturers and structural engineers have been hiding this fact from the public. A group of public safety advocates said that the group called on concerned government agencies to investigate what they alleged to be the deliberate concealment of the use of “quench-tempered” or “thermo-mechanically treated” reinforcement steel bars, despite the prohibition against their use in high-rise buildings.

Former Senator Nikki Coseteng, who has waged a campaign against the use of QT steel bars said that “We are exposing this as this is dangerous and economically debilitating for our country, with the fact that it has been kept secret from us. We believe we owe it to the public to inform them how dangerous this problem is.”

According to the former two-term senator, manufacturers have flooded the market with QT bars, which are supposedly cheaper to produce, to replace the “micro-alloy” types traditionally used in the country.

In his 2010 study, structural engineer Emilio Morales, a member of the group, said the National Structural Code clearly imposed limitations on the use of QT or TMT steel bars since these materials could not be subjected to bending, welding, threading or galvanizing. Mr Morales said that “This poses a high risk when used in the construction of high-rise buildings and can submit to failure when subjected in the event of a high-intensity earthquake. QT steel bars may be used only for low- to medium-rise buildings, and for non sensitive structures such as fences, pigpens, or roads.”

Mr Morales said manufacturers shifted to QT or TMT bars for these were cheaper to produce and did not require vanadium as an additive. He said that “With QT rebars, what we normally get is one that may appear to be tough on the outside, but has actually weaker internal structure.”

Ms Coseteng urged the Department of Interior of Local Government to require all cities and municipalities to conduct an inventory of all existing high-rise buildings that have been built in the last 12 years. She also assailed the Bureau of Product Standards for not informing the public about QT steel bars and not requiring tests on their durability.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 04 Jun 2018
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