Facts about the Eiffel Tower

The history and design aspects of the Eiffel Tower are interesting for engineers even today. Wrought iron was used for the construction of Eiffel Tower with the employment of scaffolds. Mathematical formulas were deliberated for numerous calculations for wind forces and load conditions.

History Of Eiffel Tower


The Eiffel Tower was constructed in Paris for the World Fair 1889 celebrating the centennial of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales inaugurated the tower. The number of proposals submitted for the design of Eiffel Tower exceeded 700, and Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was selected for this important task. The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice of the 19th century that is considered to be a universal symbol. It is amongst the Seven Wonders of the World, and one of the most familiar structures. The Eiffel Tower was initially intended to be built in Barcelona, but the location was changed since it was considered to be an expensive proposal. Three hundred workers were employed for this gigantic task that was completed in 2 years and 2 months. The construction involved extensive risks since the safety technology was not yet developed adequately in that era. Risks were severe since neither the modern skyscrapers were available nor the other modern safety equipment had yet been developed. However, due to the care and precautions adopted in the construction, only one labor died during the process.

Soil Analysis

Soil analysis was conducted to accurately establish the suitability of soil for the tower with a weight of approximately 10,000 tonnes. It was discovered that though some of the soil was firm and suitable for enduring the tower load, a lot was soft soil that could not resist the heavy load. Additionally, this area was vulnerable to flooding. Using his engineering genius, Eiffel designed two separate systems for the tower foundations, namely the dry foundation and the compressed air system. The foundations near the riverside were dug deeper than those located on the dry side. These foundations were injected with compressed air and metal components normally used for the underwater construction. After completion of the digging, quick drying cement was poured for the provision of the base for the foundation piers. Massive limestone blocks were placed over the cement and sealed by layers of cut stone.

Engineering Characteristics of Eiffel Tower


The Eiffel Tower was built utilizing the most modern engineering technology available in the nineteenth century. Advanced information about the performance of metal trusses and metal arcs under load, including the calculations related to the wind forces, were incorporated in the design. The tower was made of wrought iron and was intended to withstand high wind pressures near the top and throughout the structure. Many similar structures constructed during that era had much less capability to resist such high wind pressures, and a few of the bridges failed due to inaccurate calculations. The design of the Eiffel Tower was not based on a single mathematical formula. Instead, graphical results were used to determine the necessary structural strength, and empirical evidence was utilized to establish the effects of wind on this gigantic structure.

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