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Distortion failures are readily identified by the inherent change in size and/or shape. They are serious because they can lead to other types of failure or may even cause complete collapse of structures, such as bridges, ladders, beams, and columns. Distortion failures may be classified in different ways. One way is to consider them either as dimensional distortion (growth or shrinkage) or as shape distortion (such as bending, twisting, or buckling). They may also be classified as being either temporary or permanent in nature. This chapter discusses the nature, causes, and effects of all of these types of failures as well as the methods to manage them.

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