Structural integrity is the ability of a structure to function as specified under service loading while keeping its strength (i.e. no structural failure) and shape (i.e. no excessive deformation). Hence the structural integrity is a measure for the quality of the structure. During the life of a structure there will be some loss of the initial structural integrity due to:
» Degradation (corrosion)
» Stress corrosion
» Impact damage
The art of good structural engineering is keeping the structural integrity on an acceptable level during the specified life of a structure. In a well-designed system, a localized failure should not lead to failure of the entire structure.