You are on page 1of 28

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Table of Contents
Summary (abstract)....................................................................................................................2
Introduction....................................................................................................................................3
Body...............................................................................................................................................4
Conclusions (and Recommendations)..........................................................................................19
Acknowledgments........................................................................................................................19
Bibliography.................................................................................................................................19
Appendix A...................................................................................................................................23
Appendix B...................................................................................................................................23
Appendix C...................................................................................................................................26

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Summary (abstract)
It was important to build a bridge to learn how tension and compression forces can affect
the materials of a bridge. The building also helped us understand some of the basics of civil
engineering and the Bentley computer software. We made the bridge out of balsam wood and
glue. The tools we used to construct the bridge included a ruler, a protractor, pins, and cutting
pliers. When building, we cut the major pieces of the bridge and pinned them together. When the
layout was sufficient, we removed the pins and glued the members together. We built the bridge
the way we did using the ModelSmart computer software to narrow down the bridge to only the
members we needed. This limited the weight of the bridge and increased the amount of weight
the bridge could hold. Our bridge on the ModelSmart software was planned to weigh 11.057
grams and hold 26,095.6 grams and have a load weight to weight of bridge ratio of about 2,360.
When we tested our preliminary model, it was able to sustain 3,699 grams of sand and the weight
of the bucket. Weighing 18.5 grams, the ratio of the weight sustained to the weight of the bridge
was 320. While building the bridge, we learned how compression forces and tension forces can
affect a bridge and ways to support members of a bridge so they would not break as easily. We
also learned how to build triangles out of wood in order to make sections of a bridge more
secure. To improve out bridge for the real competition, we will try to make the bridge lighter by
using less materials and use more cross supports.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Introduction
My name is Emily Eskuri. I am a junior at Fraser High School and Macomb Mathematics
Science and Technology Center. I would like to major in a STEM related area as a sports analyst
and statistician, specifically for baseball.
I am Tom McCloskey. I am a junior at Cousino High School, Career Prep Center, and
Macomb Mathematics Science and Technology Center. I am currently working towards being a
director, and would like to apply physics in my work. I am currently a leader on my First
Robotics team and I work in the build section.
My name is Megan Phillips. I am a junior at Lakeview High School and Macomb
Mathematics Science and Technology Center. I am interested in the STEM field and would like
to have a STEM major in college.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Body
Background Information
Bridges help people and items travel across bodies of water and large dips in land. There
are many different styles of bridges that can all be used for different landscape characteristics.
Some popular bridge designs include beam bridges, truss bridges, arch bridges, and suspension
bridges. One particularly interesting bridge is the Cantilever Through Truss Bridge, which is
know to be a complex truss bridge. A Cantilever Through Truss Bridge includes elements of two
cantilever bridges and one truss bridge. A cantilever bridge is based on a structure that is built
horizontally above the open area with support at one end only. This type of bridge is used
because it is easy to build at difficult crossings due to the fact that no temporary structures need
to be used. A truss bridge is a structure constructed by joining materials together to form an open
framework that consists of mostly triangles. This type of bridge is useful because it can support
heavy loads and use materials efficiently.
The Cantilever Through Truss Bridge can be used as both a road or railroad for cars and
trains. It is usually built when there are difficult crossings and need temporary support, and are
easier to build because of their self-support during construction. Their triangular structure can
support heavier loads placed on them, and the materials can be used sparingly.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


One example of a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata,
West Bengal, India. It crosses the Hoghly River and was built in 1943.

Figure 1. Howrah Bridge


Figure 1 shows the Howrah Bridge. This bridge crosses the Hoghly River in Kolkata,
West Bengal, India.
5

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Another example of a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is the Quebec Bridge that crosses
the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. This bridge is almost twenty-five years older than
the Howrah Bridge being built in 1919.

Figure 2. Quebec Bridge


Figure 2 displays the Quebec Bridge in Quebec, Canada. The bridge crosses the Saint
Lawrence River.
A Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is different than other bridges. This type of bridge can
span across larger areas due to its ability to bend. A Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is not like
an arch bridge because arch bridges usually consist of a curved structure that resists bending.
Additionally, arch bridges can only be used on solid and stable ground because both ends of the
arch have to be fixed in the horizontal direction. On an arch bridge, only horizontal forces work

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


on the bearings. On a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge, vertical and horizontal forces work on
the bearing.

Figure 3. Arch Bridge


Figure 3 shows Cooper's Tubular Arch Bridge that crosses the Eerie Canal. The curved
members show that the bridge can resist bending. Also, both ends of the arch are fixed in the
horizontal direction.
A Cantilever Through Truss Bridge differs from a suspension bridge because suspension
bridges hang from cables. Truss bridges depend on framework to stay stable. Furthermore,
suspension bridges can be very simple or very complex while Cantilever Through Truss Bridges
are always complex.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 4. Suspension Bridge


Figure 4 pictures a real life example of a suspension bridge. This is the Golden Gate
Bridge from San Francisco, California, that connects the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean.
It can be observed that the bridge is hanging from cables.
Finally, a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge compares to a beam bridge in the amount of
weight they can sustain. A Cantilever Through Truss Bridge can carry heavier loads than a beam
bridge can; beam bridges are said to be one of the weakest types of bridges. Truss bridges can
maintain tension and compression forces whereas beam bridges can usually only maintain
tension forces. Also, beam bridges are simpler to construct and can easily sag towards the middle
when their span gets too large.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 5. Beam Bridge


Figure 5 displays a real life beam bridge example. This bridge is the Wheeler Bridge in
Axtell, Utah, that spans across the Sevier River. This bridge looks simple and looks like it could
sag near the center if too much weight was applied or the bridge was too long.

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Figure 6. Force Diagram
Figure 6 shows the forces acting on a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge. The colored
arrows represent different types of forces.
The Cantilever Through Truss Bridge pushes the weight towards the outer supports,
therefore making the weight equal on both sides, as demonstrated with the red and blue arrows.
The red arrows represent the compressing of the beams going to the bottom of the bridge, and the
blue arrows show the tension pulling to the tops of the bridge. Gravity and mass are pushing the
bridge to the ground, as shown by the yellow arrows.
In conclusion, a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is a complex type of truss bridge that
includes two cantilevers that meet together at a truss bridge. There are numerous Cantilever
Through Truss Bridges around the world, including the Quebec Bridge and the Howrah Bridge.
This type of truss bridge differs from beam bridges, suspension bridges, and suspension bridges
in the way that the forces are distributed, the strength of the bridge, and the complexity of the
architecture, to name a few. This type of bridge is quite complex but very convenient when the
landscape the bridge is crossing is complex. Cantilever Through Truss Bridges can also be long
without sagging and can handle extremely heavy loads.
Scientific Principles
When constructing the bridge, there were reasons for placing the pieces the way we did
and building with certain shapes. First of all, in order to keep the wood from snapping easily
under little force, we made sure that there were no long pieces that were free-standing with no
help underneath them. Additionally, we constructed many triangles in our bridge due to their
ability to distribute force more evenly and, in result, their ability to strengthen the bridge easily.
Lastly, we made sure there was a lot of support underneath the platform due to gravity pulling

10

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


the weight down and being able to easily snap the wood of the platform. To prevent this from
happening, we tried to make the platform as narrow as possible so that the wood would fit
through but the platform would not be liable to snapping under little pressure.
Challenges During Design
While designing the bridge, we faced a few problems. In the Bentley software, only some
elements of the bridge were able to be dimensioned, leaving us with the choice to either use
trigonometry to find the remaining measurements or just measure in between the elements we
already had. We chose the second option because we thought that it would be more accurate. If
we used trigonometry, we would have strange decimal points that we would have to approximate
to the nearest one-sixteenth of an inch and that would leave a lot of room for error. Another
problem we faced while designing was not knowing how many cross supports we would need.
The two-dimensional ModelSmart software did not allow us to account for the weight of the
cross supports, and we would not know how many we would need when constructing.
Preliminary Testing Data
Table 1
Ratio of Bridge Trials
Weight of
Trials
Bridge (g)
Emily's
9.365
Original Bridge
Tom's Original
8.177
Bridge
Megan's
9.016
Original Bridge
1
10.00
2
3
4

Amount held
(g)

Ratio (amount
held/weight)

5189.55

554.143

3709.02

453.592

2566.43

284.652

6,109.89

610.989

9.932

5,920.29

596.082

9.528

7,630.78

800.88

9.80

7,475.66

762.822

11

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

9.686

8,444.53

871.828

9.555

8,599.66

900.017

8.949

8,937.58

998.724

9.225

9,516.37

1,031.58

9.675

9784.14

1011.28

10.34

13574.6

1313.46

18.500

5,923.2

320.173

6
7
8
9
10
Preliminary
bridge

Table 1 shows the values generated by the ModelSmart software when testing the
different designs we created. The heaviest bridge we modeled on the software was 10.34 grams,
but our preliminary bridge was 18.5 grams in weight. The largest amount of weight a bridge on
the ModelSmart software could hold was approximately 9,516 grams. Our preliminary bridge
held about 5,932 grams. The highest ratio achieved on the computer software was 1,313.46,
while our preliminary bridge only had a ratio of 320.173.
Supporting Calculations
The ability of the bridges were ranked by their ratio of weight of load to weight of the
bridge. The group with the highest ratio was first place while the group with the lowest ratio was
last place. To find the ratio, the weight of the bridge had to be measured in grams and the weight
of the sand and the block of wood had to be measured in grams.
masstotal = masswood + ( massbucket + masssand)
masstotal = 249 + 1,975.2 + 3,699
masstotal = 5,923.2 grams
Figure 7. Weight Calculations
12

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Figure 7 shows the calculations for the mass that the bridge held. The masses of the wood
on the platform, the bucket, and the sand in the buckets were added to be used in the ratio
calculations in Figure 8.
massbridge = 18.5 grams
massheld = 5,923.2 grams
ratio = massheld / massbridge
ratio = 5,923.3 / 18.5
ratio = 320.17
Figure 8. Ratio Calculations
Figure 8 describes the calculations done to find the ratio of weight of load to weight of
bridge. To find the ratio, the amount of weight from everything acting on the bridge was divided
by the weight of the bridge itself.

Preliminary Bridge and Final Bridge Drawings


Each group member sketched their own design of a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge.
The sketches helped to guide us in how we wanted our bridge to be built.

13

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 9. Preliminary Drawing


Figure 9 shows one of the preliminary sketches that were created before the bridge was
constructed. This is Megan's sketch. All of the major elements of the bridge are dimensioned.
The ratio of the drawing to real life was one centimeter was equal to one inch.
We also have a preliminary and final drawing in the Microstation Powerdraft V8i
software that can be found in Appendix C. Each drawing has a top, front, and right view of our
bridge design. These drawings are a combination of three of our earlier designs combined, and
they are the drawings we used to build our bridge.

Construction
Throughout construction, we took pictures of our bridge as it came along. We also had
our pictures taken while we were constructing it.

14

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 10. Truss


This figure displays the framework of one side of the truss that was constructed in the
middle of the bridge. This framework was held together with pins in this picture and was about
to be glued.

Figure 11. Teamwork

15

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Figure 11 shows the whole team working together on the two halves of the bridge.
Thomas was working on one half of the bridge while Emily and Megan were working on the
other half.

Figure 12. Standing Bridge


Figure 12 pictures the final Cantilever Through Truss Bridge on a blue background. This
was the completed preliminary bridge that was tested.

16

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 13. Top View of Bridge


Figure 13 shows a top view of the finished preliminary bridge. This view showcases the
cross supports that ran between the two halves of the bridge. There will be more cross supports
in our final design.

17

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 14. Side View of Bridge


This picture shows a side view of the preliminary bridge after it was done. This view also
shows some of the cross supports.
Testing and Improvements
To test the bridge's ability, a block of wood was placed on the platform of the bridge with
weight attached to the bottom of the wood. To increase the weight on the bridge, Mr. McMillan
poured sand into a bucket that was attached to the block of wood. Our bridge buckled under the
weight after slightly bending and curving and finally snapping half of a cantilever off. We
suspect our bridge could not handle more weight due to a lack of cross supports, so to improve
our design we will add more of those. To increase the ratio of the weight of the bridge to the
amount of weight it can hold, we will try to decrease the weight of our bridge by eliminating
nonessential members and using minimal glue.

18

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Challenges During Construction
Some challenges encountered while constructing the bridge with balsa wood was being
careful with it. The wood is sensitive; therefore, it broke with little pressure. To handle this
problem, all of the team members were careful not to apply too much pressure while measuring,
cutting, or gluing pieces of wood. Another difficulty with building the bridge was making each
side equal. The tool that was used to cut was not the best option, but it was the only option we
had; therefore, the sides were not exactly equal. To solve this problem, the team members would
compare their members of the bridge from each side and try to get them to be as similar as
possible while still being able to support their part of the bridge. Sometimes the pieces would not
be equal to each other, but they were never drastically different. Occasionally one member would
be half an inch to an inch longer than the other. The glue was also an issue during the building
process. Sometimes we would put glue in between pieces of wood and they would not stick
together. This resulted in the need for more glue between some pieces, which increased the
weight of the bridge. This would lead to a decreased ratio as well. To solve this problem, each
team member made sure to put a dot of glue between the two pieces they were gluing together
and hold the pieces together for a minute or two until the glue dried. This ensured that the glue
would hold the pieces together and not slide the pieces apart.
Safety Precautions
During the process, all members and teachers followed rules for the safety of everyone.
When constructing, all team members made sure not to pin or cut a piece of wood too close to
where another person was holding that piece of wood. Also, while testing the bridges, Mr.
McMillan wore safety goggles while the students were far away enough to where they would not
be hit by flying bridge debris.

19

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Conclusions (and Recommendations)
Overall, our project was successful. Our bridge was strong and could hold more than
three hundred times its own weight. Each member learned new properties of bridges and
methods to build a strong bridge. We also all learned the importance of trigonometry while
building the bridge, for the sides of the bridges were built mainly from triangles with many
angles. Triangles have the strongest structure when use in construction due to their combination
and better resistance of pressure. Not only is it pleasing for the symmetric eye, but having a
symmetric bridge is the strongest structure. After we realized that some of the pieces of the
bridge were not equal to one another, we made a point to cut both pieces to match one another in
order to have a symmetric bridge. The issues that were in the last bridge will be learned from and
changed with the construction of the new bridge.

20

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Acknowledgements
Throughout this project, we were assisted by two teachers. We would like to thank Mrs.
Cybulski for helping us understand the guidelines of the project, taking pictures of us with our
bridge, letting us use her classroom to build in, looking at our designs, and checking our papers.
Also, we would like to thank Mr. McMillan for helping us understand the guidelines, checking
our papers, looking at our designs, and testing our bridges.

Bibliography
21

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


Cotton, Robert, Gabriel Gehenio, and Clayton Miller. "Civil War Era Metal Truss Bridges."
(n.d.): n. pag. 1993. Web <http://snocamp.s3.amazonaws.com/68676/uploads/files/cantilever_truss_bridges[1]ppt.pdf>.
Bridges. Ohio.edu, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2016 <http://www.ohio.edu/people/gb885811/531%20Final%20Site/Gina%20Bruce%20Site/Information/Technology%20Education/Drafting%203%20and%204/Bridges.pdf>.
D&T. "Bridge Types." Design and Technology Online: Login to the Site. D&T Online Learning,
n.d. Web. <http://www.dtonline.org/vle/mod/lesson/view.php?id=276>.
Dublin City Council. "Bridges of Dublin." Cantilever. Dublin City Council, n.d. Web.
Gordon, Ryan. "Finley's Wonder on Jacob's Creek." The Pennsylvania Center for the Book. N.p.,
2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2016. <http://pabook2.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/Suspension.html>.
Janberg, Nicolas. "Howrah Bridge (Kolkata, 1943)." Structurae. Structurae, 10 Jun. 1999. Web.
<http://structurae.net/structures/howrah-bridge>.
Janberg, Nicolas. "Quebec Bridge (Quebec, 1919)." Structurae. Structurae, 13 Nov. 1999. Web.
<http://structurae.net/structures/quebec-bridge-1919>.
"Main Types of Bridges in the World." Bridge Construction. GSM, 2014. Web.
<http://www.aboutcivil.org/Types-Of-Bridges.html>.
Pawar, Bhagyashri. Howrah Bridge. 2015. Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Sadowski Jr., Frank E. "Cooper's Tubular Arch Bridge." The Eerie Canal. N.p., 2012. Web. 12
Feb. 2016. <http://www.eriecanal.org/CedarBay.html>.
Santerre, Ronald. The Quebec Bridge. N.d. Quebec, Canada.
Solomon, Alyssa. "Science and Technology in Society." Science and Technology: Bridges.
Bristol Public Schools, n.d. Web.<http://www.bristol.k12.ct.us/page.cfm?p=7111> .

22

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips


"Steel Has The Solution." Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance. N.p., 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.
<http://www.shortspansteelbridges.org/about/online-press-kit/high-res-images.aspx>.
WGBH. "Bridge Basics." PBS. PBS Online, 2001. Web.
<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/bridge/basics.html>.
Woodford, Chris. "Bridges and Tunnels." Explain That Stuff! Chris Woodford, 9 July 2015.
Web.<http://www.explainthatstuff.com/bridges.html>.

Appendix A
This appendix includes a timeline to visually represent the daily journal in Appendix B.
23

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Figure 15. Timeline


Figure 15 displays a timeline to show the tasks each group member completed over the
course of the project.

Appendix B
This appendix contains a daily journal for each day we have been working on the bridge.
Day 1 - 25 January 2016
24

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Emily learned the guidelines for the bridge competition.


Thomas learned the guidelines for the bridge competition.
Megan learned the guidelines for the bridge competition.

Day 2 - 26 January 2016

Emily researched the forces acting on a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge and wrote about
it in the paper. She also researched what a Cantilever Through Truss Bridge is mainly

used for.
Thomas used the Bentley Bridge software and watched the video tutorials.
Megan found two real-life examples of Cantilever Through Truss Bridges and discussed
them in the paper. She also learned about the structure of a Cantilever Through Truss
Bridge and wrote about it in the paper.

Day 3 - 27 January 2016

Emily worked on the Works Cited page and researched more about how a Cantilever

Through Truss Bridge is used.


Thomas created the drawing of the Cantilever Through Truss Bridge on the Bentley

software.
Megan compared the Cantilever Through Truss Bridge to arch bridges, beam bridges, and
suspension bridges in the paper.

Day 4 - 28 January 2016

Emily finished the paper and printed it out. She also created a design of a Cantilever

Through Truss Bridge.


Thomas continued work on the Bentley software and drew a design for a Cantilever
Through Truss Bridge.

25

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Megan created the title page for the paper and drew a design for a Cantilever Through
Truss Bridge.

Day 5 - 29 January 2016

Emily used the ModelSmart software to test the weight capacity of the different bridge

designs.
Thomas used the ModelSmart software to test the weight capacity of the different bridge

designs.
Megan worked on the daily journal for the group and recorded data.

Day 6 - 1 February 2016

Emily worked on the daily journal for the group.


Thomas used the ModelSmart 3D software to test the bridge in a three-dimensional view.
Megan recorded the data.

Day 7 - 2 February 2016

Emily worked on the daily journal for the group


Thomas used the Bentley software to make the CAD designs
Megan recorded the data

Day 8 - 3 February 2016

Emily started building the preliminary bridge for testing.


Thomas started building the preliminary bridge for testing.
Megan started building the preliminary bridge for testing.

Day 9 - 4 February 2016

Emily continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.


Thomas continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.
Megan continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.

Day 10 - 5 February 2016

Emily continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.


Thomas continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.
Megan continued building the preliminary bridge for testing.

Day 11 - 8 February 2016


26

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Emily finished building the preliminary bridge for testing.


Thomas finished building the preliminary bridge for testing.
Megan finished building the preliminary bridge for testing.

Day 12 - 9 February 2016

Emily recorded the preliminary ration for the bridge as it broke.


Thomas took a side view video of the bridge collapsing.
Megan took a front view video of the bridge collapsing.

Day 13 - 10 February 2016

Emily worked on the proposal paper.


Thomas remodeled some of the bridge on the Bentley software.
Megan worked on the proposal paper.

Day 14 - 11 February 2016

Emily worked on the proposal paper.


Thomas worked on the proposal paper.
Megan worked on the proposal paper.

27

Eskuri - McCloskey - Phillips

Appendix C
This appendix contains the CAD drawings of our bridge.

28