February 7th 2009
Revised by Florida Engineering Society, February 2009

Maria F. Parra

SECME ± M-DCPS Division of Mathematics and Science Education

Work Plan
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ History of Bridge Development How Bridges Work Basic Concepts Types of Bridges Concepts Associated with Bridge Engineering Truss Analysis Tips for Building Bridges Bridge Construction

Asia Clapper Bridge Great Stone Bridge in China ³Tree trunk ³Stone ³Low Bridge ³Shallow Arch ³Strength of Materials Roman Arch Bridge ³Mathematical Theories ³Development of Metal ³The Arch ³Natural Cement 100 B. Renaissance .D.D.History of Bridge Development Natural Bridges 700 A.C. Romans 1300 A.

1900 A.D. First Cast-Iron Bridge Coalbrookdale.D. England Truss Bridges ³Mechanics of Design ³Prestressed Concrete ³Steel Britannia Tubular Bridge ³Wrought Iron Suspension Bridges ³Use of Steel for the suspending cables 1850 A.History of Bridge Development 1800 A. 1920 A.D.D. 2000 A.D. .

making waves that can travel at hundreds of kilometers per hour.How Bridges Work? Every passing vehicle shakes the bridge up and down. and understanding its movements is as important as understanding the static forces. . just as it is designed to ignore the efforts of the wind to turn it into a giant harp. Luckily the bridge is designed to damp them out. A bridge is not a dead mass of metal and concrete: it has a life of its own.

a force which acts to compress or shorten the thing it is acting on.a force which acts to expand or lengthen the thing it is acting on.any action that tends to maintain or alter the position of a structure Compression . Tension . Compression Tension .Basic Concepts Span . Force .the distance between two bridge supports. towers or the wall of a canyon. whether they are columns.

a vertical supporting structure. like a shelf bracket or a diving board Load . such as a pillar Cantilever .a projecting structure supported only at one end. usually horizontal. structural element Beam Pier Pier .weight distribution throughout a structure .a rigid.Basic Concepts Beam .

) characteristic of a structure that is able to carry a realistic load without collapsing or deforming significantly Deform .a rigid frame composed of short. stability (n.Basic Concepts Truss .) ability to resist collapse and change shape .(adj. straight pieces joined to form a series of triangles or other stable shapes Stable .

Basic Concepts Buckling is what happens when the force of compression overcomes an object's ability to handle compression. A mode of failure characterized generally by an unstable lateral deflection due to compressive action on the structural element involved. so that no one spot has to bear the brunt of the concentrated force. Snapping is what happens when tension overcomes an object's ability to handle tension. To dissipate forces is to spread them out over a greater area. an area designed to handle the forces. . To transfer forces is to move the forces from an area of weakness to an area of strength.

.Types of Bridges Basic Types: ‡Beam Bridge ‡Arch Bridge ‡Suspension Bridge The type of bridge used depends on various features of the obstacle. The biggest difference between the three is the distances they can each cross in a single span. How far is it from one side to the other? This is a major factor in determining what type of bridge to use. The main feature that controls the bridge type is the size of the obstacle.

This is why beam bridges rarely span more than 250 feet.Types of Bridges Beam Bridge Consists of a horizontal beam supported at each end by piers. The weight of the beam pushes straight down on the piers. the weaker the beam becomes. The farther apart its piers. .

.Types of Bridges Beam Bridge Forces When something pushes down on the beam. and its bottom edge is pulled apart. the beam bends. Its top edge is pushed together.

Types of Bridges Truss Bridge Forces Every bar in this cantilever bridge experiences either a pushing or pulling force. The bars rarely bend. This is why cantilever bridges can span farther than beam bridges .

most arch bridges are made of steel or concrete. Romans built arches out of stone. Today. .Types of Bridges Arch Bridges The arch has great natural strength. Thousands of years ago. and they can span up to 800 feet.

called abutments.Types of Bridges Arch Bridges Forces The arch is squeezed together. . and this squeezing force is carried outward along the curve to the supports at each end. The supports. push back on the arch and prevent the ends of the arch from spreading apart.

way farther than any other type of bridge! Most suspension bridges have a truss system beneath the roadway to resist bending and twisting.000 to 7.000 feet -.Types of Bridges Suspension Bridges This kind of bridges can span 2. .

the roadway hangs from massive steel cables. which are draped over two towers and secured into solid concrete blocks. The cars push down on the roadway.Types of Bridges Suspension Bridges Forces In all suspension bridges. . called anchorages. but because the roadway is suspended. The two towers support most of the bridge's weight. the cables transfer the load into compression in the two towers. on both ends of the bridge.

The cables run directly from the roadway up to a tower. supports the roadway with massive steel cables. Cable-stayed bridges are becoming the most popular bridges for medium-length spans (between 500 and 3. like the suspension bridge. forming a unique "A" shape. but in a different way. .Types of Bridges CableCable-Stayed Bridge The cable-stayed bridge.000 feet).

Bridge Engineering Basic math and science concepts To design a bridge like you need to take into account the many forces acting on it : ‡The pull of the earth on every part ‡The ground pushing up the supports ‡The resistance of the ground to the pull of the cables ‡The weight of every vehicle Then there is the drag and lift produced by the wind ‡The turbulence as the air rushes past the towers .

 Glue is not a "gap filler". 4) Most competitions require these structures to be weighed.Dedication and attention to details. Be sure you understand the event rules before designing your prototype. Commitment . Up to 20% of the structure's mass may be from over gluing. 1) Draw your preliminary design 2) ALL joints should have absolutely flush surfaces before applying glue. .Tips for building a bridge 1. it dooms the structure! 3) Structures are symmetric.

The Importance of Connections Stresses flow like water. Here is a connection detail of one of the spaghetti bridges. . Where members come together there are stress concentrations that can destroy your structure.

the bridge had only been open for traffic a few months. Situated on the Tacoma Narrows in Puget Sound. Washington. the first Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge collapsed due to wind-induced vibrations. 1940. . at approximately 11:00 AM.Tacoma Narrows Failure On November 7. near the city of Tacoma.

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