Types of Bridges

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  • Topic: Bridge, Bridges, Truss
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  • Published : January 10, 2013
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There are 4 major types of bridges. We have a separate page for each type of bridge. Please go to one of the following pages. Beam - The beam type is the simplest type of bridge. The beam bridge could be anything as simple as a plank of wood to a complex structure. It is made of two or more supports which hold up a beam. Arch - In the arch type of bridge, weight is carried outward along two paths, curving toward the ground. Suspension/Cable-stayed - The deck (trafficway) of a suspension bridge is hung by cables which hang from towers. The cables transfer the weight to the towers, which transfer the weight to the ground. Cable-stayed bridges have towers, but cables from the towers go directly to the road deck, instead of spanning from tower to tower. Cantilever - In the cantilever type of bridge, two beams support another beam, which is where the deck or trafficway is. The two beams must be anchored, and this must be done well. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- !BRIDGE TYPES!

There are five different basic types of bridges:
Beam Bridge

The "Beam Bridge" is a good design when trying to span a short gap that is also not very high. It is supported on either end by land or tall columns. If a beam bridge must be longer, support columns can be used to maintain support throughout the span. Materials used are usually concrete and steel.

Truss Bridge

The "Truss Bridge" is similar to a beam bridge except much stronger. These bridges use a pattern of geometrical shapes (triangles) called trusses. These trusses are very rigid (they don't move when pushed) and, thus, make the bridge very STONG! Because of their strength, truss bridges are often used for railway bridges as they must be able to support the great mass and the vibrations of the trains. Arch Bridge

The "Arch Bridge" is quite economical (cheap) to build. It can span a very deep chasm and maintain support throughout the span. The arch bridge is strong because no one point along the arch supports more mass than any other point - thus, the mass is spread out VERY evenly --> force spread out both downwards & outwards from the centre. Modern day arch bridges (they were used as far back as the Roman Empire!) use both steel and reinforced concrete as the basic materials. Arch bridges made of steel are constructed by joining curved beams of steel. The building process is interesting. Builders start adding the curved beams at either end of the span until they meet in the middle! Cantilever Bridge

The "Cantilever Bridge" is constructed from two beams jutting out from either side of a riverbank or body of water (embankments). These two beams must be securely anchored into the embankments using concrete slabs called abutments. The two beams meet in the middle of the bridge. If the bridge needs to be longer, then a third beam is added between the first two and this third beam must be supported by a pair of columns or a centre pier. Look at the picture above.

Suspension Bridge

The "Suspension Bridge" is the best kind of bridge to build when trying to span a very large body of water. The deck or roadway is supported easily by steel cables that curve from one tower to another tower. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Types of bridges

Bridges of today show the advancements in steel technology and design which have occurred over the last century. From the modest spans to the exciting cable stayed and suspension bridges, steel has a wide appeal. Products to meet the needs of the most demanding criteria are now readily available. This section illustrates the scope and versatility that steel can offer architects and engineers for all types of bridge construction. The following table shows the most common types of bridge and typical lengths. Type of Bridge| Length Range|...
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