High-Load Fabric Pad Bridge Bearings

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Title: High-Load Fabric Pad Bridge Bearings

Author(s): John A. Van Lund

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 164

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 215-232

Keywords: bearings; bridge bearings; bridges (structures); fabric; loads (forces); Materials Research

Date: 11/1/1996

Abstract:
Describes the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) experience with fabric pad slide bearings for concrete bridges. Fabric pad design criteria are reviewed. A recent WSDOT project is presented as a case study. Sliding fabric pad bearings are used at the end piers of a four-span concrete segmental bridge. These bearings are designed for a service load of 270 tons with compressive stress of 9.3 MPa. Lateral loads are resisted by transverse concrete girder stops. Load versus rotation discrepancies between AASHTO LRFD, WSDOT, and industry criteria are compared. The current AASHTO LRFD load versus rotation design criteria may be too restrictive for fabric pad bearings. WSDOT's design methodology and costs are presented. Additional research and testing are needed to develop performance-based AASHTO LRFD design specifications. AASHTO material and testing requirements for fabric pad slide bearings are needed so that bridge designers can design and specify these bearings with greater confidence. Fabric pad bearings are capable of supporting high loads. In addition, fabric pad bearings are durable, simple to install, and relatively maintenance-free. The paper concludes that these bearings are an economical alternative to more expensive disc, pot, and spherical bridge bearings.