Failure Modes of Elastomeric Bearings and the Influence of Manufacturing Methods


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Title: Failure Modes of Elastomeric Bearings and the Influence of Manufacturing Methods

Author(s): Charles W. Roedr, John F. Stanton, and Andrew W. Taylor

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 94


Appears on pages(s): 279-296

Keywords: bearings; bridge bearings; buildings; cracking (fracturing); failure mechanisms; fatigue (materials); pads; polychloroprene; rubber; stability; Design

Date: 9/1/1986

Elastomeric bearings and bearing pads are used in bridges and precast concrete buildings. They support large gravity loads while accommodating movements due to creep, relaxation, and thermal expansion. The design criteria for these bearings are often simplistic, and their modes of failure are frequently not understood by the design engineer. The paper describes the modes of failure of elastomeric bearings. These include yield and rupture of the reinforcement, delamination of reinforcement, cracking or tearing of the rubber, fatigue, and instability. Experimental results are summarized, and the influence of different manufacturing techniques are illustrated. The results show the importance of careful design and manufacture of these bearings, which help guide the engineer toward improved design procedures.