New Design Parameters for Elastomeric Bridge Bearings: What They Mean in Terms of Performance


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Title: New Design Parameters for Elastomeric Bridge Bearings: What They Mean in Terms of Performance

Author(s): C. W. Purkiss

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70


Appears on pages(s): 379-387

Keywords: bridge bearings; bridges (structures); loads (forces); manufacturing; performance tests; plastics, polymers and resins; specifications; standards; structural design.

Date: 1/1/1981

There is a worldwide interest in improving the design codes for elastomeric bridge bearings. The immediate objective of this interest is to reduce the cost of the bearings for large bridges. There is little argument that these bearings will withstand higher loads if properly designed, manufactured and installed. However, Engineers must recognize that elastomeric bearings act differently than traditional materials when used to transfer loads and accomodate movements between the bridge superstructure and its supporting structure. Although there is a wealth of new information on the behaviour of the elastomer rubbers under load, a lack of familiarity with them has hampered the efforts of bridge engineers to improve the design codes. Following several years of preparation, a task group of the American Society for Testing and Materials has proposed a new Standard Specification for plain and Steel-laminated Elastomeric Bearings for Bridges. This specification sets forth the necessary material specifications and tests to obtain a high quality bearing. Several research efforts are now underway to develop improved design codes and some, suggested areas of research are discussed which became apparent in developing the ASTM material specification.