Improved Bearing Design Concepts for Increased Seismic Resistance of Highway Bridges

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Title: Improved Bearing Design Concepts for Increased Seismic Resistance of Highway Bridges

Author(s): Roy A. lmbsen

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 509-523

Keywords: bearing capacity; bearings; bridge bearings; costs; earthquake resistant structures; highway bridges; isolation joints; pads; plastics, polymers and resins; structural design.

Date: 1/1/1981

Abstract:
An attempt to increase the survivability of bridges in earthquakes through the use of improved bearing systems is explored. By reviewing the performance of various bearing systems in past earthquakes, the most desirable characteristics are selected and incorporated into new bearing systems. New concepts for fixed and expansion bearings are described. A concept utilizing an elastomeric bearing pad on a sliding friction surface is investigated analytically. These results indicate that this concept has some advantages for bridges over other concepts employing isolation. Finally, a potential design procedure for selecting the most cost-effective bearing system is described.