From Past Achievements to New Challenges for Joints and Bearings


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Title: From Past Achievements to New Challenges for Joints and Bearings

Author(s): Fritz Leonhardt

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 70


Appears on pages(s): 735-760

Keywords: bearings; bridge decks; bridges (structures); control joints; costs; durability; hinges (structural ); history; joints (junctions); maintenance; neoprene; performance; reviews; rubber; structural design; structures; tetrafluoroethylene resins.

Date: 1/1/1981

The history of the first use of neoprene and teflon for sealed expansion joints and pot bearings is given. Experience teaches that joints and bearings are often causes for the need for maintenance. Therefore, the challenge for the further development must be to improve durability and facilitate inspection and maintenance. For expansion joints, the first rule is to reduce their number by continuity of bridge decks and other structures over large lengths. The second rule is to improve materials and all structural details towards more durability and to apply sufficient safety factors for all dimensions. The influence of temperature effects, differential settlement and imperfections must be given greater consideration. Suitable design details must be provided to permit the replacement of bearings. The presentation includes some recent European examples of joints and bearings which attempt to satisfy these requirements.