A bridge basically consists of bridge deck supported by piers. In order to avoid damage by movements of thermal expansion, vehicular movement, loading to piers, bridge bearings are used to accommodate these movements so as to reduce reaction forces and bending movement to within safety limits of the structure. Neoprene as well as Natural Rubber is an ideal engineering material for bridge bearings as it is highly elastic and sufficiently soft to accommodate these movements without transmitting harmful stress and also it absorbs and isolates energy from impacts and vibrations. Bridge bearings are devices for transferring loads and movements from deck to piers.
When designing a bridge, the designer has to assess the maximum and minimum loads that the deck will exert on the bridge bearings together with the anticipated movements (translation and rotation). Bearing manufacturers such as ourselves will supply a suitable bearing to meet the designer’s requirements. Bridge bearings are arranged to allow the deck to expand and contract, but retain the deck in its correct position on the substructure. A 'Fixed' bearing does not allow translational movement. 'Sliding Guided' Bearings are provided to restrain the deck in all translational directions except in a radial direction from the fixed bearing. This allows the deck to expand and contract freely. 'Sliding' Bearings are provided for vertical support to the deck only. Technslide is located at Unit G9, Pinelands Site, Ardeer Road, Modderfontein, Gauteng and we have branches in KwaZulu-Natal and in the United Kingdom. Call us at +27 (0) 11 605 2434 for any further information regarding bridge bearings of any type.