Strip Bearings

In the design of most concrete and steel structures, allowance has to be made for relative movement between structural members in order to avoid the build-up of dangerous stresses. The cause of this movement may be:

  •  Thermal expansion and contraction
  •  Permanent creep and shrinkage
  •  Post tensioning strain
  •  Live load deflections
  •  Earth movement

Designers of bridges and other large structures have to incorporate strip bearings that provide for these movements and rotations in accordance with the appropriate design codes, and we have a wide range of products that cater for these requirements. The need to allow for movements in buildings and slabs is frequently overlooked or at least underestimated and this can result in cracking, spalling and sometimes more severe damage to the structure. Strip Bearings can be specifically incorporated into the design of such structures to prevent the development of such cracks and damage to supporting walls, piers and slabs resulting from shrinkage, expansion and unusual loading effects.

The provision of some form of pliable material between structural members is not a new concept and dates to Roman times. Traditionally lead sheet, malthoid, timber and other materials have been used as bearings to reduce forces and edge loading (eccentricity) at structural interfaces. These materials are, at least, variable in performance and as structural design becomes more sophisticated it becomes increasingly necessary to employ strip bearings whose performance can be predicted with confidence. As a leader in the field of Structural Bearing technology, we have developed a series of strip bearings to provide simple, cost effective solutions to preclude these problems. Our strip bearings are intended for use in long buildings, parking decks, large supported slabs, roof structures, reservoirs and anywhere where large loads need to be supported. They comprise a series of synthetic rubber pads set into a continuous strip of compressible expanded polyethylene of various widths