Bridge Bearings


Since 2005 the European standard EN 1337-3 has applied to elastomeric bearings for architectural and civil-engineering applications. Besides the functional requirements, the standard describes the design rules, the material properties, the production tolerances and the acceptance tests. Trelleborg designs and manufactures elastomeric bridge bearings in accordance with this standard.

Functional requirements

Elastomeric bearings need to transmit loads and accommodate horizontal movements and rotations around each axis that can occur between two structures. Design analyses will determine the scale of the forces and deformations. Forces, rotations and deformations can be used to start the selection procedure. Experience shows that, under normal circumstances and with regular maintenance, structural bearings can function for decades.

The type of bearing will need to be determined for each support point in accordance with the functional requirements. Small spans can usually suffice with conventional laminated structural bearings: rectangular or circular. Larger spans may require bearings with complementary bearing devices. The design calculations will be made based on the functional requirements and the type of bearing selected. The allowable surface pressure and the area available largely determine the length and width of the bearing. The thickness of the rubber layer depends on the rotation to be absorbed. The expected horizontal movements strongly influence the thickness of the total rubber package.


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