Bridge Watching by Edmund W. Jupp

By Edmund W. Jupp

The purpose of the "Watching" sequence is to attract awareness to a few of the very attention-grabbing goods round us, issues that maybe we do not discover up to we'd. the 1st was once "Bridge Watching", and while this was once placed "on the web" it produced, to the shock of the writer, one of these friendly flood of electronic mail that one other was once written, known as "Water Watching". This, too, was once kindly bought. So it was once tempting to proceed with the subject. anywhere we cross we appear to meet bridges. generally we have a tendency to use them virtually with no noticing them, other than once we see a very impressive instance just like the suspension bridge over the river Tamar in Devon. there is not any try and hide every thing approximately bridges, simply enough to make a bridge a extra attention-grabbing item for you, or your digital camera, or your paint-box. I do desire it is going to assist you to take pleasure in bridges, at any place you notice them. they're such great cozy issues to observe, specially for those who understand whatever approximately them. As both a pastime or an highbrow pursuit bridge-watching has a lot to commend it, for individuals of every age and persuasions. you do not have to pay a subscription. you could get pleasure from it by yourself or in corporation, and climate is comparatively unimportant. It does not desire any distinct garments or apparatus. (If you love, you should use box glasses or cameras, and note-books; yet they are not essential). you would like no education, no perform, no training. From all angles, bridge-watching is an enticing hobby, world wide. exit and revel in those interesting buildings. you could locate them addictive, within the nicest real way.

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The designer uses what is known as a "safety factor". That is, he multiplies the expected loading by a factor which will ensure safety. Then the amount of material in the tie is enough to keep the stresses low when the member is working. Safety factors vary according to conditions, but are usually of the order of three or four, only occasionally being much more than this. So broadly speaking you can reckon on a tie being able to take several times the normal load before it would feel unhappy. Another possible condition that could lead to failure is the effect of wind or water flowing past the tie, and we shall look at this a little more closely in a later chapter.

In some cases it doesn't matter much if the elastic limit is exceeded and it deforms plastically, though this ought not to happen in a bridge. When a pad gives way plastically it spreads so that its area increases. Since the load remains the same, and the stress is given by the load divided by the area, this increase in the area reduces the stress. So the pad spreads out until the stress is suitable for the material. When the length is increased a little, the strut will still carry its load comfortably; but when the length reaches a certain value it may suddenly fail, the middle bowing out sideways.

Suspension cables generally are in the shape of a parabola or catenary. As you will be meeting these curves quite often we shall have more to say about them when we look at suspension bridges in more detail. When the cables of great suspension bridges are being made, special machines are used which operate on the site. If you should ever get a chance of seeing one in action, or perhaps see a film or video tape you will be impressed by the way the machines go to work, building up the layers of strands that form the cable.

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