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Dr. S. Venkateswara Rao

Department of Civil Engg.,
National Institute of Technology, Warangal
Bridge Bearings
Function of Bearings

Bridge bearings are used to transfer forces from the
superstructure to the substructure, allowing the following
types of movements of the superstructure:

Translational movements; and
Rotational movements

Until the middle of this century, the bearings used
consisted of following types:
Metal sliding bearings
Pin Bearing
Steel Bearing
Rotational Movement is allowed

Lateral and Translational Movements are Restricted
A pin bearing is a type of fixed bearings that accommodates
rotations through the use of a steel pin.

Translational movements are not allowed.

The pin at the top is composed of upper and lower semi
circularly recessed surfaces with a solid circular pin placed

Usually, there are caps at both ends of the pin to keep the
pinfrom sliding off the seats and to resist uplift loads if

The upper plate is connected to the sole plate by either bolting
or welding. The lower curved plate sits on the masonry plate.
Roller Bearings
Single Roller Bearing
Multiple Roller Bearing
A general drawback to this type of bearing is its tendency to
collect dust and debris.
Roller type Bearing
Roller type Bearing with gear arrangement
Longitudinal movements are allowed

Lateral Movements and Rotations are Restricted
Rocker type Bearing
A rocker bearing is a type of expansion bearing that comes in
a great variety.

It typically consists of a pin at the top that facilitates
rotations, and a curved surface at the bottom that
accommodates the translational movements.

Rocker and pin bearings are primarily used in steel bridges.
Sliding Bearing
Sliding Bearings

A sliding bearing utilizes one plane metal plate sliding
against another to accommodate translations.

The sliding bearing surface produces a frictional force that is
applied to the superstructure, substructure, and the bearing

To reduce this friction force, PTFE(poly tetra fluoroethylene)
is often used as a sliding lubricating material.

PTFE is sometimes referred to as Teflon, named after a
widely used brand of PTFE
Sliding Bearing
Sliding Bearings be used alone or more often used as a
component in other types of bearings.

Pure sliding bearings can only be used when the rotations
caused by the deflection at the supports are negligible.

They are therefore limited to a span length of 15 m or less by
Knuckle Pinned Bearing
It is special form of Roller Bearing in which the Knuckle pin
is provided for easy rocking.

A knuckle pin is inserted between the top and bottom casting.
The top casting is attached to the Bridge superstructure, while
the bottom casting rests on a series of rollers.

Knuckle pin bearing can accommodate large movements and
can accommodate sliding as well as rotational movement.
Pot Bearing
A POT BEARING consists of a shallow steel cylinder, or pot,
on a vertical axis with a neoprene disk which is slightly thinner
than the cylinder and fitted tightly inside.

A steel piston fits inside the cylinder and bears on the neoprene.

Flat brass rings are used to seal the rubber between the piston
and the pot.

The rubber behaves like a viscous fluid flowing as rotation may

Since the bearing will not resist bending moments, it must be
provided with an even bridge seat.
Pot Bearing
Plain Elastomeric Bearing
Laminated Elastomeric Bearing
Elastomeric material interspersed with steel plates
Laminated Elastomeric Bearing
consist of a laminated elastomeric bearing equipped with a
lead cylinder at the center of the bearing.

The function of the rubber-steel laminated portion of the
bearing is to carry the weight of the structure and provide
post-yield elasticity.

The lead core is designed to deform plastically, thereby
providing damping energy dissipation.

Lead rubber bearings are used in seismically active areas
because of their performance under earthquake loads.
Laminated Elastomeric Bearing
Other types of Bearings
Consist of thin rubber sheets bonded onto thin steel plates and
combined with an energy dissipation mechanism.
The rubber sheets are vulcanized and bonded to the thin steel
plates under pressure and heat.
it is designed in such a way that bearing is very stiff and strong
in vertical direction, but flexible in horizontal direction.
Thick mounting steel plates are bonded to the bottom and top
surfaces allowing the isolator to be firmly connected to the
foundation below and the superstructure above.



Fig: Basic structure of rubber
A laminated elastomeric bearing is an elastomeric rubber block
reinforced with steel plates vulcanised when built.

This bearing is the connection between a structure and its
support, and should make the following possible through
elastic deformation:

transmission of normal forces;
horizontal movements;
rotation of the structure in any direction;
transmission of horizontal forces, within defined limits.

It may also be provided with a sliding plane for withstanding
large movements of the structure and also having a one or two
horizontal movement locking systems.
Elastomeric Bearings are designed to accommodate three
types of movement.
1. Vertical
2. Shear
3. Rotation
Types of Elastomeric Bearings
Standard bearings

Bearings are individually moulded and the reinforcing plates are
completely buried in the elastomer with at least 4mm lateral cover
and generally 2.5mm thick (type B) outside layers with the
exception of bearings provided with thick external bands (type

These bearings may have a rectangular, square or circular section.
They may also have holes for running specific materials through
(cross bar anchor), for fitting damping material or for reducing
vertical stiffness.
Bearings with anchor plates
Bearings with sliding surface
Laminated elastomeric bearings can be fitted with a sliding
surface comprising a PTFE (poly tetra fluoroethylene) sheet
dipped in the elastomer of the bearing or notched in the top
thick outer plate and a sliding plate provided with an austenitic
steel sheet for decks requiring significant movement.

Therefore, the built up bearing only provides very little
movement resistance (limited to PTFE/ austenitic steel friction).
Restrained bearings
Transfer of large horizontal loads in either direction can be
provided using steel guides.