TAIYUAN Research Institute of Science & Technology and the Railway Civil Engineering Institute at China’s Railway Academy have jointly developed an improved design of bridge beam support bearing, designed to provide optimal elasticity. By permitting longitudinal shifting and rotation of the bridge beams, the bearing helps lessen the shocks to the abutments caused by passing trains.

Traditional rubber-plate bridge bearings use a flat sheet design, and can have too low a shear modulus to absorb the horizontal forces generated by high speed trains. This alternative design uses a broad U-shaped steel plate to increase the shear modulus to give additional transverse rigidity, whilst maintaining the same basic bearing shape, rotating rigidity and longitudinal shear modulus.

Dynamic load tests have been carried out at Bridge 28 on the Beijing - Guangzhou railway, where trains pass at up to 160 km/h. Results suggest that is it possible to achieve a shear modulus of G = 2·6MPa, up to 21/2 times that obtained with a traditional rubber-plate bridge bearing.

Chen Zhaoming, Taiyuan Railway Research Institute, China

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