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Showing posts from August, 2014

Arch Bridge..!! When? Where? & Why?

Want to travel across a valley? Want to cross an ocean? Want to span from one end to another? Whatever might be the need, bridge is required for that need. But it is a preliminary decision taken on the basis of budget, location, type of soil and surrounding to built a particular type of bridge. This can result in a most commonly used simply supported bridge or a suspension bridge or a cable stayed bridge or an arch bridge. Today we will be discussing about arch bridges. How they are designed? Where they shall be used? Why they are used? 

First let us ask a basic question to ourselves. What is an arch? Arch is a member which takes majority of the stresses in compression while spanning a gap. The definition of a column and arch is very near to each other except the last words "spanning a gap". (Yeah, these last two words created majority of the complications in structural engineering). It can be of any shape, a parabolic, catenary, straight lines, etc. But how can we decide t…