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Bridge Engineering

What are the characteristics of Vierendeel girder?

The Vierendeel girder design is sometimes adopted in the design of footbridges. In traditional truss design, triangular shape of truss is normally used because the shape cannot be changed without altering the length of its members. By applying loads only to the joints of trusses, the members of truss are only subjected to a uniform tensile or compressive stress across their cross sections because their lines of action pass through a common hinged joint.

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When should engineers consider using truss with K-bracing?

In the arrangement of triangulated framework in truss structures, it is more economical to design longer members as ties while shorter ones as struts (e.g. Pratt truss). As such, the tension forces are taken up by longer steel members whose load carrying capacities are unrelated to their lengths. However, the compression forces are reacted by shorter members which possess higher buckling capabilities than longer steel members.

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Which bridge parapet is better, steel parapet or aluminum parapet?

Steel parapets normal requires painting or pre-treatment with hot-dip galvanizing as they are prone to corrosion and they are normally the cheapest choice for normal containment level of vehicles.

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What is the purpose of installation of shear keys in bridge abutment?

In small and medium sized bridges, shear keys are often designed in bridge abutments to provide transverse support to the bridge superstructure under lateral loads. They are not intended to carry vertical loads and they have important applications in resisting seismic loads.

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What is the mechanism of scouring at obstructions (e.g. bridge piers) in rivers?

When the water flow in river is deflected by obstructions like bridge piers, scouring would occur arising from the formation of vortexes. The mechanism of formation of vortices is as follows: the flow hits the bridge piers and tends to move downwards. When the flow reaches the seabed, it would move in a direction opposite to its original flow direction before hitting the bridge piers.

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