Suspension bridges

Suspension bridges

Suspension bridges


“How can we create a bridge using the phenomena of tension and compression?”


As the scope of humanity’s ambitions and technology grow, so must it’s fundamental infrastructure such as bridges. So if we would like to create bridges that can cross wide spans without faltering, how can we use our own ingenuity to do so? Well, let’s think about it. We know that we can use tension to keep solid objects up. Furthermore, if we experiment, then we can find out that if we attach a beam-like object with tensile supports on both ends to two heavy vertical beams, it would be kept stable. Now let’s apply this system to build ourselves a bridge. First, let’s take a basic, horizontal beam and put in on two end supports. Then, to balance things out, let’s put in two vertical beams, attach them to the horizontal beam, each not too far away from the supports. Now let’s fashion onto these vertical members a long cable that not only connects each support to each other but also contains supporting cables coming out vertically that will hold up the bridge deck, keeping it level in tension, while transmitting the rest force into the members. This is framework is termed a suspension bridge and is one of the most effective bridge designs ever fabricated. Perhaps the most example of a suspension bridge is the monumental Golden Gate Bridge, a 746-meter long piece of metal whose salient engineering has led it to become the most iconic emblem of the San Francisco Bay Area

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