The suspension bridge has cables supporting its roadway from above. Modern suspension bridges may span greater lengths than other types of bridges because they are lightweight, aesthetically beautiful, and strong. They are also some of the most expensive to build. The majority of suspension bridges were built with automobile traffic in mind, despite the fact that they can be constructed to be strong enough to support freight trains.
Deflection theory has been applied to suspension bridge design since the early 20th century to determine how the horizontal deck and curved cables interact with Cᴀʀʀʏ weights. Deflection theory, which was first presented in 1888 by the Aᴜsᴛʀɪᴀn academic Josef Melan, explains how the deck and cables deflect together under gravity stresses. As a result, the needed rigidity of the deck actually reduces as spans become longer and the suspended structure gets heavier. When engineers tried to minimize the ratio of girder depth to span length in order to obtain a lighter, more graceful appearance without compromising safety, they were particularly inspired by deflection theory.
For bridges across bodies of water that require piers, concrete caissons are lowered into the riverbed and filled with concrete to provide the foundations. Caissons are large wooden, metal, or concrete cylinders or boxes. For suspension bridges, the caissons are covered with towers. Suspension-bridge towers are now composed of steel or concrete instead of their original material of stone. The anchorages are then built on both ends, frequently from reinforced concrete with steel eyebars for cable attachment embedded within the concrete. An eyebar is a length of metal with holes at either end.
Some of the early suspension bridge cables were constructed from connected wrought-iron eyebars; today, however, cables are often constructed from hundreds of steel wires that are spun together on the job site.
Rope pulleys are used for spinning, which involves transporting each wire across the top of the towers to the opposing anchoring and back. The wires are then wrapped and coated to prevent corrosion. The deck is built after the cables are finished, typically by floating deck sections out aboard ships, raising them with cranes, and fastening them to the suspenders.
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Video resource: Machinery Magazine