I have previously listed the parts that are needed to build a suspension bridge, but what exactly are they made out of? These parts are crucial to the bridge, but more importantly, the material is what gives the component its strength or use throughout the bridge.

Anchors: Anchors are what are situated at each end of the suspension bridge. They are what suspend the cables up towards the tower, and undergo tension from the cables. They are made out of several hundred feet of concrete. Concrete is strong and durable, so strong that they can withstand earthquakes and natural disasters, and do not get affected by moisture etc. It is cheap, affordable and is made all around the world and is local to you. It’s important to be friendly to the environment when building. A famous monument made out of concrete is the Standard Insurance Centre, Oregon USA, 1968 – it is made out of reinforced concrete and it the tallest of them in the world.

Cables: If it wasn’t for the huge cables to suspend the bridge, the bridge would sag. They undergo a lot of tension and compressive forces, and for this they need to be extremely strong. The material used in these cables is steel, it is an alloy of iron, manganese and tungsten, which make it extremely strong, durable and hard. Also tungsten gives it a rather high boiling point too. Steel is also ductile, which means that it can be made into different shapes and made into wires. In fact, the cables are made up of hundreds of many steel cables, that are bound together to create one huge cable.

Towers: The towers are yet another important component of a suspension bridge. They help keep the cables suspended, and convert the heaviness from the cables into pressure that forces the towers into the ground. They can be made out of iron/steel just like the cables or sometimes stone. For example the Clifton Suspension Bridge towers are made out of Pennant Stone. It is originated from England, Bristol and Wales, and is hard and heavy. It has aesthetic properties as it can be smoothed down to look nice, and has nice colouring. It is resistant to fire and weather and has been used for many centuries.

http://www.wbcsdcement.org/index.php/key-issues/sustainability-with-concrete/properties-of-concrete

http://www.cliftonbridge.org.uk/faqs/what_materials

http://www.ehow.com/info_12018665_materials-need-build-model-bridge-suspension.html

http://www.bluescopesteel.com/go/about-bluescope-steel/student-information/properties-of-steel/properties-of-steel

http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/kids/aston/science/materials/stone_prop.htm

About these ads