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 SE 110.18 Forces on a Suspension Bridge
 Technical Description

Suspension bridges are among the oldest of all bridge designs. Their main supporting element is a flexible cable. Since cables are able to absorb high tensile forces while themselves having little dead-weight, they enable wide-span suspension bridges to be constructed. This makes it possible to bridge longer distances with no supporting pillars, such as over wide gorges. The sag of suspension bridge supporting cables is parabolic in shape, as the load is attached at relatively short, constant intervals by way of vertical cables to the main supporting cables.
The experimental set-up SE 110.18 represents a suspension bridge. The bridge consists of two parallel supporting cables with a roadway suspended between them. U-shaped hangers serve as vertical cables. They are attached to the main supporting cables at regular intervals, and hold the roadway. Deflection rollers act as pylons. The roadway acts upon the supporting cables as a distributed load, and can be loaded by additional weights. It has a hinge in the middle. The hinge permits internal moments in the roadway occurring in response to uneven loading to be visualised - the roadway buckles.
The tensile forces in the supporting cables are determined with the aid of weight sets. With two supports it is possible to simulate fixed roadway supports. The supports include force gauges. With the force gauges the

load distribution between the supports and the supporting cable is investigated.

The various elements of the experiment are clearly laid-out and housed securely in a storage system. The complete experimental set-up is arranged in the frame SE 112.
The well-structured instructional material sets out the fundamentals and provides a step-by-step guide through the experiments.

Learning Objectives / Experiments
- Familiarisation with a suspension bridge
* under unevenly distributed point loads
- Calculation of the supporting cable force
- Comparison between calculated and measured
values of the supporting cable force
- Observation of the effect of internal moments in the
supporting cable
 Features

* Supporting cable forces of a suspension bridge1
* Central hinge to demonstrate bending moments in