A bridge bearing is a component of a bridge which typically provides a resting surface between bridge piers and the bridge deck. The purpose of a bearing is to allow controlled movement and thereby reduce the stresses involved. Movement could be thermal expansion or contraction, or movement from other sources such as seismic activity. There are several different types of bridge bearings which are used depending on a number of different factors including the bridge span. The oldest form of bridge bearing is simply two plates resting on top of each other. A common form of modern bridge bearing is the elastomeric bridge bearing. Another type of bridge bearing is the mechanical bridge bearing. There are several types of mechanical bridge bearing, such as the pinned bearing, which in turn includes specific types such as the rocker bearing, and the roller bearing. Another type of mechanical bearing is the fixed bearing, which allows rotation, but not other forms of movement.
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- Freyssinet page on bridge bearings - a UK based company which supplies and installs replacement bridge bearings
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