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Are diaphragms necessary in the design of concrete box girder bridges?

Diaphragms are adopted in concrete box girder bridges to transfer loads from bridge decks to bearings. Since the depth of diaphragms normally exceeds the width by two times, they are usually designed as deep beams. However, diaphragms may not be necessary in case bridge bearings are placed directly under the webs because loads in bridge decks can be directly transferred to the bearings based on Jorg Schlaich & Hartmut Scheef (1982).

This arrangement suffers from the drawback that changing of bearings during future maintenance operation is more difficult. In fact, diaphragms also contribute to the provision of torsional restraint to the bridge deck.

Vincent T. H. CHU

About author

Saad is a civil engineer by profession and love to explore innovative ideas relevant to construction, civil engineering, and home improvement. He loves writing about concrete, DIY guides, home improvement tips, technologies, and more.
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