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    Neoprene in Bridge Bearing Pads—The Proven Performance

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    Elastomeric bearings have a long and successful record of performance supporting bridges, railroads, buildings, and heavy machinery. Bearings based on neoprene synthetic rubber have been in use in the United States since 1957. Today, millions of bearings based on neoprene support highway and railroad bridges throughout the world.

    Elastomeric bearings are economical, effective, and require no maintenance. They are simple solid pads with no moving parts. The pad deflects in shear to accommodate expansion, contraction, and end rotation of the bridge structure. There is no need for lubrication, no need for cleaning, and no opportunity for the bearings to seize.

    Sound bearing design principles have been developed based on experience accumulated over the years. This paper will highlight installations using neoprene bridge pads with 17 to 32 years service to describe the technology necessary to document their performance. Physical property data on these aged neoprene pads will be presented.


    neoprene, bearings, elastomeric, proven performance, data

    Author Information:

    Burpulis, JS
    Development programs manager, Du Pont Co., Wilmington, DE

    Seay, JR
    Mechanical engineer, Technical Service LaboratoryDu Pont Co., Wilmington, DE

    Graff, RS
    Consultant, R.D. 2, Hockessin, DE

    Committee/Subcommittee: D04.32

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14539S