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Reasons Of The Failure Of Tacoma Narrows Bridge

2621 words - 11 pages

Thesis: In order to prevent the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, all the static and dynamic strains should have been taken into account which would have involved proper consideration of effects of environmental conditions, building materials and design.

I. Environmental conditions
A. Effects and behavior of winds
1. Moderate winds, large oscillations
2. Wind effects on bridges
3. Transfer of wind
4. Vortices
5. Vortex streets
6. Vortex shredding
7. Frequency
II. Building materials
A. Properties of materials
1. Flexible
2. Weight
3. Dimension of the bridge
4. Fatigue strength
B. Engineering errors
1. Slippage of a band
2. The destruction of bridge similar to in the past
3. Not taking necessary precautions
III. Design
A. Analysis of sections
1. Span
2. Midspan cable ties
3. Use of plate girders instead of stiffening trusses
4. Towers
B. Evaluation of design
1. Stabilization
2. Damping, vertical stabilization and torsional resistance
3. Resonance
4. Dimension of the bridge and aerodynamics behavior
5. Dimensional relationships

The suspension bridge was originated from nature and they have been used for long ages. The first suspension bridges were thought to have been made of natural fibers in the eastern Himalaya. Early suspension bridges were known in South America, Asia and a variety of regions around the world. The evolution of modern suspension bridges is closely connected to the development of metals and composites. Modern suspension bridge construction has developed with the new technological components, materials and engineering knowledge. Experiences also widely affected the development of the suspension bridges. At the beginning of the 1800s modern suspension bridges were being constructed; in the process of time bigger and longer suspension bridges were built. In 1940 when the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was opened, it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. Tacoma Narrows Bridge connected the city of Tacoma with the Kitsap Peninsula over the Tacoma Narrows Strait in the U.S. state of Washington. At the construction process of Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the bridge displayed unexpectedly continuous vertical oscillating movement on windy days which earned the bridge the nickname “Galloping Gertie”. The motions were observable even when it was opened to the public. Several measures were tried to prevent oscillations; all were noneffective. On November 7, 1940 in the morning, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge finally collapsed, under the wind condition of 40 mile-per-hour (64 km/h). This failure was one of the most intense experiences that was going to affect the whole bridge construction engineering. There were different theories about the failure of the bridge but the common notions agreed were pointing the unique dimensions and weight of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Although...

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