In the Württemberg hinged arches a limit of stress of 110 tons per sq. ft. was allowed, while in the unhinged arches at Cologne and Coblentz the limit was 50 to 60 tons per sq. ft. (Annales des Fonts et Chaussées, 1891). At Rechtenstein a bridge of two concrete arches has been constructed, span 75½ ft., with lead articulations: width of arch 11 ft.; depth of arch at crown and springing 2.1 and 2.96 ft. respectively. The stresses were calculated to be 15, 17 and 12 tons per sq. ft. at crown, joint of rupture, and springing respectively. At Cincinnati a concrete arch of 70 ft. span has been built, with a rise of 10 ft. The concrete is reinforced by eleven 9-in. steel-rolled joists, spaced 3 ft. apart and supported by a cross-channel joist at each springing. The arch is 15 in. thick at the crown and 4 ft. at the abutments. The concrete consisted of 1 cement, 2 sand and 3 to 4 broken stone. An important series of experiments on the strength of masonry, brick and concrete structures will be found in the Zeitschr. des österreichen Ing. und Arch. Vereines (1895).

The thermal coefficient of expansion of steel and concrete is nearly the same, otherwise changes of temperature would cause shearing stress at the junction of the two materials. If the two materials are disposed symmetrically, the amount of load carried by each would be in direct proportion to the coefficient of elasticity and inversely as the moment of inertia of the cross section. But it is usual in many cases to provide a sufficient section of steel to carry all the tension. For concrete the coefficient of elasticity E varies with the amount of stress and diminishes as the ratio of sand and stone to cement increases. Its value is generally taken at 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 lb per sq. in. For steel E = 28,000,000 to 30,000,000, or on the average about twelve times its value for concrete. The maximum compressive working stress on the concrete may be 500 lb per sq. in., the tensile working stress 50 lb per sq. in., and the working shearing stress 75 lb per sq. in. The tensile stress on the steel may be 16,000 lb per sq. in.

The amount of steel in the structure may vary from 0.75 to 1.5%. The concrete not only affords much of the strength to resist compression, but effectively protects the steel from corrosion.

8. (c) Suspension Bridges. - A suspension bridge consists of two or more chains, constructed of links connected by pins, or of twisted wire strands, or of wires laid parallel. The chains pass over lofty piers on which they usually rest on saddles carried by rollers, and are led down on either side to anchorages in rock chambers. A level platform is hung from the chains by suspension rods. In the suspension bridge iron or steel can be used in its strongest form, namely hard-drawn wire. Iron suspension bridges began to be used at the end of the 18th century for road bridges with spans unattainable at that time in any other system. In 1819 T. Telford began the construction of the Menai bridge (fig. 10), the span being 570 ft. and the dip 43 ft. This bridge suffered some injury in a storm, but it is still in good condition and one of the most graceful of bridges. Other bridges built soon after were the Fribourg bridge of 870 ft. span, the Hammersmith bridge of 422 ft. span, and the Pest bridge of 666 ft. span. The merit of the simple suspension bridge is its cheapness, and its defect is its flexibility. This last becomes less serious as the dead weight of the structure becomes large in proportion to the live or temporary load. It is, therefore, a type specially suited for great spans.

Some suspension bridges have broken down in consequence of the oscillations produced by bodies of men marching in step. In 1850 a suspension bridge at Angers gave way when 487 soldiers were marching over it, and 226 were killed.

Fig. 10.  Menai Suspension Bridge. Fig. 10. - Menai Suspension Bridge.

To obtain greater stiffness various plans have been adopted. In the Ordish system a certain number of intermediate points in the span are supported by oblique chains, on which girders rest. The Ordish bridge built at Prague in 1868 had oblique chains supporting the stiffening girders at intermediate points of the span. A curved chain supported the oblique chains and kept them straight. In 1860 a bridge was erected over the Danube canal at Vienna, of 264 ft. span which had two parallel chains one above the other and 4 ft. apart on each side of the bridge. The chains of each pair were connected by bracing so that they formed a stiff inverted arch resisting deformation under unequal loading. The bridge carried a railway, but it proved weak owing to errors of calculation, and it was taken down in 1884. The principle was sound and has been proposed at various times. About 1850 it was perceived that a bridge stiff enough to carry railway trains could be constructed by combining supporting chains with stiffening girders suspended from them.

W. J. M. Rankine proved (Applied Mechanics, p. 370) that the necessary strength of a stiffening girder would be only one-seventh part of that of an independent girder of the same span as the bridge, suited to carry the same moving load (not including the dead weight of the girder which is supported by the chain). (See "Suspension Bridge with Stiffened Roadway," by Sir G. Airy, and the discussion, Proc. Inst, C.E., 1867, xxvi. p. 258; also "Suspension Bridges with Stiffening Girders," by Max am Ende, Proc. Inst. C.E. cxxxvii. p. 306.)

Fig. 11.  Niagara Suspension Bridge. Fig. 11. - Niagara Suspension Bridge.

The most remarkable bridge constructed on this system was the Niagara bridge built by J. A. Roebling in 1852-1855 (fig. 11). The span was 821 ft., much the largest of any railway bridge at that time, and the height above the river 245 ft. There were four suspension cables, each 10 in. in diameter; each was composed of seven strands, containing 520 parallel wires, or 3640 wires in each cable. Each cable was carried on a separate saddle on rollers on each pier. The stiffening girder, constructed chiefly of timber, was a box-shaped braced girder 18 ft. deep and 25 ft. wide, carrying the railway on top and a roadway within. After various repairs and strengthenings, including the replacement of the timber girder by an iron one in 1880, this bridge in 1896-1897 was taken down and a steel arch built in its place. It was not strong enough to deal with the increasing weight of railway traffic. In 1836 I. K. Brunei constructed the towers and abutments for a suspension bridge of 702 ft. span at Clifton over the Avon, but the project was not then carried further; in 1860, however, the link chains of the Hungerford suspension bridge which was being taken down were available at small cost, and these were used to complete the bridge.