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Beam Bridge Beam bridges are the simplest form of bridge They have developed from a log across a river to the large box girder bridges that you see today In between there have been many different types of beam bridge A Clam Bridge This is another early form of a beam bridge it consists of a single slab of stone supported at each end stretching from bank to bank making a single span A Clapper Bridge This is a bridge that consists of a number of stone slabs that provide a multi-span crossing Each span is simply supported at each end All bridges are concerned with providing the necessary stiffness to prevent bending and twisting when a load is applied All beams are good at this infact any member that resists a load is called a beam The load applied to the bridge is transferred to the supports where the load act downwards Archbridges have been in use for thousands of years The Romans made much use of arches and many of their aqueducts and viaducts still stand today They discovered that small wedge shaped stones can when placed to form a semicircle resist large weights from above Originally they were built from stone and later brick they are now more commonly built from reinforced concrete or steel The newer materials allow a much longer and lower span to be built Arches carry their load by transferring the load to the supports at either side These supports must be rigidly fixed in the ground to stop them spreading apart This diagram shows you the name for each part of an arch bridge The most important part is the brick in the middle of the arch called a keystone A cantilever projects outwards and is supported at one end only as shown Cantilever bridges usually use a pair of cantilevers often to support a beam set
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