Humans have made use of bridges for thousands of years, and many of us utilize one in our everyday travels. As we make our way to work, school, or meetings, we may not give much thought to this invention. The commonality of bridges should not diminish its impact in propelling our societies forward.
Despite the many benefits they provide, bridges are not always made the same. What’s more, bridges are subject to the inevitable changes that nature brings. Expansion joints help strengthen bridges so they may handle these fluctuations for decades to come.
Expand and Contract
Concrete bridges are incredibly sturdy and durable; however, everything has its weakness. With concrete, its weakness would be the effects of thermal expansion and contraction. When exposed to high or cool temperatures, concrete will expand or contract. This effect results in cracked or crushed concrete that can weaken a bridge’s structural integrity.
Construction workers will add expansion joints into concrete bridges to relieve these effects. True to their name, expansion joints allow the concrete to expand and contract with the thermal cycles, not against it.
Bridges are constantly subject to changes in nature, and expansion joints help prevent any leakage from rain or snow. When leakage occurs, the joint cannot expand and contract as easily. This leakage often happens when you use or install a joint incorrectly, which is a common cause of joint expansion failure.
Movement is bound to occur, as a bridge must always undertake several tons of pressure from countless vehicles. Expansion joints allow a bridge to function properly as the joint accommodates and absorbs various movements. This protects us from any dangers that could occur and enables us to use bridges without a second thought.
Many kinds of expansion joints are available as different industries require them, from construction to power generation to solar power. Since they are vitally important, you must use the correct expansion joint to adapt to your needs.