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Influence the overall strength of a truss bridge?

  1. May 11, 2009 #1
    Hi all, I've been looking at a few trusses lately and was wondering what the main factors are that influence the overall strength of a truss bridge? I have an idea that the more members taking loads, the stronger the truss, hence members should be at sharper angles. Of course i could be dead wrong, perhaps certain angles allow a better distribution of loads through all members thus allowing a greater overall load to be placed on a truss bridge? I Am looking at point-loads specifically but would be interested in moving loads as well.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2009 #2
    Re: Trusses

    There are ways I might suggest.

    One is to take the classic truss designs (Pratt, Burr, king-post, queen-post, etc.) and ask why they worked well enough to have been used. Try something like, for example, a bridge across a 5 meter wide creek, using different trusses. Take a walk around and find truss designs in real life, particularly railroads (they were usually cheap and strong). Study those.

    The other is to download one of the free, or low-cost shareware, programs and simply "play around" with different ideas.
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