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What are these thingies on suspension bridge cables?

  1. Mar 13, 2010 #1


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    Since I know there are a lot of engineer-types in these parts, maybe someone knows what these things are.


    Ther's a thing clamped high up on to the cable on the right, and every other cable on the bridge but I can't for the life of me work out what they are there for. any insight?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2010 #2


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    I haven't taken any engineering courses in my studies yet, but my guess is some sort of balance or stabilization mechanism? I'd imagine the cables could get pretty shifty in heavy winds, waves, etc. I'd guess that those "things" can be adjusted to take the wobble out of the cables?

    Again, I'm no engineer; just throwin' it out there.
  4. Mar 13, 2010 #3
    Those are Stockbridge dampers, a type of tuned mass damper. They're used to suppress vibrations in the cable and thus prevent structural damage and fatigue in the bridge. They're also used on some power lines and other cable-based structures.
  5. Mar 13, 2010 #4


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    What's that red shadow for? A truck? Anyways, cool pic!

    Oh for that thingy, I don't know but my guess would be to absorb vibrations caused by Earthquakes, if any by contacting those cables to a free ended solid material!

    P.S. you beat me Vasara, damn it! I'm slow :grumpy:
  6. Mar 13, 2010 #5


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    Wonderful, thanks!
  7. Mar 13, 2010 #6


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    Another great picture matthyaouw!
  8. Mar 13, 2010 #7


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    Those are nice marbles, we put on bridges to make them look neat :tongue2:
  9. Mar 13, 2010 #8
    Love the photo, and I got to learn something new. Now how can I work "Stockbridge dampers" into a conversation?
  10. Mar 13, 2010 #9
    Agreed :biggrin:, I wouldn't bring them up in conversation though, it wont resonate well.
  11. Mar 13, 2010 #10
    bahaha, that made me giggle. :rofl:
  12. Mar 13, 2010 #11
    Very interesting:

  13. Mar 13, 2010 #12


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    :rofl: GROAN! (I've never been able to resist laughing at groaners. ...and since I've seen Danger back around...not THAT kind of groaner. :grumpy:)
  14. Mar 13, 2010 #13
    Sorry, I didn't mean to string you all along.
  15. Mar 13, 2010 #14


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    Looks like matthyaouw is going to keep us in suspense.
  16. Mar 13, 2010 #15


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    Did I hear my name taken in vain?

    That was horribly good. It will echo in my mind for years...
  17. Mar 13, 2010 #16
  18. Mar 13, 2010 #17
    Wow, I learn something new every day(no surprise)
  19. Mar 14, 2010 #18


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    Yeah Drizzle, it's a truck. Sorry to keep you hanging around!
    I feel bad that's the best I could come up with...

    Glad people like the photo :smile:
  20. Mar 14, 2010 #19


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    Last time I went, I walked the length of it. It was a windy day and you could see the expansion joints taking out a couple of inches every few seconds.

    It's been my profile picture for ages!
  21. Mar 14, 2010 #20


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    I love standing with one foot either side of the joint. It's a really unusual feeling :biggrin:
    Magnificent piece of construction it is. Seeing it so often there's times I hardly notice it but every now and then I just think 'holy crap, that's amazing'
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