TARRC Engineers design seismic bearings for Second Penang Bridge, Malaysia

TARRC Engineers design seismic bearings for Second Penang Bridge, Malaysia

TARRC engineers are renowned worldwide for their expertise in rubber product design. TARRC’s strong background in base isolation has meant that engineers have been in a position to promote the technology over many years. The ultimate achievement is to translate R&D activities into commercial applications and a number of major projects in earthquake-prone regions across the world have been completed. The MRB has been responsible for many ‘firsts’ – base isolated buildings in China, Indonesia, Armenia, Algeria and Iran.

In 2010, TARRC, in collaboration with MRB colleagues, was successful in designing the seismic rubber bearings for the Second Penang bridge project in Malaysia which resulted in a large contract for a Malaysian company to manufacture over 2000 bearings for the bridge. This utilisation of local product complements the many important objectives of Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB), a concession company formed by the Malaysian government to be responsible for the design and construction of this Second Penang Bridge.

(Above right: Two bearings are undergoing simultaneous compression and shear to ensure that they conform to the required designed specifications)


1. Detailed map of the 2nd Penang bridge location  illustrating the various sections of the project.
2. Steel formwork is being installed to a pier before concrete is poured.
3. Some of the completed piers ready to be installed with rubber bearings.

This is the first commercial application of the technology in Malaysia, which not only will protect the bridge from earthquakes, but also provides a significant cost reduction as the technology obviates the need to strengthen the existing piling system. The bearings have been designed by TARRC and MRB engineers based on EN 15129 and BS 5400 standards.


(Above: Artist impression of 2nd Penang bridge)

TARRC also provided expertise to the manufacturer on manufacturing and testing of the seismic rubber bearings so that the latter meet the designed specifications.

For more information on the 2nd Penang bridge and TARRC's involvement then please contact Hamid Ahmadi.

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August 2011
Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre © MMXI