TARRC Engineering Team wins "Outstanding Paper" award
TARRC Engineering Team wins "Outstanding Paper" award

The 6th World Congress on Joints, Bearings & Seismic Systems for Concrete StructuresCongratulations to Dr Julia Gough, Dr Alan Muhr & Ian Stephens of TARRC's Engineering & Design Unit, and J.S. Leendertz from the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, who won the "Outstanding Paper" award at the '6th World Congress on Joints, Bearings & Seismic Systems for Concrete Structures' held in Halifax, Novia Scotia, Canada between 17th-21st September 2006.

Dr Alan Muhr presented the paper, entitled Laminated bearing in schenck 'FATIGUE TESTS OF HIGH ROTATION RUBBER-STEEL LAMINATED BEARINGS', on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th September and won the award out of about 43 papers given throughout the 3 days.

The paper gave an account of validation testing at TARRC for a special application of rubber-steel laminated bearings. Han Leendertz, who met Alan Muhr at the 5th Congress in Rome, provided the design concept, being to use rubber bearings to prevent uplift of spherical slider bearings for flexible bridges. In the absence of such an uplift-preventing spring, the spherical bearings are rattled by the heavy traffic, and consequently the PTFE at the spherical sliding faces wears rapidly. In addition to preventing uplift, the laminated bearings must accommodate the same large rotations (around 4000 every day) as the spherical bearings. Han Leendertz teamed up with Ashley Haines of Andre Structural Bearings, who designed and manufactured prototype bearings to fit the bill. The rotational fatigue testing at TARRC, on a tilting rig designed by Ian Stephens, proved they did. Together with finite element analysis by Julia Gough, the results also led to improved insight into initiation of failure in rubber engineering components.

Dr Muhr was presented with the award during the Congress Banquet by Barrie Atkinson, Chairman of the International Joints & Bearings Research Council (IJBRC), who said: "... the key achievement of the paper was to come up with fresh insight and application for laminated bearings despite their widespread effective use for 50 years". Barrie Atkinson worked as a mechanical engineer with Andre Bearings at the time laminated bearings were first used in Pelham Bridge at Lincoln in 1957. (Rubber Dev. Vol 10, 34-37)

The 6th World Congress was organised by the IJBRC and sponsored by the American Concrete Institute (ACI). The first World Congresses on Joints and Bearings was held in Niagara Falls, New York in 1981. Since that very successful meeting, congresses have been held every 5 years: San Antonio, Programme front coverTexas in 1986, Toronto, Ontario Canada in 1991, Sacramento, CA in 1996 and Rome, Italy in 2001. The Congress serves as a forum to bring together manufacturers, suppliers, and installers of joint systems, bearing systems and seismic devices with engineers, specifiers, contractors and researchers to review the present state of knowledge and practice worldwide and to define future research needs.

Dr Alan Muhr said: "I have been privileged to be at the last four Congresses, and to follow in the footsteps of Dr Pete Lindley and Dr Andrew Stevenson of MRPRA, as TARRC was then called, who attended the first (Niagara Falls) and second (San Antonio) Congresses respectively. I have made many useful contacts at the meetings, including Han Leendertz, leading to further interesting travels: notably to Melbourne, Australia to discuss bearings and fenders with Graham Ellis of Granor Rubber & Engineering Company".

If you wish to know more about the organisers of the Congress or the sponsors then visit their website.

If you require more information on this paper please contact Dr Alan Muhr.


© Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre 2005
October 2006