These pads are placed in between superstructures such as the bridge beam and
substructures such as the vertical supports called piers. Their primary function
is to distribute superstructure loads to the substructure and allow the
superstructure to undergo necessary movements in irregular environmental
conditions without creating any harmful stresses that might compromise the
structural integrity of the bridge. When the structural integrity of the bridge is
compromised, the bridge could collapse.
Preventing collapse is not the only function of an elastomeric bearing pad.
The pads extend the life of bridges by reducing wear and tear on bridge materials.
Structural bearings, indeed, are the devices allowing the correct transfer of
the loads considering all the related movements.
Elastomeric bearings support simultaneous loads and deformation in any direction.
Steel plates are bonded to the rubber through a vulcanization process and have the
main scope to increase the resistance of the bearings to vertical loads.
The steel plates are fully embedded in the elastomer so that they are protected
The connection of the elastomeric bearings to the structure may be through the
rubber itself or steel elements of various shapes suitable for any kind of structure.