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Crosswinds and bridge stability Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project attempts to investigate how bridges are affected by crosswinds. The experiment was performed using model bridges with open sides, bridges with 50% side-coverage and 100% side-coverage.

Hypothesis

The bridge with minimal side-coverage will be the least affected by crosswinds.
 

Scientific Terms

Arch bridge, beam bridge, suspended bridge, anchorage, concrete

Background

Type of bridges

Bridges are used to provide assage across  an obstacle such as a river valley or a road. The simplest form of a bridge is a beam bridge that can take the form of a  log or a wooden plank across a drain or a river channel. More complicated arch bridges are typically made of stone. The oldest  arch bridges were built by the Greeks.

The deck of the bridge is normally constructed at another location and will be transported to the installation site once it is completed. The deck will be lifted using a crane and both ends of the bridge will be placed on the ground at either sideSuspension bridges are popular because they can be built to span a greater distance compared to other types of bridges. The supporting beam of a suspension bridge is called an anchorage. The anchorage is embedded in a concrete base on the ground. Wire cables  are used to suspend the deck of the bridge from the anchorage.
 

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
40
Time required:
2 days for preparation, 1 day for conducting the science project experiment
Material availability:
Building the bridge is fairly easy - the materials may be purchased at a supermarket/hobby store
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements