The Importance Of Bearing Pads In Concrete Construction

Bearing pads are an essential part of concrete construction, because without them, there would be no defense against environmental changes, stress due to shifting and settling or the damage caused by the vibration from movement throughout these great and massive structures. Since their advent on the technological market, there has been less structural losses and more importantly, less replacement of essential concrete fixtures in infrastructures all over the world.
What They Do
Bearing pads literally carry the weight of the world upon them. In concrete construction, no matter if the material is precast or prestressed, they are a necessary element to be added to the final result so that the vertical load of the construct can be distributed evenly throughout, minimizing the amount of localized stress defects, and the structural damage that can result because of them. This is their primary benefit, of course but there are other benefits that they can provide, especially in areas that regularly suffer from environmental hazards.
Using these pads can help structures to survive extreme environmental attacks upon them, like hurricanes and earthquakes, by allowing for both horizontal and rotational movements at the load bearing level. Basically it grants more flexibility to an otherwise Building A Custom Home Checklist solid mass for shifting and rolling, lessening the effects upon the structure as a whole. The shocks that come from teutonic shifting deep underground is also lessened, allowing upright constructs to hold their place far longer than without them.
In structures like parking garages and overpass sections, the pads also help to lessen the impact of vibration from vehicles on the concrete itself, lengthening the lifespan of the concrete, as well as reinforcing rods and other attachments that normally would have been loosened or damaged as a result of continuous vibration.
Types of Bearings Contractors For Home Repairs Available
The first type of bearings made today is the elastomeric bearings, which come in one of two manufacturing classes: reinforced or plain. In the plain version, the pads are made up of single layers of rubber or chloroprene, and can be layered during construction to create the exact angle and strength needed to support and protect the structure. In cases where the land the structure is built on is uneven, layering plain pads with reinforced pads can help to further reduce structural shifting.
Reinforced pads can be created in several ways. The first method has the natural rubber or chloroprene being layered with runs of interwoven and bonded fabric to create a tightly bonded unit to add needed strength against shocks and vibration. Another method has PTFE laminated to the surface so that it can be used in conjunction with steel plates in earthquake prone areas. The PTFE makes the surface area slide easily against the steel plates to bear the weight of shifting concrete against unstable ground, and keeps the stress to the concrete at a minimum.
Random oriented fiber bearing pads are created by using specially prepared synthetic rubber layers that are formulated for weather and ozone resistance. Fibers are then added to the rubber before molding to lend the whole more reinforcement and strength. These pads can handle loads up to 1500 PSI, and can be made in thicknesses from 1/8″ to an inch. These are most often found in prestressed structures like bridges, overpasses, parking decks and stadiums, for the express purpose of dampening vibration stress.