The Mechanical Properties Of Steel Bridges

The Mechanical Properties Of Steel Bridges

A significant aspect of steel bridges is their durability. Touted for its strength, steel is one of the most enduring materials for a variety of purposes. However, with the amount of traffic and strain that bridges endure, it is crucial that the material withstand more than the usual elements. Engineers have outlined and tested the mechanical properties of steel bridges to measure reliability. Below are the key mechanical properties of steel bridges under the following categories: strength, toughness, ductility, weldability, and durability.


Though steel is one of the strongest materials on earth, other alloys can be introduced during the manufacturing process that have an impact on the steel’s strength. As a result, testing yield strength will help to conclude what if any issues there might be. Yield strength, along with tensile strength, is considered the standard in steel strength testing.


It is natural for materials to contain some imperfections. When those imperfections are magnified, however, troubling issues can occur. The most common imperfections in steel are tiny cracks in the hardened material, which can lead to brittleness. The Charpy V-notch impact test determines steel toughness. Depending on the grade of steel being used, there are different acceptable levels of impact strength.


Ductility measures how much tensile stress steel can handle before breaking. This determines the general strain capacity of the steel, assuming there are no holes, notches, or other elements that might affect its strength.


Another one of the mechanical properties of steel bridges is weldability. In other words: how does the steel hold up when welded? This is an important question, since introducing welding, which involves heating the steel at very high temperatures and then cooling it just as quickly, can result in a loss of toughness.


This one is pretty easy to figure out; the steel must be able to withstand a variety of stresses. Corrosion prevention is one step often taken to ensure steel durability.

At U.S. Bridge, we pride ourselves on building steel bridges that are made to last. Our team of expert engineers is committed to addressing all the mechanical properties of steel bridges to ensure our work exceeds expectations. To find out more about U.S. Bridge and our work, please contact us today.