Lord Corp., Cary, N.C., has been selected to help develop a structural monitoring system using the company's patented magnetorheological (MR) fluid formations and damper designs for a modern bridge in China.
The proposed Sutong Bridge, to be built in China's Jiangsu Province across the Yangtze River, represents the longest cable-stayed span, a twin-tower, six-lane highway structure. When complete, it will be the world's largest cable-stayed bridge.
Cable-stayed bridges are lighter and provide greater design flexibility than many traditional bridge designs. Supporting cables, which radiate from the tops of towers to the horizontal spans, are subject to vibration from wind and rain.
Lord Corp. has developed a system of MR dampers capable of sensing vibration in individual bridge cables and dissipating energy before it reaches destructive levels. Lord successfully developed a similar system two years ago for the Dongting Lake Bridge in the Hunan Province of China.
The bridge is expected to be complete by 2007 as part of a massive coastal highway construction project the Chinese government has launched. The structure's monitoring systems will be developed and tested as the project moves forward.
The bridge will require some 20 miles of steel cable.