The increased role played be ecology in the sustainability of construction materials is having an increasing influence on the construction sector and has seen building owners rethinking their plans. The symbiosis between timber and concrete provides the best conditions for satisfying all the requirements.
The majority of all the bridges in Central Europe have a span width of between 5 and 30 metres and can therefore be considered for such an optimised construction method. With solid timber girders which are joined to a concrete slab on their upper surface, the optimum harnessing of the material attributes of both construction materials occurs.
In this case the timber cross section is under traction stress and the concrete slab absorbs the compressive force that occurs. Specialist connecting elements enable the interplay between the timber girders and concrete slabs, and a more effective bearing capacity and serviceability is achieved.
With the use of a timber bridge for road traffic there are always two challenges. It isn’t easy to absorb the high axle loads or the horizontal loads from acceleration and braking. Due to the development of sophisticated details, the conventional supporting structures used until now have brought about added costs which weren’t always attractive.
With a combination of the materials of timber and concrete, it is now possible to rise to the current challenges. This is possible through the targeted use of the positive material attributes of timber and concrete in a single new hybrid structural element which achieves superior load bearing and usability attributes. The timber-concrete composite construction not only has decisive advantages compared with road bridges in conventional timber constructions, it can also compete successfully with conventional concrete structures.