Our names are Pieter, Thijs and Iwan. We are following the IB-course and so our PWS needs to be in English, hence the fact that we are typing in English. Our plan is to create a bridge for our PWS, but we have some questions about this.
First of all, we would like to know if we have an achievable subject. Currently we are thinking of first 'theoretically' building bridges, as a sort of practice. We are thinking of taking three kinds of bridges, with several types of material and then determining which is the best for the situation. After this we would like to take a realistic situation and create an 'ideal' bridge for it. At last we would like to make a plan for this bridge. e.g. Costs, socio-economic etc. So that we have a building plan for the bridge, which we could in theory start building from that plan. We would like to know whether this is possible, or that we should choose a simpler approach to it?
Secondly, although we have basic knowledge on forces and moment acquired through physics at school, this is not sufficient to let us come up with any idea as how to calculate anything about a bridge. Can you give us any idea of where to start, what to calculate, and possibly of where to acquire such knowledge as you deem necessary.
We would like to thank you beforehand for any trouble taken to give us advice of any kind.
Met vriendelijke groet,
Thijs, Pieter, en Iwan
First of all, sorry for the late comment. I was a bit busy, next time i'll answer you questions within three days.
Besides, your idea to design a bridge is good. But you guys are talking about 'different situations'. What kind of situations do you mean? Maybe it is a better idea to stick to the idea of making several bridge designs of one material only, like balsawood. This is very strong and a light material. At first you can make a theoretically research, what do you think is the best design? Choose one situation, one spanwidth and then you can compare. Maybe it is an idea to join the bridgeworkshop i teach. Here i will explain the basic calculations you have to make and after a while you can design your own bridge in balsawood and afterwards we test them with several weigths. Then we can sort out wich design was the best.
To start with your calculations you can start to understand the meaning of a momentenlijn. It is the best approach to start with an easy bridge design of a beam at two impositions. This is an example of a momentenlijn-calculation.
Good luck. And if i can assist you with more question, contact me!