By H. L. Cox

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Limited as he was to a maximum stress of 18 tonf/in2 he would have needed flanges 0-278 in. thick with only 4 webs each about 0-0015 in. thick spaced 10 in. apart. Needless to add that even with a purely static distributed load the shear loads would require these webs to be thickened appreciably over the whole of the span except perhaps for a few feet near the centre of the bridge, and when moving loads came to be considered the shear requirement would take over even in this small field from the theory of the beam which is simply bent.

For any assigned forms of cross section of the stringers and ribs the factors ks and λψ are merely numerical ratios, which may be expressed in the form ks = R(hjts) where hs is the depth of the stringer web and ts is its thickness. The maximum possible value of R is (3/32) and for a wide range of practical sections R = 0-09 is a good approximation. When the stringers and/or the ribs are attached to a sheet cover, the effective moment of section of the combination may still be expressed in the form Rs(hs/ts)A*9 where As is the area of section of the stringer alone.

The sole gain therefore would be that resulting directly from the 10 per cent increase in Θ; in the present context that improvement may be regarded as equivalent to a 21 per cent increase in the modulus of section of the stringers, and this would improve the efficiency by not more than 6 per cent. In practice the torsional stiffness of the ribs could be only moderate and this limiting condition could not be nearly attained; in consequence the greatest saving of weight likely to be achieved by exploitation of the torsional stiffness of the ribs is unlikely to be more than 1 or 2 per cent.

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