Innovation in steel bridges

Innovation in steel bridges

Vesam developed a new type of high-performance steel deck and low-cost bearings.


The invitation to design and build a temporary metal bridge over the Mpozo River, in the province of Zaire in Angola, was the test bed for the research and development of two innovative structural elements.

Vesam’s engineering team set out to develop a modular deck capable of optimizing manufacturing and assembly times.

For its design, state-of-the-art software specialized in finite element analysis was used, which was complemented by the execution of prototypes subjected to load tests in Vesam’s structural laboratory.

In addition to lighten the total structural weight of a bridge, this concept is extremely easy to assemble, reducing intervention time.

In addition to this innovation, and taking into account the usual extended lead times in the supply of commercial bearing solutions, Vesam has developed two types of bearings for this bridge, unidirectional mobile and fixed, inspired by the classic design models.

These custom-built models, besides being very cost-effective, made it possible to shorten the execution time of the bridge.

These innovations have been applied in a real context in the construction of the Mbanza Congo bridge with a span of 40 meters through a structural system consisting of two bowstring type lattice girders located on the side and above of the apron.

The structure supports the 4.5 m wide metal deck, which accommodates a road platform with a 3.50 m central lane and a 1.00 m wide side lane.

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