Steel Bridge: Goliath

by sarahgrand

My friends and I designed and constructed a steel bridge and named it Goliath. The goal of the Goliath project was to build a 6-foot bridge to simulate the American Society of Civil Engineers steel bridge competition rules as closely as possible. The parameters of the bridge included: (1) an unobstructed 8”x13” cross section through the bridge and an open top deck, (2) a load at yielding of 600 lbs and a load at failure of not more than 1000 lbs, (3) a maximum deflection of 2/3”, and (4) a maximum member length of 14” and width of ½”. Goliath attempted to stay within these parameters while also featuring a unique and innovative design. Goliath boasts both a segmented arch truss design as well as a trapezoidal cross-section. The bridge members were designed with the assistance of Robot Structural Analysis. Though Goliath ultimately failed due to insufficient connections between the base horizontal beams and the side trusses, this project allowed us to incorporate our creativity into an otherwise technical assignment and better understand the conflict of form vs. function.

Testing our bridge

 The Team (from the left: Kevin, Steph, Me, Michael)