Road Trip: Much Simpler

by Don Friedman on May 27, 2016

Steel framing was the first structural technology to mature. Steel construction from the 1920s is, for the most part, recognizably modern in its design and detailing. The reason I need that “most” is visible in this abutment detail from the Blackfriars Bridge:

The original girder on the right ends in a complicated series of angles and plates riveted together. The new girder on the left ends in a much cleaner welded connection. Welding is not only less work than riveting, it allows the direct connection of two pieces of steel at any angle to one another, while riveting (and bolting) can only connect parallel planes of steel. The girder on the right was also reinforced by having new plates welded on to it, a detail that is extremely difficult to replicate using rivets.

Previous post:

Next post: