How the Roman’s Built Bridges – History Essay
Rome was the first nation to create some of the most legendary bridges using stone. Stone is difficult to find, but compared to the more common bridge material, wood, it was better. And it is evident since most of the bridges
that Rome made with stone are standing today.
Then after realizing that stone is so great, Rome realized the idea of the arch. The concept behind the arch is that the structure of the arch itself is fairly weak. Only able to support a large amount on the “key” stone (or center most stone), the sides get a very large amount of compression stretching the arch to the side and the stones fall apart. But then the Romans put stones on the sides of the arch and so when the bridge stretched out to the sides, the stones pushed back creating an extremely strong archway. With this new system of bridge making, the Romans were considered the best of the best in bridge making.
But after the realization that stone cost far too much, iron was created. Iron was much cheaper than stone and also iron was much stronger. But the realization was not the only development for bridge making. It was only the beginning. After realizing iron was good for making bridges stronger, next was realizing how to create steel from iron. After realizing how much stronger steel is than iron, next was the truss configuration, one of the most popular bridge configurations back then. It allowed for more stability and also, it allowed the bridge to be more resistant to wind. Because of the unique architectural design of truss bridge, wind would pass through the openings in the truss bridge decreasing the force of wind. Another breakthrough was that less brittle metals are better for tensions because they don’t give out as quickly as more brittle metals. The reason behind this is that more brittle metals have cracks and flaws and when they receive a great amount of tension, the cracks and flaws become larger