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Timber-Concrete Composite Bridges

Timber-Concrete Composite Bridges

Timber-concrete composite bridges are optimal for span widths of 15 m to 35 m

The increased role played be ecology in the sustainability of construction materials is having an increasing influence on the construction sector and has seen building owners rethinking their plans. The symbiosis between timber and concrete provides the best conditions for satisfying all the requirements.

The majority of all the bridges in Central Europe have a span width of between 5 and 30 metres and can therefore be considered for such an optimised construction method. With solid timber girders which are joined to a concrete slab on their upper surface, the optimum harnessing of the material attributes of both construction materials occurs.

In this case the timber cross section is under traction stress and the concrete slab absorbs the compressive force that occurs. Specialist connecting elements enable the interplay between the timber girders and concrete slabs, and a more effective bearing capacity and serviceability is achieved.

Optimisation in the area of bridge construction

With the use of a timber bridge for road traffic there are always two challenges. It isn’t easy to absorb the high axle loads or the horizontal loads from acceleration and braking. Due to the development of sophisticated details, the conventional supporting structures used until now have brought about added costs which weren’t always attractive

Timber-concrete composite makes it possible

With a combination of the materials of timber and concrete, it is now possible to rise to the current challenges. This is possible through the targeted use of the positive material attributes of timber and concrete in a single new hybrid structural element which achieves superior load bearing and usability attributes. The timber-concrete composite construction not only has decisive advantages compared with road bridges in conventional timber constructions, it can also compete successfully with conventional concrete structures.

Advantages in comparison with conventional timber bridges:

  • high load-bearing capacity with low component height
  • good structural timber protection due to the projecting concrete slab on the top
  • Spot loads are distributed optimally over the concrete slab – superior cross bracing
  • Standardised details from the concrete structure can be used for the creation of the connections

Advantages in comparison with conventional concrete bridges:

  • Lower weight of the upper structure, meaning a more efficient supporting structure
  • Rapid and efficient assembly without the need for sophisticated formwork
  • Cost saving in the area of the foundation and abutment
  • Superior energy and eco-balance, sustainability due to CO² reduction


Here is a selection of timber-concrete composite bridges.