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World record bridge relies on German polymer technology – MM1018

27. October 2020

The Chenab Bridge is an Indian railway steel arch bridge under construction between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir in India. When completed, the bridge will span the Chenab River at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft) above the river, making it the world’s highest rail bridge. In November 2017 the base supports were declared completed allowing for the start of the construction of the main arch. Its official opening is scheduled for December 2021.


The bridge is located in an area that is exposed to extreme temperature changes, moisture and wind forces making corrosion protection a key requirement. The concrete arch base foundations support the entire arch. The steel arch is seated upon 8 arch base plates, 4 on each side of the river Chenab. Each base plate has an area of approximately 6.3m2. The arch base plates are mated with the arch base segments that pass into the concrete pillars. The arch base segments are steel box segments that are field fabricated and are prone to minor deflections due to manufacturing limitations. A non-full contact connection can therefore lead to the selective transfer of loads. This may result in a situation of structural safety and hence forms a critical requisite.


For those extreme requirements and for a project of this nature and magnitude – the liquid shim material  DIAMANT MM1018 was the material of choice and had decisive advantages against the more traditional methods of gap compensation i.e. machining, steel shims or lead plates.


The liquid gap compensation material Diamant MM1018 has been used to connect the Arch baseplates with the arch base segment of the Chenab Bridge. DIAMANT MM1018 is a special
formulation that can withstand up to 160MPa compression loads and has been proven to withstand environmental degradation with no impact on performance. The material is suitable for use in gaps as small as 0.1mm and has been tested and approved by the German Federal Institute of Construction Technology (DiBT).More on this engineering marble can be found under the youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDsYyGwgtl4 or in a more technical write-up in a special magazine of the Northern Railway Construction Organization  http://usbrl.org/him-xi.pdf


Gap compensation between steel elements is a challenge across all constructions and around the world. With advanced polymer materials and technologies that are under continuous development, the possibilities available to engineers are huge. The DIAMANT MM1018 system and method has seen increasing acceptance globally and is the way of the future.


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