The forces acting on bridges are multiple and of various origins: structure’s weight, shrinkage and creep, wind loads, temperature changes, traffic loads, horizontal loads such as accelerating, braking or skidding, impact forces due to collisions, support sagging, seismic forces, etc.
Freyssinet bearings are designed to ensure that loads are transferred between the superstructure and the substructure and that they enable movement and rotation of the superstructure.

  • Applications
    Bridges
    Buildings
    Stadiums
    Water infrastructure
    Energy infrastructure

A wide range of bearings

Freyssinet has developed a wide range of TETRON® bearings based on five designs:

  • Elastomeric bearings
  • Pot bearings
  • Spherical bearings
  • Guide and restraint bearings
  • Linear rocker bearings

Each design is available in three operating modes allowing for different translational and rotational movements to suit the function of each structure:

  • Fixed
  • Guided-sliding
  • Free-sliding

All our bearings are CE Marked. They are custom made and can be designed and manufactured in accordance with various standards, the most common being EN1337 (Europe), BS 5400 (UK), AASHTO LRFD 2012 (US) and AS 5100 (Australia).

 

  • Transfer of vertical loads
  • Transfer of horizontal forces both in longitudinal and transversal direction
  • Sliding movements restrained
  • Rotations enabled

 

  • Transfer of vertical loads
  • Sliding movements in one horizontal direction
  • Transfer of horizontal forces in the other horizontal direction
  • Rotations enabled

 

  • Transfer of vertical loads
  • Movements in both horizontal directions
  • No transfer of external horizontal forces
  • Rotations enabled
Custom-designed bearings

Freyssinet also provides a variety of bespoke devices designed, manufactured and tested to custom specifications, such as -but not limited to:

  • Various types of uplift bearings, including double-cap spherical bearings with a mechanism to support uplift loads in service
  • Permanent “launch-over” bearings for erecting bridges using the incremental launching method
  • Sliding pads for all types of sliding, launching or skidding operations, with improved sliding materials
  • Jackable bearings, with vertical load adjustment during construction (single jacking) or during service (multiple jacking)
  • Bearings with integrated seismic devices -viscous dampers or shock transmission units
  • Cylindrical bearings and other moment-restraining bearings
  • Bearings with required horizontal stiffness
  • Bearings for acoustic isolation.

These devices are designed in close cooperation by our structural engineers and bearing specialists.

Full service

From design to maintenance

Acting as elastic connections between structural elements, elastomeric bearings are the most commonly used bearings. They allow the transmission of vertical forces, horizontal movements, structure rotation in any direction and horizontal forces within defined limits.
Advantages

Why choose Freyssinet elastomeric bearings for your project

01. Cost-effective solution

Simple design and installation, for:
  • moderate vertical loads (less than 12,000 kN)
  • movements up to ± 250 mm
  • horizontal forces transmission up to 800 kN
  • 02. Good performance under dynamic load

    Reduction in the acceleration transmitted to the superstructure, allowing their use as dynamic isolators in buildings and other structures.

    03. Large range of operating temperatures

  • Minimum -25°C for chloroprene, -40°C for natural rubber
  • Maximum +50°C (peak temperature: +70°C)
  • 04. Long service life, maintenance free

  • The reinforcing plates are embedded in the elastomer to protect them against corrosion.
  • Great care is given to the specification of the rubber compound, the surface treatment of the steel sheets, the assembly and moulding.
  • 05. High rotation capacity

    Up to 30 mrad

    06. Approved products

    Freyssinet’s natural rubber and chloroprene bearings comply with national and international standards, and are covered by CE marking.

    07. End-to-end services

    Not only products. But the full range of services, including design, tests, manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
    Elastomeric bearings

    Our range of products

    Standard elastomeric bearings - Type B, Type C

    Standard elastomeric bearings – Type B, Type C

    They consist of 2 to 12 laminated elastomer layers vulcanized on steel plates. Natural or chloroprene rubber.

    The bearings are individually moulded and the reinforcing plates are embedded in the elastomer with a side coverage of at least 4 mm and outer layers of 2.5 mm thickness (type B) or thick outer bands (type C).

    Their cross-section is rectangular, square or circular depending on site requirements.

    Bearings with anchor plates – Applicable to type C

    These bearings offer various configurations to cover different connection needs:

    • corrugated outer plates to ensure a thin connection
    • outer plates, anchor plates and connection devices
    • outer plates, anchor plates and shear discs
    Bearings with anchor plates – Applicable to type C
    Bearings with sliding surface – Type D, type E

    Bearings with sliding surface – Type D, type E

    For bridges requiring large movements, laminated elastomer bearings can be equipped with:

    • a sliding surface comprising a PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) sheet bonded to the elastomer (type D) or notched in the steel sheet (type E)
    • a sliding plate integrating an austenitic steel sheet.

    Their resistance to movement is hence limited to the friction between the lubricated PTFE plate and the polished austenitic steel sheet.

    Restrained bearings – Applicable to type B, D and E

    The addition of steel guides welded to the anchor plate allows the transfer of higher lateral and/or longitudinal loads in either direction.

    Restrained bearings – Applicable to type B, D and E
    Plain pad bearings – Type F

    Plain pad bearingsType F

    They consist of a single piece of elastomer, natural or chloroprene rubber.

    They can be supplied as rectangles, squares or strips, depending on site requirements and are generally used for buildings.

    Download our Technical datasheets and certificates

    Documentation

    Our references

    Freyssinet pot bearings are marketed under the TETRON® CD brand

    The structural rotations are adjusted thanks to an elastomeric pad, confined into a steel pot, which responds with high vertical stiffness and low rotation resistance.

    They are cost-effective for high vertical loads, and small to moderate horizontal loads.

    TETRON® CD are made up of an elastomer pad confined in a steel cylinder or pot, which is fitted on the top with a circular steel plate (piston).

    The elastomer behaves like a viscous fluid under high pressure flowing to allow rotation and tilting movements of the piston about any horizontal axis.
    For guided or fixed bearings, external lateral forces are transmitted by suitable restraints or guides.

    Advantages

    Why choose TETRON® pot bearings

    01. Durable and low maintenance

  • Virgin PTFE
  • Stainless steel sheet
  • 02. Small footprint

    Moderate space required

    03. Tailor made

    Custom design to suit the type of structure and the needs of the project.

    04. Adaptable to all standards

    Compliance with all national and international standards.

    05. Cost-effective solution

  • Uniform distribution of loads through the structure
  • For vertical loads up to 50 000 kN
  • Small and moderate horizontal loads
  • 06. Certified product

    CE marking for EN standard and PTFE sliding material.

    07. Usable as a launching bearing

    For launching operations instead of temporary stools.

    08. Usable as an anti-uplift system

    Specific design available to withstand tension loads.

    TETRON CD naming system

    The naming system of TETRON CD pot bearings reflects the important characteristics of each product in the range, for maximum accuracy and transparency.

    Examples:

    • TETRON CD GL 20,000-250.40
    • TETRON CD GGL 20,000-800.40
    • TETRON CD FX 20,000-900
    GL

    Free sliding bearing

     

     

     

    20,000

    Vertical load
    at ULS in kN

    –    250

    Total acceptable
    longitudinal movement in mm

    •   40

    Total acceptable
    transverse movement in mm

    GGT

    Transverse
    Guide bearing

    –    800

    Vertical load at ULS in kN

    •   40

    Total acceptable
    transverse movement in mm

    GGL

    Longitudinal
    Guide bearing

    –    800

    Transverse load at ULS in kN

     

    •   40

    Total acceptable
    longitudinal movement in mm

    FX

    Fixed bearing

    900

    Horizontal load at ULS in kN

    (resustant of x/y)
    *x : longitudinal axis | y: transvers axis

     

    Specifications

    Download our technical datasheets and certificates
    Documentation
    Type of structure
    All types of bridges, buildings, stadiums, water and energy infrastructure.
    Maximum vertical load
    50 MN for standard models
    Maximum horizontal load
    30% of vertical load for standard models
    Maximum rotation
    30 mrad
    Acceptable longitudinal movement
    Tetron CD GL (free sliding): no limit
    Tetron CD GG (guided): no limit
    Design life
    50 years
    Allowable temperature
    From -35°C to +48°C
    Documentation

    Pot bearing GL Free sliding

    Discover our references

    Freyssinet spherical bearings are marketed under the TETRON® SB brand

    A spherical plate allows rotation around each axis at low friction. They are very durable and can withstand higher vertical loads than pot bearings as well as high rotations.

    TETRON® SB spherical bearings do not contain any elastomeric components; rotation is by contact between a sliding material and a chrome steel surface on a spherical face.

    The system involves negligible friction in the sliding and spherical surfaces, which allows rotation in any direction around a horizontal and vertical axis.

    ISOGLIDE® for compact and stronger bearings

    ISOGLIDE® for compact and stronger bearings

    As a new feature, all Freyssinet spherical bearings are now using ISOGLIDE® material instead of pure PTFE.

    • ISOGLIDE® accepts higher stresses than PTFE (compression strength of 180 N/mm2), which in most cases makes it possible to reduce the dimensions of the bearing.
      • Friction factor <2% in a moderate temperature range
      • Friction factor <3,5% at very low temperatures
    • It is also five times more resistant to wear than PTFE (up to 50 km), which is particularly interesting for uses involving frequent and repetitive movements and rotation. It allows extended service life with reduced maintenance costs.

    Last but not least, it is resistant to extreme temperatures, from -50°C to 90°C.

    Advantages

    Why choose TETRON® SB bearings

    01. Cost effective solution

  • For high vertical loads, up to 200 000 kN
  • Horizontal and lateral loads, up to 100 000 kN
  • Significant rotation, up to 200 mrad
  • 02. Durable, low maintenance

  • ISOGLIDE® high-strength, high-durability sliding material
    (up to 50 km according to EN 1337-7)
  • Chromium surfacing
  • 03. The smallest footprint

    The ISOGLIDE® high-strength, high-durability sliding material allows the spherical bearing to be smaller than any other type of bearing - a feature that can be particularly attractive when space is limited.

    04. Taylor made

    Custom design to suit the type of structure and the needs of the project.

    05. Adaptable to all standards

    Designed for all national and international standards.

    06. Certified product

    CE marking for EN standard and Tetron SB with Isoglide® sliding material.

    07. Usable as a launching bearing

    For launching operations instead of temporary stools.

    08. Usable as an anti-uplift system

    Specific design available to withstand tension loads.

    Specifications

    Download our certificates below
    Documentation
    Type of structure
    All bridges (including wide, curved and suspension bridges), buildings, stadiums, water and energy infrastructures.
    Maximum vertical load
    50 000 kN for standard models, up to 200 000 kN for custom models
    Maximum horizontal load
    50% of vertical load for standard models, 100 000 kN for custom models
    Maximum rotation
    50 mrad in practice (no theoretical limit)
    Movement capacities
    No limit
    Design life
    60 years
    Allowable temperature
    From -50°C to +90°C
    Documentation

    Freyssinet guide bearings type TETRON SK and restraint bearings type TETRON PK are used in the case of large horizontal loads to be transferred. They are usually combined with free sliding bearings.

    It is made up of a bottom plate with a rail and a top plate with two guides.

    It is designed to accept horizontal movements in the axis of the rail and to transfer perpendicular horizontal loads (it allows movement on one axis and rotation on two axes). It does not take up vertical load.

    The shear key is usually combined with free-sliding bearings on either side of it. It allows the “guiding” function to be separated from the bearings, which is usually necessary with very high horizontal loads.

    It is made up of a bottom plate and a top plate connected by a pin.

    It supports horizontal loads on both axes of the bridge.

    It does not support vertical loads and does not allow any movement

    Like the shear key, it is usually combined with free sliding bearings.

    Advantages

    Why choose TETRON® guide and restraint bearings for your project

    01. Cost-effective solution

  • For high horizontal loads
  • For horizontal movements (shear key) or rotations (pin key)
  • 02. Robustness

  • Simple design
  • Careful selection of components and materials
  • 03. Taylor made

    Custom design to suit the type of structure and the needs of the project.

    04. Adaptable to all standards

    Compliance with all national and international standards.

    05. Certified product

    CE marking for EN standard (n°1833-CPR-0050)

    Specifications

    Download our Guide bearings certificate.
    Documentation
    Type of structure
    All types of bridges, well suited to seismic areas
    Maximum horizontal load
    Up to 5,000 kN for standard models
    Up to 20,000 kN for custom models
    Maximum rotation (pin key)
    Up to 30 mrad
    Movement capacity
    No limit
    Design life
    50 years
    Allowable temperature
    From -35°C to +48°C
    Documentation

    Discover our references

    TETRON® Linear rocker bearings provide an economical and durable solution for steel structures.

    The maximum vertical load is determined by the size of the bearing. Rotation is only possible in one direction.

    The linear rocker bearing is made up of a lower metal plate on which a rocker oscillates; shear pins hold the rocker in place.

    The product is available in fixed, free sliding and guided sliding versions.

    Linear bearings can support vertical and horizontal loads on one axis.

    They allow rotation on a single axis and movement on a single axis.

    Advantages

    Why choose TETRON® linear rocker bearings for your project

    01. Cost-effective solution

    For metal bridge structures

    02. High rotation capacity

    Adapted to flexible structures

    03. Highly durable, low maintenance

  • Simple design
  • Careful selection of components and materials
  • Can be supplied in stainless steel for aggressive environments
  • 04. Economic

    Low manufacturing, installation and maintenance costs

    05. Taylor made

    Custom design to suit the type of structure and the needs of the project

    06. Adaptable to all standards

    Designed for all national and international standards

    Specifications

    Documentation
    Type of structure
    Steel bridges
    Maximum vertical load
    Moderate loads
    Maximum horizontal load
    Up to 30% of vertical load
    Maximum rotation
    Up to 50 mrad
    Movement capacity
    No limit
    Design life
    50 years
    Allowable temperature
  • With PTFE: from -35°C to +48°C
  • With ISOGLIDE: from -50°C to +90°C
  • Documentation
    Freyssinet offers additional options to its range of bearings to meet specific structural or environmental needs, reduce space requirements, simplify installation methods or facilitate future monitoring of the structure.

    Add-ons for specific structural or environmental needs

    Anti-uplift system

    This system is mainly used for roofs, footbridges or bridges subject to earthquakes, to resist occasional or permanent vertical uplift of the superstructure.

    It consists of lateral restraint guides or a central rod depending on the forces applied, the space available and the type of support.

    It requires anchoring to the structure.

    Fuse guide

    This system is used to limit seismic forces on structures. It blocks the movement of the bearing up to a given load and then releases it when that load is exceeded.

    The bearing is fixed with specially designed shear screws.

    Jackable bearing

    The system can be used to raise the superstructure by acting directly on the bearing when the superstructure support is at risk of subsidence (instable soil for example).

    For pot bearings, a paste or resin is injected into the pot under the elastomer disc.

    For elastomeric bearings, a flat jack is positioned under the elastomeric block.

    Protection skirt

    This equipment, installed around the bearing to protect the sliding surfaces from dirt, is particularly useful in areas prone to sandstorms or for bearings that may be temporarily submerged.

    Add-ons to reduce space requirements

    Presetting of sliding plate

    The position of the sliding plates in sliding bearings can be adjusted to allow for irreversible movements such as shrinkage and creep. This option allows the dimensions of the sliding plates to be reduced.

    Add-ons to simplify installation methods

    Temporary stop

    This bearing blocks the translational movement of a sliding bearing during the construction phase.

    The system is made up of lateral stops or adjustable wedges fastened underneath the sliding plate.

    Launch-over bearing

    This bearing is designed to be used initially as a sliding chair during the incremental launching or sliding of a bridge deck, and then as a permanent bearing during the service life of the structure. The bearing can rotat during the launch phase, allowing full contact between the sliding pads and the underside of the deck.

    The bearing is temporarily fixed by screws and stops that block the movement.

    Spirit level

    It allows the operator installing the bearings to ensure that they are perfectly horizontal.

    It can be mounted on all types of bearings.

    Jackable bearing

    The system can be used to raise the superstructure by acting directly on the bearing when the superstructure support is at risk of subsidence (instable soil for example).

    For pot bearings, a paste or resin is injected into the pot under the elastomer disc.

    For elastomeric bearings, a flat jack is positioned under the elastomeric block.

    Add-ons to facilitate monitoring of the structure

    Instrumentation

    In order to monitor the behaviour of the structure over time, pot bearings can be equipped with a vertical load measurement system.

    The readings are taken directly on the bearing, or remotely via a wire or radio connection.

    Spirit level

    It allows easy control of the horizontality of the bearing sliding surface during installation and the life of the structure.

    It can be mounted on all types of bearings.

    Download the technical datasheets

    Documentation

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