Fig. 173 - Warren truss models



◄  a)  through bridge


b)  double deck bridge  ►

(scale visualization models)

click image to enlarge


Comparing the Howe, Pratt, and Warren truss bridge designs


Like simply supported beams and A-frames structures, the load bearing capacity of truss

bridges is directly related to their span.  Due to the different geometries of their designs,

which determine their load bearing characteristics, truss bridges differ in the maximum load

they can bear for any given span. 

The following graph compares the maximum loads that static demonstration models of the
Howe, Pratt, and Warren truss bridges withstood versus their span. Destructive testing was
conducted on each model by increasing its span incrementally, and then its load, to the
point of failure.  All loads were hung from the midpoint of the deck of the truss.  In each
case structural failure occurred at the joints, that is, the models failed in tension.


Fig. 174 - Graph of maximum load vs. span for models of Howe, Pratt, and Warren trusses


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