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Structural Bearings

Structural elastomeric bearings need to transmit loads and accommodate horizontal movements and rotations around each axis that can occur between two structures. Design analyses will determine the scale of the forces and deformations.

In order to change their field of application the elastomeric bearings can be combined with complementary bearing devices, such as a restrain system or a sliding system. The restrain type prevents movements in all horizontal directions. Sliding systems, with or without guides, allow movements bigger than the shear capacity in plane surfaces.

Since 2005 the European standard EN 1337-3 has applied to elastomeric bearings for architectural and civil-engineering applications. Besides the functional requirements, the standard describes the design rules, the material properties, the production tolerances and the acceptance tests. Trelleborg designs and manufactures elastomeric bearings in accordance with this standard.

Experience shows that, under normal circumstances and with regular maintenance, Trelleborg’s structural bearings can function for decades.

General Elastomeric Bearing Information

Trelleborg Ridderkerk specializes in designing and producing technical rubber products including Elastomeric Bearings. Rubber bearings are flexible support points used in the construction of viaducts and bridges.

Construction of the bearing

A bearing consists of rubber layers(2) seperated by vulcanized steelplates(1). A rubber cover(3) is fitted around this assembly. Natural rubber of Chloroprene rubber are used for the layers. Natural rubber is not to sensitive to changes in temperature and shows only slight growth in deformation, over the period of deformation at a constant load (low creep). The hardness most common used in civil engineering applications is approximately 60 ShA. Chloroprene rubber is most often used for the cover. Chloroprene rubber is highly resistant against ozone, ageing, UV and chemical effects. The vulcanised steel plates are manufactured from S235 or S355.

Shape of the bearing

When the rotation properties have to be similar in all directions of the horizontal plane, round bearings are used. However a rectangular bearing can handle larger rotations around its longitudinal axis compared to a round bearing with similar surface area.

Bearing selection

In order to select the correct type and to determine the correct dimensions for a certain application, the following data must be known:

All possible combinations of vertical load and rotation

The maximum permissible pressure on the bearing surface

The horizontal displacements combined with the external, horizontal loads.

With this information we can engineer the right bearing for your application.


All calculations and materials applied in the bearings meet many standards and regulations, for example:

CTO/3/L/10.542/25 NS 1984 (Dutch rail)

MRB 1996 (Department of Public Works in the Netherlands)

NEN 6723

BS 5400, 9.1 and 9.2

EN 1137 part 3

Further information

On request we can assist you in selecting the right bearing for your application. For our standard range in elastomeric bearings you can look into Trelleborg online database: click here


Trelleborg Ridderkerk has the research facilities, including a laboratory, to enable us to find solutions to suit specific problems. Testing facilities are available to check materials and designs for the right properties.



Download Info:

POT Bearings product information sheet
Elastomeric Bridge Bearings brochure

Perfiles Compresion Eng