Spherical Bearings – An Engineering Solution

As large bridge structures become ever more elaborate in their design, keeping within the half a degree of misalignment is not always achievable. To combat this Macalloy have been incorporating Spherical Bearings to increase capacities between the fork and the gusset plate. The bearing allows misalignment by creating a perpendicular interface with both the pin and gusset plate. The spherical bearing takes out these bending moments, reducing stresses and increasing performance.

Macalloy have a range of standard solutions that meet our system design resistance available for misalignment ranges 0.5° – 5.9° up to M76 diameter bars (larger diameters are available). Alternatively we can design a solution specific to your project needs.


Macalloy have incorporated spherical bearings into our system for a variety of projects worldwide such as:

Compression Struts within the roof structure of the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, USA, to allow misalignment.

Bridge supports during a bridge bearing replacement on the Rive Ouse viaduct, in Yorkshire, UK

Hanger bars for the Pont Schuman, bridge over the river Saone in Lyon, France. Macalloy engineers worked with the steel fabricators, to design a special M90 fork end to go with the M85 diameter tension bars, allowing for a spherical bearing. This was to allow for additional misalignment, required for the design of the bridge, which is a unique, twisting, gull-wing design – read more here 

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