RJW Spherical Bearings are used to accommodate thermal, seismic and mechanical expansion and contraction.

Dulles Metro Line Phase 2

Three of the steel plate girder bridges on the Dulles Metro Line Project featured Disktron Bearings which ranged from 225 kips to 900 kips in vertical load capacity. The rotational capacity of these bearings was 0.025 radians and the displacements on the expansion bearings ranged from 3 to 6 inches. One of the bridges also required uplift restraint, which was easily accommodated with the Disktron design.

Spherical Bearings

RJW Spherical Bearings are used to accommodate thermal, seismic and mechanical expansion and contraction and also provide multidirectional rotation for highway bridges, railway bridges and other civil engineering structures. The RJW Spherical Bearings consist of a concave bearing plate, a convex mating plate, an upper sole plate and a lower masonry plate.  Sliding surfaces consist of bonded PTFE mated to highly polished stainless steel.


  • RJ Watson Spherical Bearings accommodate large rotations and can be designed to accommodate high vertical loads with virtually no vertical displacement.
  • May be designed using either woven PTFE or sheet PTFE depending on the properties required.
  • They use a PTFE to Polished Stainless Steel sliding surface to accommodate movements with low forces transmitted to the structure.
  • RJ Watson Spherical Bearings are all custom engineered to provide the most efficient design to meet the specified requirements of the structure.

Featured Project

Corning Museum of Glass North Wing Addition

12 spherical bearings were designed and manufactured for this major addition to the museum. They were 12 kips vertical load with 3 kips horizontal load. The total movement was 5.00″ and the rotational capacity was +/- 0.052″ radians.

RJ Watson is located outside of Buffalo, NY and  has a state of the art 70,000 square foot facility for engineering, fabrication and manufacturing of bearings, joints and other structural devices

RJ Watson provides at no cost or obligation engineering proposal on any project where you are interested in evaluating the benefits of the RJ Watson product line

No Cost/No Obligation Estimates

Our staff of experienced engineers will assist you with your proposals and will work within your tight time constraints.

RJ Watson’s in house operations include a fabrication shop with overhead cranes, heavy lifting capacities, certified welders, weld positioners, media blasting, machine shop and state of the art testing facility.