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Bridge & Structural Bearings

Innovative bridge and structural bearings designed for iconic feats of civil engineering

Spherical Bearings

For thermal, seismic and mechanical movement, as well as multidirectional rotation.

RJW Spherical Bearing

Spherical Bridge Bearings

RJW Spherical Bearings allow for thermal, seismic and mechanical expansion and contraction. They also provide multidirectional rotation for highway bridges, railway bridges and other civil engineering structures.


Custom Engineered

RJW Spherical Bearings are all custom engineered to meet the specified requirements of the structure efficiently. They are also designed, fabricated, tested and inspected to meet ASTM, AASHTO, AREMA or other specified standards.

No Vertical Displacement

RJ Watson PTFE spherical bearings are designed for large rotations and can, when specified, accommodate high vertical loads with virtually no vertical displacement.

A PTFE to polished stainless steel sliding surface is used to keep expansion, contraction and other forces from transmitting to the structure.

Multirotational Spherical Bearings
RJ Watson offers three types of spherical bearings:

  • Fixed
  • Guided expansion
  • Non-guided expansion

RJ Watson 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. Either woven PTFE or sheet PTFE may be used depending on a project’s requirements.

Design and Test Your Bearings

The experienced engineers at RJ Watson can help you find the right bearings for your project with our no cost, no obligation design services, as well as our extensive testing capabilities.

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Spherical Bearing

The 12 spherical bearings were 12 kips vertical load with 3 kips horizontal load. The total movement was 5.00″ and the rotational capacity was +/- 0.052 radians.

Featured Project

Corning Museum of Glass

At the Corning Museum of Glass North Wing Addition, 12 spherical bearings were designed and manufactured for this major addition to the museum.

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When the experts have questions, they turn to

RJ Watson

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RJ Watson works with engineers, contractors and owners to create bridges and highways that reliably serve their communities while simultaneously solving engineering challenges. RJ Watson is available to work with you to create a cost effective solution for your specific project.