Development of a Nonlinear Bearing for Large Movable Structures

It is not uncommon for large movable structures such as retractable roofs on stadiums to employ linear bearings which allow lateral horizontal movement that will reduce the demand on the structure - in essence creating the roller support of the classic pin-roller simply supported beam. In designing various retractable roofs in the past, Geiger Engineers has sought to improve on the typical linear bearing. Keith MacBain, one of Geiger's principals, has now developed a nonlinear bearing that will provide the desired translational movement while also allowing for rotation. With the combination of translation and rotation, the structural designer gains a greater ability to tailor the bearing's response. Keith and Geiger currently have a patent pending on the nonlinear bearing. Kinematics of Nonlinear Bearing