What Is a Delta Angle?

••• big highway image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com

A delta angle, a term well known to civil engineers, is a measurement used in designing roadways. The delta angle is used to make other relevant calculations, or it can be determined using known measurements.

Definition

A delta angle is the measurement in degrees where two straight lines, also known as tangents, intersect.

Horizontal Circular Curve

A horizontal circular curve is a mathematical calculation determining the optimal arc between two tangents. The measurement of the central curve on the arc is equal to the delta angle.

Use in Transportation

The intersection of roadways illustrates two tangents intersecting. Engineers focused on traffic flow use horizontal curves to create better traffic patterns between the roads. Delta angles are an important measurement used to determine the best arc to connect the roadways and prevent motorists from having to make sharp turns.

Calculation

When the delta angle is provided, it can be used to determine measurements including radius or chord lengths, both of which are used in the design of horizontal highway curves.

References

About the Author

Kathy Mair has been writing professionally since 1994. As a member of the Kinston Indians front office, she was responsible for all team press releases and articles, a duty she subsequently held for two other minor league baseball teams. Mair also spent time as a copy editor for "TV Guide." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Elizabethtown College.

Photo Credits

  • big highway image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com

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