U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Bridges & Structures

Current Practices in FRP Composites Technology

Design & Construction Issues

  1. Benefits
    • Light weight
    • Can utilize bridge capacity that had been needed for dead load
    • Reduce weight restrictions on bridges
    • High strength - little chance for punch through failures
    • Expected long service life
    • No corrosion
    • No cracking
    • Chemical resistant
    • Modular construction
    • Fast installation
    • Less traffic disruption during installation
    • Relatively easy installation
    • Can be installed with in-house forces
    • Fabrication in controlled environment - leads to high quality
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Cost savings - Bridge rehabilitations can be done for less money than a complete bridge replacement
  2. Deflection controls design
  3. Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)
  4. Creep
  5. Durability
  6. Panel to Panel Connection
  7. FRP to Steel Attachments
  8. Special cutouts
  9. Haunch
    • Prefabricated Saddle Haunches by KSCI
  10. Wearing Surface
  11. Drainage
    • Cross Slope
    • Scuppers
    • Curbs
  12. Bridge Railing
  13. Design specifications
  14. Material specifications
  15. Inspection & Monitoring
    1. Tap test (mpg file, 520 kb) - A video that demonstrates that tapping the under side of the deck with a coin or small stone can reveal disbonds or delaminations in the FRP panel. The sound changes or sounds "hollow" when tapping on a delaminated area.
    2. Infrared Therography (32 kb)
    3. Load Tests

Courtesy of Jerry O'Connor, MCEER, FHWA FRP Team Member
If you have additions or corrections to this list, please contact him at: jso7@buffalo.edu

Videos in Windows media format can be viewed with the Windows Media Player.
Videos in Real media format can be viewed with the Real Player
Updated: 08/07/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000