I

LICENTIATE THESIS 2002:xx





Preliminary Design and Analysis of a
Pedestrian FRP Bridge Deck






Patrice Godonou











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Division of Structural Engineering
Department of Civil and Mining Engineering
Luleå University of Technology
SE – 971 87 Luleå
Sweden
Preface
The present report is the result of the research carried out between the autumn
1999 and the spring 2002 at SICOMP AB, Piteå and the Division of Structural
Engineering, Department of Civil and Mining Engineering at Luleå University
of Technology (LTU). In between, I spent nearly half a year as a guest researcher
at the Structural Engineering Department of the University of California San
Diego (UCSD), in the USA, during the year 2000.
This project wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support from the
Development Fund of the Swedish Construction Industry (SBUF), the Board of
Directors of the Institute SICOMP AB, and last but not least the Research
Council of Norrbotten (Norrbottens Forskningsråd, NFR). Special
acknowledgement goes to Anders Nilsson at the NFR and his assistance in
making my visit as a guest researcher at the UCSD a reality.
I would like to start by thanking my supervisors Prof. Tech Dr Thomas Olofsson
at the Division of Structural Engineering, Department of Civil and Mining
Engineering at LTU and Tech Dr Anders Holmberg at SICOMP AB for their
invaluable assistance during the writing of the thesis. I would also like to thank
all the personal at SICOMP AB who helped me in one way or another during
my work. My thanks will also go the members of the “Snake Hill Project”, in
particular Olov Holmvall, Luleå Kommun, Sture Berglund, Artist, Piteå, Tord
Gustafsson, APC Composit AB and Jan-Olof Lampinen, NCC Anläggning,
Luleå. Many of the achievements in the conceptual design are the direct result of
the enriching discussions during the meetings of the project group. Many thanks
also to Joseph Forslund from the Department of Civil and Mining at LTU, who

produced some excellent computer visualisations of the concepts presented by
Sture Berglund. Special thanks go to Lars Liljenfeldt, the project manager at
SICOMP, whose enthusiasm has been the driving force of the whole project. My
thanks go also to Hans Pétursson for enriching discussions and sketch on the
bridge concepts and for the moral support during the times when the report
writing felt like an endless task. My thanks will also go to Prof. Tech Dr Vistasp
Karbhari, Tech Dr Lei Zhao and Ph. D. Candidate Mikael Broström all at the
Structural Engineering Department of the UCSD for making my visit so
meaningful.
Finally, I would like to tell my girlfriend Lolo, who supported and encouraged
me lovingly, that she means so much to me. Thanks for being there, Lolo. To my
children Malik, Chétima and Bibi, who didn’t get the attention they deserve
during that period, I would like to say: “I love you!”


V
Abstract
The interest for Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) as an alternative building
material is constantly increasing within the building construction sector
worldwide. In order to allow for a commercial breakthrough of FRP based
building structures, it is necessary to combine the design philosophy from the
bridge engineering industry to the design practices specific to the FRP industry.
A brief introduction of the constituents of FRP materials is given (section 2)
together with a description of the manufacturing processes. Some applications of
FRP in civil infrastructures are presented. The bridge design methodology and
terminology are described and the design philosophy of the Swedish Bridge
Design Code BRO94 is introduced (Section 3)
A comprehensive survey of existing FRP bridges around the world is carried out
together with the presentation of some cases studies (Section 4). The mechanics
of structural components made of FRP and the sandwich beam model are
described (Section 5).
The core of the report is partly based on the conceptual design of the whole
bridge system and the development of a concept for the deck cross-section
(Section 6). The second core part of the report is the preliminary design and
analysis of the bridge deck, based on the methodology of BRO94 and the design
practices particular to FRP structures and sandwich beam construction (Section
7). A design proposal for the remaining structural components such as the
columns and the guardrails is also presented (Section 8).
Keywords: Fiber Reinforced Polymer, FRP bridge survey, FRP Bridge Design,
Conceptual design, Sandwich construction, Stiffness driven design.




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Division of Structural Engineering
Department of Civil and Mining Engineering
Luleå University of Technology
SE – 971 87 Luleå
Sweden
Sammanfattning
Intresset for fiberkompositer som ett alternativt byggmaterial har ökat konstant
under de senaste åren inom byggbranschen världen över. För att göra ett
kommersiellt genomslag möjligt för fiberkompositer är det nödvändigt att förena
dimensioneringsmetodik som är typiskt för brokonstruktion till dem
dimensioneringsprinciper som används inom fiberkompositbranschen.
De beståndsdelar som ingår i fiberkompositer presenteras i sektion 2
tillsammans med en beskrivning av tillverkningsmetoder. Vissa tillämpningar av
fiberkompositer inom infrastruktursektorn presenteras också.
Dimensioneringsmetodiken och terminologin typisk för brokonstruktion
beskrivs tillsammans med BRO94 i sektion 3.
En omfattande kartläggning av befintliga fiberkompositbroar världen runt görs i
sektion 4. Detta förstärks med fallstudie över några enstaka fiberkompositbroar.
Fiberkompositers mekanik och dimensionering av sandwichkonstruktioner
beskrivs under sektion5.
Kärnan i denna rapport utgörs delvis av konceptutvecklingsarbetet for hela bron
och i synnerhet för brodäcket, som beskriven i sektion 6. Andra huvuddelen i
rapporten består av fördimensionering av brodäcket, som görs med BRO94 i
åtanke och redovisas i sektion 7. Ett förslag till dimensionering av de återstående
bärande delarna såsom pelare och räcken ges i sektion 8.
Nyckelord: fiberkompositer, kartläggning av befintliga fiberkompositbroar,
dimensionering av fiberkompositbroar, konceptutveckling,
sandwichkonstruktioner, styvhetsstyrd dimensionering.



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IX
Table of contents
PREFACE ............................................................................................................... I
ABSTRACT ..........................................................................................................V
SAMMANFATTNING ...................................................................................... VII
TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................... IX
NOTATIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS ......................................................... XIV
Roman upper case letters ......................................................................... XIV
Roman lower case letters ......................................................................... XIV
Greek upper case letters ........................................................................... XIV
Greek lower case letters ........................................................................... XIV
Special sub- or superscripts ...................................................................... XIV
Abbreviations and acronyms ................................................................... XIV
1 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................... 1
1.1 Background ........................................................................................ 1
1.2 Motivation and goals .......................................................................... 3
1.3 Thesis outline ..................................................................................... 5

2 FIBER REINFORCED POLYMERS: MATERIALS,
MANUFACTURING AND APPLICATIONS CIVIL
INFRASTRUCTURES ............................................................................... 6
2.1 FRP materials ..................................................................................... 6
2.1.1 The fibers .................................................................................. 7
2.1.2 The resins ............................................................................... 10
2.1.3 Miscellaneous ......................................................................... 14
2.2 Manufacturing processes .................................................................. 14
2.2.1 Hand Lay-up / Spray Lay-up ................................................... 15
2.2.2 Pultrusion ............................................................................... 16
2.2.3 Filament winding ................................................................... 17
2.2.4 Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) ............................................. 18
2.2.5 Vacuum Infusion (VI) ............................................................ 19
2.3 Applications of FRP in Civil Infrastructures ................................... 22
2.3.1 Primary FRP building components ........................................ 23
2.3.2 Secondary FRP building components .................................... 24
2.3.3 Strengthening and Repair ...................................................... 25
3 BRIDGE DESIGN: METHODOLOGY, TERMINOLOGY AND
THE SWEDISH CODE ............................................................................ 26
3.1 Bridge design methodology .............................................................. 26
3.1.1 The bridge design process ...................................................... 26
3.1.2 Key factors .............................................................................. 27
3.2 Bridge classification and bridge components .................................. 28
3.2.1 Bridge classification ................................................................ 28
3.2.2 Structural load-carrying system ............................................... 28
3.2.3 Bridge components ................................................................ 29
3.3 The Swedish bridge design code BRO 94 ........................................ 30
3.3.1 The concept of Limit State ..................................................... 30
3.3.2 Safety Factor and Partial Safety Factors ................................. 31
3.3.3 Design loads ........................................................................... 33
3.3.4 Load combinations ................................................................. 35
3.3.5 Design verification.................................................................. 37
4 SURVEY OF EXISTING FRP BRIDGES .................................................. 1
4.1 Common structural systems used for FRP bridges ............................ 1
4.2 FRP bridges round the world and case studies .................................. 2
4.2.1 List of FRP bridges ................................................................... 2
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XI
4.2.2 Case studies ............................................................................ 20
4.3 Research organizations working on FRP in bridge structures ......... 30
5 MECHANICS OF FRP, SANDWICH CONSTRUCTION AND
FRP-CONCRETE COMPOSITES ........................................................... 34
5.1 FRP and the Classical Laminate Theory .......................................... 34
5.1.1 The Lamina ............................................................................ 34
5.1.2 The Laminate ......................................................................... 39
5.1.3 Strength and failure analysis ................................................... 45
5.2 Mechanics of Sandwich construction .............................................. 49
5.2.1 Faces and core material .......................................................... 51
5.2.2 Design of sandwich structural components ........................... 52
5.3 Composite action of concrete and FRP in structural
components ...................................................................................... 58
5.3.1 Composite action concrete-FRP ............................................. 58
5.3.2 concrete filled FRP shells ....................................................... 59
5.4 Joint design for FRP components .................................................... 66
5.4.1 Bolted Joints ........................................................................... 66
5.4.2 Adhesively Bonded Joints ....................................................... 71
5.4.3 Combining Bolted and Bonded Joints ................................... 71
5.4.4 Other joining methods ........................................................... 71
5.4.5 Joining FRP and concrete ....................................................... 71
6 DESIGN REQUIREMENTS AND OVERALL CONCEPT
SELECTION ............................................................................................. 71
6.1 Design requirements ........................................................................ 71
6.1.1 Conditions imposed by client’s requirements ........................ 71
6.1.2 Conditions imposed by the aesthetic requirements ............... 72
6.1.3 Other design requirements ..................................................... 72
6.2 Overall shape selection ..................................................................... 73
6.2.1 Structural beam system concepts ............................................ 77
6.2.2 Structural beam system concept for the horizontal
curvature ................................................................................. 79
6.2.3 Selecting boundary conditions and span lengths ................... 79
6.3 Selecting material system .................................................................. 81
6.3.1 General considerations prior to material selection ................ 81
6.3.2 Determination of the Partial Safety Factor ¸
m
........................ 82
6.3.3 Selecting FRP system .............................................................. 83

6.3.4 Selecting core material ........................................................... 86
6.4 Selecting concept for deck cross section .......................................... 87
6.4.1 Results from previous experiences ......................................... 87
6.4.2 Parameter study on depth of Classical Sandwich
construction ........................................................................... 89
6.4.3 Classical Sandwich with internal webs ................................... 90
6.4.4 Comparing different sandwich beam cross sections .............. 91
6.4.5 Carbon fiber as face –web material ........................................ 92
6.4.6 Final selected cross section ..................................................... 95
6.4.7 Alternative cross-section varying with moment curve ............ 95
7 PRELIMINARY DESIGN OF THE BRIDGE DECK ............................. 96
7.1 Summary of design loads and requirements .................................... 97
7.1.1 Design Loads and other quantitative structural
requirements .......................................................................... 97
7.1.2 Determining the worse loading case ...................................... 99
7.1.3 Summarizing load reactions ................................................. 100
7.2 Initial design input data ................................................................. 102
7.2.1 FRP and core materials ........................................................ 102
7.2.2 Cross-section geometry ......................................................... 103
7.3 Structural verification of selected deck .......................................... 103
7.3.1 Compression and punching shear resistance of core
material under wheel load .................................................... 103
7.3.2 Summary of reaction from Load Combinations .................. 107
7.3.3 Stiffness control using Load Combination V:C .................. 108
7.3.4 Ultimate strength investigation using Load Combination
IV:A ...................................................................................... 109
7.3.5 Service strength investigation using Load Combination
V:A ....................................................................................... 110
7.3.6 Investigating moisture, creep and relaxation using LC V:B. 111
7.3.7 Investigating temperature effects .......................................... 111
7.3.8 Fatigue investigation using LC VI ........................................ 114
7.3.9 Eigenfrequency and buckling investigation using LC VII ... 114
7.3.10 .............................. Accidental loads verification using LC VIII 115
7.3.11 ............................................................................. Miscellaneous 115
7.4 Final selected bridge deck section .................................................. 116
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XIII
8 DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR REMAINING STRUCTURAL
COMPONENTS ..................................................................................... 116
8.1 Design of columns ......................................................................... 116
8.1.1 Selecting column concepts ................................................... 117
8.1.2 Load applied on the columns ............................................... 118
8.1.3 Material Selection ................................................................. 119
8.1.4 Selected cross section ............................................................ 119
8.2 Design Proposal for the guardrails ................................................. 119
8.3 Design Proposal for the wearing surface ........................................ 119
8.4 Design Proposal for Abutments and foundations ......................... 119
8.5 Design Proposal for the Connections ............................................ 119
9 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK ............................................ 119
9.1 Conclusions ................................................................................... 120
9.1.1 General conclusions ............................................................. 120
9.1.2 Summary of Preliminary Design Proposal ............................ 120
9.2 Discussions ..................................................................................... 120
9.2.1 Design issues and BRO94 .................................................... 120
9.2.2 Bill of quantities and cost estimate ...................................... 122
9.2.3 Bridge Section Assembly on Site .......................................... 122
9.2.4 Miscealleneous issues (Manufacturing and quality control,
Predicted Service Life, etc...) ................................................. 122
9.3 Future work .................................................................................... 122
10 APPENDICES ......................................................................................... 122
10.1 Appendix 1 ..................................................................................... 123
10.2 Appendix 2 ..................................................................................... 123
10.3 Appendix 3 ..................................................................................... 123
10.4 Appendix 4 ..................................................................................... 124
11 REFERENCES ........................................................................................ 124

Notations and abbreviations
Roman upper case letters

Roman lower case letters

Greek upper case letters

Greek lower case letters

Special sub- or superscripts

Abbreviations and acronyms


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1
1 Introduction
1.1 Background
The use of Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) for structural building components
is a relatively new phenomenon in Sweden. By a structural component, we mean
a part of a structure that is designed to carry primary loads. For instance panel
elements for housing facades are not considered as structural components. In
the US, Canada, Japan and some west European countries, FRP materials have
been used in building constructions for about three decades as described in
works by Karbhari (1998), Busel (1999) and Sims (1999). FRP use in civil
structures is particularly frequent in the fields of repair, retrofit and
strengthening of existing building constructions made of conventional materials.
Conventional materials refer to concrete, Reinforced Concrete (RC), steel and
structural wood. Structures such as bridge decks, beams or columns, chimneys,
parking decks and water tanks have been treated with excellent results as
reported in the publication by Busel (1995) or by the Conference Proceedings of
the 3
rd
ACMBS (2000). Today, many commercial solutions are available for
these applications worldwide. Moreover, the design methods have been
integrated into the national bridge design standards of many countries as is the
case in Sweden, and design handbooks are readily available. See for instance the
section “Supplement 4” in the Swedish Design Code BRO94 (1999), in which
strengthening using FRP is presented. The implementation of CFRP
strengthening of concrete structures in the Swedish BRO94 is essentially based
on work by Täljsten (1998)
Besides, research has been going on for the use of FRP in new structures such as
bridges for nearly two decades. Up to date, more than 90 bridges have been built
2
worldwide with integration of FRP components to some extent. The FRP
components vary from tendons, cables, internal grids and rebars, to girders,
beams, columns, decks and whole bridges.
FRP materials are sometimes called FRC (Fiber Reinforced Composites) or PMC
(Polymer Matrix composites). FRP has been traditionally used to designate
products manufactured by Hand- or Spray-Lay-Up and PMC appears to be the
most appropriate denomination for the whole category of materials. However
since FRP is the most common term within the civil engineering research
community, we will keep that acronym throughout this report.
The increasing interest for FRP materials is mainly due to the many problems
experienced with civil structures made of conventional materials, such as
concrete decay, steel corrosion or wood corruption. These problems require
increased maintenance operations with relatively high costs for society.
Researchers specialized in civil infrastructures have been investigating the issues
in order to provide practical solutions. One of the research directions has been
to improve design and analysis methods when using the conventional building
materials. Another direction is to improve the mechanical properties and long
term behavior of the materials. A third alternative has been to introduce
materials that are well proven from other industries into the building sector.
This is the case with FRP materials that have been successfully used for decades
in many different industries such as the boat industry, the off shore industry, the
aeronautic industry, etc…
Although a wealth of knowledge on FRP material and their excellent behavior is
available from other industries, it is not possible to transfer the technology and
design methodology straightforward to the Building Construction industry that
has its own design traditions. Moreover, there is a lack of systematic knowledge
on the durability of FRP materials. The Building Industry has higher demands
for low material cost and long service life for structures. Finally, FRP as
anisotropic materials require other stress analysis tools than the ones used for
conventional building materials that are considered isotropic (at least
macroscopically). All these considerations make it obvious that there is an
enormous need for research and methodology development regarding the
applications of FRP for Building Construction.
In view of the many successful applications and promising demonstration
projects using FRP materials recorded around the world, a number of Swedish
organizations decided in 1997 to form an Advisory Board and set up a Research
and Development program (R&D). The R&D program is aimed at promoting
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3
the use of FRP in the Swedish building industry as described by Liljenfeldt
(1998). The Advisory Board consist of the research institute SICOMP specialized
in manufacturing processes of FRP, the Swedish national roadway and railway
administrations, the Civil Buildings Maintenance Department of several
Swedish city councils and some building contractors and consulting companies.
The Advisory Board concluded that the application fields considered to have the
largest potential for Swedish building industry were:
- Repair and strengthening of existing concrete and steel structures
- Design of new pedestrian bridges and enlargement of existing traffic bridges
by “hanging” pedestrian decks on the sides.
- Developing the concept of cast-in-place shells for concrete molding without
steel reinforcement.
1.2 Motivation and goals
The motivation for the Advisory Board to initiate the research on FRP
applications in building construction in Sweden were:
- To help FRP product manufacturers and concrete component manufacturers
find new applications and new products in order to enhance their
competitiveness and expand their business.
- To introduce and evaluate the benefits of FRP for civil structures hence
contributing to a better use of public funds and providing more sound civil
infrastructures.
- To establish SICOMP and the structural engineering department of the Luleå
University of Technology as centers of knowledge for FRP applications in
building construction in Scandinavia.
- To develop design methods for Swedish practitioners towards an efficient and
cost effective use of FRP in building construction.
- To address and ultimately provide some answers to key problems related to
the use of FRP in building construction.
- For SICOMP in particular, to promote and expand the use of the
environment friendly manufacturing process called Vacuum Infusion in the
production of relatively large structures.
As a result two Ph.D. programs were initiated to study commercial applications
of FRP in close collaboration with partners from the building industry. The first
4
Ph.D. program located at the Structural Engineering Department of the Luleå
University of Technology, Sweden concentrates on repair and strengthening of
existing structures. See the report by Carolin (2001) for more details on the
repair and strengthening research activities. The second Ph.D. program focusing
on the design and analysis of new structures, in particular bridges, is supervised
by SICOMP AB, Piteå, Sweden. The present report presents some of the results
from the work on designing FRP bridges. It is expected that the two research
programs will result in at least four commercial applications by the year 2003.
Some of the projects realized so far such as strengthening of bridges, chimneys
and silos are reported at the homepage http://nnc.ce.luth.se.
Within the scope of the Ph.D. program at SICOMP, it was decided in 1999 to
start a research project on the design and analysis of a FRP bridge together with
the Structural Engineering Department of the Luleå University of Technology.
One major goal for the research work at SICOMP in general is to contribute to
an increase of the competitiveness of existing industries by technology transfer.
Therefore, it was decided at an early stage to couple the research project to a real
application involving industries operating in the region. It was found that the
council of the neighboring city of Luleå in northern Sweden was planning for a
pedestrian bridge in a near future. A local FRP manufacturer APC, Luleå,
Sweden was also associated as well as a local department of a major Swedish
contractor NCC. The area where the bridge is to be built is called “Snake Hill”
in Swedish. Therefore, the whole project was labeled “The Snake Hill Bridge
Project”.
The bridge is to cross over a traffic road occasionally used for transportation of
very high objects, which implies the need for a lift bridge or at least that the
bridge’s mid-span is removable. This requirement makes FRP with their
relatively lightweight an excellent alternative material. After studying the Luleå
city council’s usual requirements on cost, aesthetics, functionality, reliability and
environmental concerns for a bridge of this type, some concepts were developed
to provide a viable solution.
The purpose of this report is partly to introduce the use of FRP materials to the
Swedish Building sector and partly to present the results of the preliminary
conceptual design and analysis of the Snake Hill Bridge. The report also includes
a survey of existing FRP bridges around the world and basic principles on design
using FRP as well as related research issues. Finally, the report settles the frame
for a continued research program including a refined design, analysis and
verification of the “Snake Hill bridge”, as well as defining Swedish standards for
bridge components made of FRP.
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1.3 Thesis outline
This report is intended for both bridge engineers and material engineers familiar
with FRP. Our hope is that practicing civil engineers will be able to use sections
2 and 5 as a fast introduction to design and structural analysis using FRP
materials. In the same way, sections 3, 4 and 6 will hopefully provide the FRP
material engineer with basic knowledge of the design philosophy specific to
bridge engineering.
In section 2, FRP as a material class is introduced. Basic constituents like fibers
and resins are described. The most common manufacturing processes are
presented with a special focus on Vacuum Infusion, which is the manufacturing
process of interest for our study. Examples of applications of FRP specific to the
building construction are given.
In section 3, bridge design methodology and terminology are introduced. The
Swedish Bridge Design Code “BRO94” is described with special focus on the
guidelines applicable to FRP pedestrian bridge.
A comprehensive (but certainly not complete) list of existing FRP bridges around
the world is given in section 4. Some available commercial solutions and
research trends are presented.
In section 5, the mechanics of FRP material is presented. The mathematical
tools and methods necessary for structural design using FRP materials and
sandwich constructions are introduced. Moreover, the design of joint for FRP
structural components are looked upon.
In section 6, design criteria and requirements from the client and the Swedish
Road Administration are described, as well as restrictions imposed by the
material, available manufacturing processes and aesthetics. The Swedish national
bridge design code BRO94 is introduced.
Section 7 presents the concept selection procedure for the overall geometry of
the bridge. The preliminary design and analysis of the bridge deck, which is the
core of this thesis, is described here. An attempt is also made to introduce some
proposal for the preliminary design of the remaining structural components.
These components consist of the columns, the guardrails, the wearing surface,
the abutments and the foundations.
Section 8 concludes by presenting some general reflections about the design
proposed by our study. The directions of future work related to this particular
FRP bridge and to the use of FRP in building construction are discussed.
6

2 FIBER REINFORCED POLYMERS: MATERIALS,
MANUFACTURING AND APPLICATIONS CIVIL
INFRASTRUCTURES
Once FRP has been selected in the bridge design, the engineer needs to
determine the most suitable material system. The environmental conditions at
the bridge site will determine the choice of resin and fiber. For instance, if the
bridge is to be used indoors, in a place fairly frequented by people, one of the
basic requirement from most Building Authorities would be the Fire Resistance
of the final structure. Thus, an FRP system including resin and additives for
optimal fire resistance should be selected. If the bridge is located in an corrosive
environment, like a chemical plant, water and waste handling plant or an animal
farm, the FRP chosen would include CR-glass and/or vinyl ester. For a bridge
exposed to impact loads, the FRP material will most probably include Aramid
fibers in order to enhance ductility. In this section, the physical, chemical and
mechanical properties of the most commonly used fibers and resins for
structural building components are described.
2.1 FRP materials
Composite materials are obtained by combining two or more materials with
different mechanical and/or physical properties to obtain a new material better
fitted for a specific purpose. Some reinforcing solid phase is embedded in a
liquid matrix phase, and the whole system is solidified by cooling, applying
pressure and/or through chemical reactions to obtain the final composite
material. The reinforcing part could be a particle, a platelet or a fiber while the
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7
matrix may be metallic, ceramic or polymeric. The present report will essentially
deal with FRP made of some kind of solid fiber reinforcement embedded in a
polymeric matrix to provide a discernible reinforcing function in one or more
directions. The reinforcement carries applied static loads while the matrix
transfers stresses between fibers and protects them from environmental effects.
Section 5.1 introduces the mechanics of FRP. In the following, FRP materials,
the manufacturing processes and some structural civil applications will be
presented. For a more exhaustive study, the reader may consult for instance Hull
(1988), the “Handbook of Polymer Composites” (1998) and Åström (2000).
2.1.1 The fibers
The fibers provide the FRP material with its strength and high stiffness. The
fibers are filaments with a very small diameter in the order of 10 μm. They may
exhibit different mechanical properties in the longitudinal and cross sectional
(transverse) directions. For instance, for carbon and aramid fibers the elastic
modulus (or the fiber strength) in the longitudinal direction denoted E
L
is much
higher than the elastic modulus in the transverse direction denoted E
T
. See
Figure 1 for a description of the coordinate system for a single fiber.ction.
Table 1 presents typical mechanical properties of some common fibers. Strength
and stiffness are given for the longitudinal direction.
Table 1: Average mechanical & physical properties of some fibers
Fiber type Elastic tensile
modulus, E
L

(GPa)
Tensile
strength o
L

(GPa)
Failure strain c
L
(%)
Density µ
(kg/m
3
)
Max.Temp.
T
max

(
o
C)
E glass 69 - 72 2.4 – 3.8 4.5 – 4.9 2550-2600 250-350
S-2 glass 86-90 4.6-4.8 5.4-5.8 2460-2490 250-300
Carbon (HS/S) 160-250 1.4-4.93 0.8-1.9 1700-1900 500-600
Carbon (IM) 276-317 2.3-7.1 0.8-2.2 1700-1830 500-600
Aramid (Kevlar 29) 83 2.5 - 1440 180
Aramid (Kevlar 49) 131 3.6-4.1 2.8 1440 250
The data in Table 1 are from Åström (1999) and Halloway (2000)

8

Figure 1: Coordinates system for a single fiber. 1 indicates the longitudinal
direction while 2 and 3 stand for the transverse direction.
For industrial use, fibers are normally delivered in form of stitched or woven
fabrics or randomly oriented mats. The fibers, short or continuous in each layer
of the fabric will have a certain alignment or orientation, as shown in Figure 2.
In our study, we will deal with structural components made of continuous
aligned fibers.
Glass fibers
Glass fibers are made of silica (SiO
2
) mixed with (mainly) other oxides. The
mixture is melted and extruded into fibers with a diameter of 10 to 20 µm. The
most common glass fiber is the E-glass where “E” stands for electrical. This type
of glass fiber, which is a general-purpose grade, offers excellent electrical
insulation properties. For applications with higher demands on stiffness and
strength, the S-glass is used with “S” denoting strength. There are other types of
glass fiber like the ECR- and the C-glass that offer improved corrosion and
chemical resistance respectively. A- glass exhibits superior alkaline resistance.
Higher requirements on mechanical or physical properties do however increase
the price. Some of the advantages of glass fiber lie in the high strength, very good
tolerance to high temperature and corrosive environments and the relatively low
price. The main disadvantages are the relatively low stiffness (especially when
compared to conventional building materials) and sensitivity to stress corrosion
in humid environments. Glass fibers are usually used in combination with
polyester or vinyl ester matrices in order to obtain lightweight and low cost FRP
structural components. Common industrial applications are some automobile,
truck and bus components, leisure boats, aircraft interiors, electrical equipment
and sporting goods.
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9

Figure 2: Glass fiber woven bi-directional fabric (left) and chopped strand
mat (right)
Carbon fibers
Carbon fibers are usually made of three different kinds of raw materials, namely
rayon, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or petroleum pitch. In the cases of rayon and
PAN, the original textile fibers are usually subjected to different thermal,
mechanical and/or chemical treatment. They are finally sized to a diameter ~ 7
µm. Petroleum pitch is first melted into fibers and then subjected to similar
physical and chemical treatments. The different types of carbon fibers used by
the industry are the HS (High Strength), IM (Intermediate Modulus), HM (High
Modulus) and UHM (Ultra High Modulus). Carbon fibers have higher stiffness
and strength than glass fibers. They exhibit excellent environmental properties
but have a higher price than glass fibers. They are also brittle and conductive.
Carbon fibers are used for applications where excellent mechanical properties
and low weight are the main requirements. Examples are high performance
racing vehicles, yatches, space crafts, aircraft and sporting goods.
10

Figure 3: Carbon fiber roving
Aramid fibers
This type of fiber is an organic fiber, as opposed to carbon and glass fibers that
are inorganic. The most common aramid is known under the trade name Kevlar
commercialized by Du Pont. Aramid is a short for aromatic polyamide. Kevlar is
made from a polymer powder dissolved in sulfuric acid and extruded to a fiber
with a diameter of ~ 12-μm. Aramid fibers have excellent toughness and damage
tolerance properties. They are very difficult to cut, can absorb moisture and are
very expensive. Common applications are impact-prone areas of aircraft, ballistic
armor and some sporting goods.
Other types of fiber
The three types of fibers mentioned above are the most interesting for the
structural components in building construction treated in this report. However,
there are many other fibers and reinforcement materials such as Polyethylene
fibers, boron and ceramic fibers, metal wires and natural fibers such as jute, flax,
copra and wood.

2.1.2 The resins
The term resin or matrix is used to designate the polymer precursor material
and/or mixture with various additives or chemically reactive components. Its
chemical composition and physical properties fundamentally affect the
processing and final properties of the FRP material. Processability, lamina and
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11
laminate properties, composite material performance and long-term durability
are all dependent on the matrix composition. See section 5.1 for a definition of
lamina and laminate. In the following, the most common polymers that are used
as matrices in FRP are described. They are classified into two groups:
thermoplastics that can be semicrystalline or amorphous and thermosets that are
always amorphous. A thermal property of crucial importance for the thermoset,
at least as far as strength and stiffness are concerned, is its glass-transition
temperature T
g
. At this temperature, the thermoset loses its mechanical
properties. For thermoplastics however, the crucial temperature is the melt
temperature T
m
. Semicrystalline thermoplastics can keep their mechanical
properties up to a temperature close to T
m
. The reader interested in a broader
description of resins can consult Åström (2000). Physical and mechanical
properties of some resins are given in Table 2 and Table 3. Although some FRP
components used in the building industry may have a thermoplastic matrix, the
load carrying components studied in the present report use a thermoset as the
matrix unless otherwise specified.
Thermosets
These polymers never melt and are disintegrated when subjected to very high
temperatures. The following three thermosets are the most interesting for
applications in building construction.
Polyesters:
Polyesters are the most commonly used group of thermoset matrix materials with
good mechanical properties combined with a low cost. Unsaturated polyesters
have some drawbacks in form of relatively low temperature and UV-light
tolerance for example. These problems are usually solved in a satisfactory
manner for many applications by the use of additives. The basic building blocks
in polyesters are a diacid with two carboxyl groups and a dialcohol with two
hydroxyl groups. Through a repeated condensation polymerization process, the
polyester is formed with units of 10 to 100 monomers containing unsaturated
carbon-carbon double bonds. These double bonds are the potential site for
further cross-links. The liquid is more or less viscous depending on type and
number of monomers. The monomers, mostly styrene, usually constitute 35-50
% of the weight. Cross-linking occurs through free radical polymerization that is
initiated by the addition of an initiator. The most common initiator is a
peroxide in small amount (1 to 2 %).
One of the disadvantages of polyester is the presence of the volatile unhealthy
styrene. A common way of reducing styrene emission is the use of low weight
12
polyesters; low styrene emission resins or closed “form” processes such as
Vacuum Infusion. Orthophtalic polyester is the most common type of polyester.
It is cheap but exhibits relatively low mechanical properties and poor
environmental resistance. Isophtalic polyester exhibits much better mechanical
and environmental properties but also more expensive. Applications of
polyesters are found in automobile and bus components, leisure boats, high-
speed passenger ships, building panels, beams, pipes, electrical equipment, etc…
Epoxies:
They extend over a family of polymers based on molecules that contain epoxide
groups. An epoxide group is an oxirane structure, a three-member ring with one
oxygen and two carbon atoms. Epoxies are polymerizable thermosetting resins
containing one or more epoxide groups curable by reaction with amines, acids,
amides, alcohols, phenols, acid anhydrides, or mercaptans. They are available in
a variety of viscosities. The advantages of epoxies are high strength and high
modulus, low levels of volatiles, excellent adhesion, low shrinkage, good
chemical resistance, and ease of processing. Their major disadvantages are
brittleness and the reduction of properties in the presence of moisture. The
processing or curing of epoxies is slower than polyester resins. The cost of the
epoxy resin is also significantly higher than that of polyesters. Epoxies are widely
used in resins for prepregs and structural adhesives. They are also extensively
used for strengthening and repair of concrete and steel structures.
Vinyl esters:
The vinyl ester resins were developed to take advantage of both the workability
of the epoxy resins and the fast curing of the polyesters. The vinyl ester has
higher physical properties than polyesters but costs less than epoxies. The acrylic
esters are dissolved in a styrene monomer to produce vinyl ester resins that are
cured with organic peroxides. A composite product containing a vinyl ester resin
can provide high toughness and offer excellent corrosion resistance. One can say
that Vinyl esters lie between polyesters and epoxies as far as properties and cost
are concerned.
Other thermosets
Apart from the thermosets described above, there are some other types that are
used in specific applications. Phenolics for instance are rated for good resistance
to high temperature, good thermal stability, and low smoke generation.
Polyurethanes (PUR) are mainly used with little or no reinforcement and are
common in the automobile industry. Polyamides (PI) with their excellent high
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13
temperature resistance (above 300
o
C for most of them) are used in some
military aircraft applications. Typical mechanical properties of some thermosets
are given in Table 2.
Table 2: Typical mechanical & physical properties of some thermosets after
Åström (2000)
Thermoset type Elastic tensile
modulus E
L

(GPa)
Tensile
strength o
L

(GPa)
Strain to
failure c
L

(%)
Density µ
(kg/m
3
)
Glass
Transition
Temperature
T
g
.
(
o
C)
Thermal
expansion
o
10
–6

o
C
-1
Polyester 3.1-4.6 50-75 1-6.5 1100-1230 70- 55-100
Vinylester 3.1-3.3 70-81 3-8 1120-1130 70-
Epoxy 2.6-3.8 60-85 1.5-8 1100-1200 65-175 45-65
Phenolic 3-4 60-80 1.8 1000-1250 300 25-60
PUR 0.7 30-40 400-450 1200 135 70-100
PI 3.1-4.9 100-110 1.5-3 1430-1890 315-370 25-80

Thermoplastics
Thermoplastics are characterized by their ability to be melted and remolded if
necessary. Some of the most common are polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP),
polyamide (PA), polyethylene terephtalate (PET) and poly ether ether ketone
(PEEK). The applications in structural building construction are rather few from
this group of matrices. PP fibers are currently investigated by some research
groups as short fiber reinforcements in concrete. See for instance work by
Beaudoin (1982). Average mechanical properties of some thermoplastics are
given in Table 3.
Table 3: Average mechanical & physical properties of some thermoplastics
after Åström (2000)
Thermoplastic
type
Elastic tensile
modulus E
L

(GPa)
Tensile strength
o
L

(GPa)
Strain to
failure
c
L
(%)
Density
µ (kg/m
3
)
Glass
Transition
Temperature
T
g
.
(
o
C)
Thermal
expansion
o
10
–6

o
C
-1
PP 1.1-1.6 31-42 100-600 900 165-175 80-100
PA 2 70-84 150-300 1100 180-265 61-100
PEEK 3.2 93 50 1260- 345 40-47
14
Thermoplastic
type
Elastic tensile
modulus E
L

(GPa)
Tensile strength
o
L

(GPa)
Strain to
failure
c
L
(%)
Density
µ (kg/m
3
)
Glass
Transition
Temperature
T
g
.
(
o
C)
Thermal
expansion
o
10
–6

o
C
-1
1320
2.1.3 Miscellaneous
Additives
Additives are often used to improve a particular physical property of a FRP. The
desired effect could be to improve fire or UV resistance or to get better
processability. Sometimes, chemicals called accelerators or retardators are used
to control the speed of curing during the manufacturing process. These additives
or accelerators are usually mixed to the resin prior to the curing. Finally, sp-
called gel-coats are commonly used to enhance the surface protection or the
aesthetic appearance of the finished product.
Hybrid FRP
In some applications, it might be desirable to combine the properties of different
fibers in one structural component. For instance, carbon fibers might be
combined with aramid fibers to design a product in which both high stiffness
and strength as well as excellent impact resistance are required. In this situation,
a multidirectional fabric including both types of fibers will be used. The final
product is called a hybrid composite.
2.2 Manufacturing processes
When choosing the most cost efficient manufacturing technology for a structural
part made of FRP, the following aspects should be taking into consideration:
- The production volume (quantity of components needed)
- The size and geometry of the component
- The required performance (i.e. stiffness and strength per unit weight)
- The required quality on surface finish and tolerances
Selecting the manufacturing process is often based on end-use purpose,
structural requirements, economical and increasingly environmental
considerations. In the following sections, some of the most common
manufacturing processes are presented. Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla. to Fel!
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15
Hittar inte referenskälla. give a schematic description of the presented
manufacturing techniques
2.2.1 Hand Lay-up / Spray Lay-up
In the hand lay up method, the fibers are laid in a male or female mould and the
resin is poured on and spread by means of a roller to facilitate a thorough
impregnation. After completed impregnation, the curing process starts. This
method is one of the most common because no big investments in tools and
machines are required. Still the quality of the final product is good enough for
many applications. Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla. shows a schematic description
of the hand lay-up method. Spray lay up is a variant technique where chopped
fibers and resin are applied by means of a spray gun. These techniques are used
for manufacturing small boats, storage tanks and bathroom interiors. See also
Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla..

Figure 4: Schematic of Hand Lay Up. After http://www.spsystems.com
16
Fibre
Resin Catalyst Pot
Chopper Gun
Optional Gel Coat
Air Pressurised Resin

Figure 5: Schematic of Spray Lay Up. After http://www.spsystems.com
2.2.2 Pultrusion
In this method described in Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla., fibers are pulled
from a creel through a resin bath and then on through a heated die. The die
completes the impregnation of the fiber, controls the resin content and cures the
material into its final shape. The cured profile is then automatically cut to the
desired length. It is possible to put fibers with different angle orientations.
Although pultrusion is a continuous process, mainly producing profiles of
constant cross-section, a variant known as “pull-forming” allows some variation
to be introduced into the cross-section. The process pulls the materials through
the die for impregnation, and then clamps them in a mould for curing. This
makes the process non-continuous, but adaptable to small changes in cross-
section geometry. The industrialized pultrusion process allows the production of
structural sections very similar to those produced with steel such as I-beam,
hollow beam, etc. Pultruded sections are widely used in chemical, military and
offshore applications.
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17
Pulling device
Final product
Resin applicator
Continuous
strand roving
Heated mandrel

Figure 6: Schematic of the pultrusion process

2.2.3 Filament winding
Products manufactured using filament winding are usually hollow, generally
circular or oval sectioned components, such as pipes and tanks. Fiber tows are
passed through a resin bath before being wound onto a mandrel in a variety of
orientations, controlled by the fiber feeding mechanism, and rate of rotation of
the mandrel. This is a fast and economical process with little material waste and
results in products with excellent mechanical properties. Some of the
disadvantages are that only convex shaped components can be manufactured
and axial (longitudinal) fiber orientation is difficult to achieve. See Fel! Hittar
inte referenskälla. for a schematic description of the filament winding process.
18
Moving carrier
Rotating
mandrel
To creel
Nip Rollers
Resin bath
Fibers
Angle of fiber warp controlled by ratio
of carriage speed to rotational speed

Figure 7: Filament winding process
2.2.4 Resin Transfer Molding (RTM)
Fabrics are laid up as a dry stack of materials. These fabrics are sometimes pre-
pressed to the mould shape, and held together by a binder. These “pre-forms”
are then more easily laid into the mould tool. A second top-mould is then
clamped over the first and resin is injected into the cavity. Once all the fabric is
wet out, the resin inlets are closed, and the laminate is allowed to cure. See Fel!
Hittar inte referenskälla. for a schematic of RTM.
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19
Dry Reinforcement
Resin injected
under pressure
Optional
vacuum
assistance
Press or clamps to hold
halves of tool together
Mould tool

Figure 8: The RTM process

2.2.5 Vacuum Infusion (VI)
Vacuum can also be applied to a mould cavity of the type used for the RTM
process, in order to assist resin in being drawn into the fabrics. This is known as
Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection (VARI). Vacuum Infusion (VI) is a variant of
the Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection. In vacuum infusion, the pressure gradient
is created by vacuum at the outlet. The following description of Vacuum
Infusion is essentially based on literature provided by Holmberg (2001).

20
Dry Reinforcement
Mould tool
Peel ply and/or resin
distribution fabric
Resin
Sealing tape
To vacuum pump
Vacuum bag

Figure 9: Vacuum infusion
A schematic of the Vacuum Infusion process is described in Figure 9. When
using Vacuum Infusion, the manufacturing will involve the following steps:
- The fiber reinforcement is placed in the mould.
- The mould is closed using the vacuum bag.
- The resin is let to flow through the reinforcement until total impregnation is
achieved.
- The resin is let to cure.
- Finally, the mould is opened and the product demolded. If needed, the
product will be post-cured in an oven. Some surface finishing work might be
needed if net shape is required.
The description of Vacuum Infusion in this report emphasizes on what a bridge
engineer should think of during the design in order to achieve good quality on
the final product. The interested reader may refer to MIL-Handbook (1997) for
more details. During the design, special attention should be paid to the
following issues:
- Proper design of edges and thickness variations. The geometry for these
details should include a radius to allow for a smooth resin flow and complete
fiber impregnation. This way, resin and/or void rich zones can be avoided.
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21
- Proper selection of resin that can resist very large exothermal in thick parts.
The main advantages of Vacuum Infusion compared to other FRP
manufacturing processes:
- Vacuum Infusion is a closed process, with low styrene emission, which makes
it very environmentally friendly. The styrene emission is well below the
minimum values set by Swedish Health Authorities.
- No strong and stiff thus expensive tooling is required. Vacuum infusion is
very suitable to the production of large products that are made in small
quantities. Both parts with low and high fiber content can be achieved. A
good quality surface on one side of the part is very well feasible.
- Vacuum Infusion offers one of the best alternative for large components with
flexible geometry and requirements on cost effectiveness. Architects and
designers can conceive shapes that will be hard or expensive to achieve with
concrete or steel.
- It is possible to produce FRP components with various fiber volume contents
within the range 15 to 65 %.
- If required, small tolerances can be achieved using stiff tooling. Special
tooling can be used to ensure small tolerances in specific areas of the
component.
- Improved consistency of the product properties (properties are less dependent
on the craftsmanship of the employee). This can enable use of lower design
safety factors, resulting in a more efficient design.

Although Vacuum Infusion has proven to be an excellent manufacturing process
for FRP structural components, it also presents some few disadvantages:
- Some scrap components might be manufactured prior to obtaining a part
with good quality. This may increase the total cost of the final product. The
overall quantity waste material is bigger than that due to pultrusion for
instance.
- In sandwich structures, honeycomb cannot be used straightforward. A sealing
foil in order to avoid infiltration of the resin into the honeycomb.
- Net shape manufacture is rare with vacuum infusion. Usually edges need to
be trimmed. In addition, the foil side of the part can have sharp ridges of
22
resin due to folds in the foil. In some cases, these ridges need to be removed
by sanding.
Furthermore, the following drawbacks can occur during Vacuum Infusion.
These can be avoided if the work is performed by a skilled and experienced
team:
- There are no control tools that can be used to assist the workshop employees.
For example mistakes in laying down the dry reinforcement can not be
identified before the injection starts. Therefore, good skill is necessary for a
successful placement of the reinforcement.
- Sensitivity to leakage, which makes the process critical for mistakes. Any
source of leakage must be taken care of before resin injection starts.
- A good surface finish can be difficult to achieve especially when thin and
thick laminates are combined. Skilful workmanship can minimise the
occurrence of wrinkles before resin injection. Unevenness in the final surface
shape can be trimmed off.
The manufacturing process affects the mechanical, physical and durability
properties of the final structural component. For instance, when using filament
winding, it is usually not possible to align the fibers in the 0
o
-orientation. When
using Vacuum Infusion, it is difficult to obtain a fiber volume fraction over
60%. Pultrusion does not permit a varying cross section in the longitudinal
direction. Finally, the Spray Lay Up can result in a poor laminate quality and
low fiber content. It may also give a poor thickness tolerance. It is thus
important for the structural designer to have some knowledge of the process that
will be used to manufacture the component.
Vacuum Infusion is the manufacturing process that SICOMP is specialized at. It
is also the process of interest for the bridge deck described in this report.
2.3 Applications of FRP in Civil Infrastructures
Military and aerospace applications were the early driving forces for the
development and use of FRP. During the last three decades or so, FRP have also
been used for manufacturing leisure boats, some parts in cars and heavy vehicles,
sporting goods and infrastructure facilities. When mentioning infrastructure
facilities, we refer to two categories. In the first category, we consider private and
public houses and facilities, industrial sites, bridges, waterfronts, dams, etc. In
the second category, we consider pipes, tanks, electrical masts, lightning poles
and so on. FRP are extensively used for producing components mentioned
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23
under the second category. In the following, we will concentrate on products
classified under the first category.
The range of applications of FRP in civil infrastructures and building
construction is very wide. FRP applications in building construction can be
classified in primary structures, secondary structures and Retrofit, Repair and
Rehabilitation. Some examples are found in housing, masts, pipelines and
walkways. In bridge applications, FRP are mostly encountered as internal
reinforcements instead of conventional steel in some special cases. See the report
Composites for Infrastructure (1998). Carbon FRP are used as tendons and
cables in suspension bridges. Glass FRP enclosures serve for protection against
moisture to bridge decks.
One of the most spread applications of FRP in bridge construction today are
however found in external repair, strengthening and retrofitting of existing
bridges made of conventional building materials such as concrete and steel. The
interested reader will find a wealth of information on this topic by consulting
Täljsten (19xx) or Karbhari (1998).
The pultrusion industry offers off-shells FRP profiles similar to conventional
steel profiles. These pultruded profiles are used in many Short- and Medium size
bridges. In the USA, pultrusion companies such as Strongwell and Owens-
Cornings provide pultruded profiles and bridge deck panels that are being used
in some bridge replacement projects. In Europe, The Fiberline company has
been promoting the design of FRP bridges as described in Section 4.2. Several
manufacturers involved in FRP bridge projects are also presented in Table 4.
2.3.1 Primary FRP building components
FRP bridges: Entire bridges or primary components such as decks, girders,
columns or towers have been made of FRP. This class of primary FRP building
components is described in more details in Section 4.
The Naval Training Base in Fort Storey, VA, USA, a 19 meter-tall stair-tower was
entirely made of FRP pultruded profiles. It is designed to resist hurricane loads.
Glass fiber and fire retardant polyester were used.
Glass fiber and fire retardant polyester were also used to manufacture the
world’s largest FRP stack liners.
Many pier decks have been made of FRP in the USA. One of them was placed at
the Navy’s Advanced Waterfront Technology Test Site in Port Hueneme, CA in
1994. The 48-meter long deck is made of FRP beams with dimensions 6 m x 5.6
x 1.6 m. Glass fiber and isophtalic polyester was used. The same year, a 483 m
24
long pier deck made of FRP was installed at Huntington Beach. Glass fiber and
isopolyester was used for the girders. The gratings constituting the walking
surface were covered with a special silica-epoxy bonded layer. At the
inauguration, close to ½ millions people walked on the structure. It is designed
for the Federal Highway specification HS20 and can support a three-axle truck
with a load of 15 tons.
The Arch Antennae is an 25 m high, 49 m clear span, fiberglass tripod used by
the US Naval Station at Point Loma, CA, USA. FRP was selected for its unique
combination of strength and RF transparency. Additional advantages were the
corrosion resistance and low maintenance need.
In 1999, The Eyecatcher building was installed as the tallest ever residential or
office building made of FRP. The building was 14.5 m long with 5 stores. The
ground area was 10 x 12 m. The structural system was a framwork and the load-
bearing capacity was 3 kN/m
2
. Glass fiber and isophtalic polyester were use to
manufacture the pultruded profiles.
2.3.2 Secondary FRP building components
Translucent FRP siding panels have been used in the facades of many buildings,
thus increasing the aesthetic appearance of the building. They are also used in
roof monitor panels. To prevent corrosion and minimize future maintenance
problems, FRP wall panels are often used to cover entire facades. FRP drop
ceilings are also used for the same purpose in some interiors subjected to
corrosive environment.
Water storage tanks made of FRP are used instead of steel to store highly
aggressive soft water. FRP tanks have also been used for fuel storage for their
excellent durability properties. A fuel tank made of glass fiber and isophtalic
polyester was buried together with conventional steel tanks in Schaumburg, IL,
USA in 1964. It was excavated 26 years later in 1990, when it was time to
replace the steel tanks. It was found out that the FRP tank was structurally
sound and was buried again for further use.
The Eurotunnel connecting Great Britain to France is considered to be the
largest single application site for FRP pultruded profiles existing today. More
than 3600 tons of FRP profiles were used to support 1300 km of electrical
facilities and to provide walkways for the maintenance personal. FRP were
selected instead of steel for higher resistance to saline corrosion, safety in fire
conditions, easy installation, minimum maintenance and overall cost. Glass fiber
and modified acrylic resin were used.
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25
Another use of huge volumes of pultruded FRP profiles is found along the 280
km long walkways at the Elevated Train Tracks of the New York City Transit
facilities. FRP were preferred to wood and steel because they, among other
things, offered better working safety for the railway maintenance workmanship.
Glass fiber and polyester are used and the surface was coated with epoxy.
The examples of primary and secondary structural FRP components abound.
The interested reader may consult the reports “FRP Composites in Construction
Applications” (1995) and “Composites for Infrastructure”.
2.3.3 Strengthening and Repair
As mentioned in section 1.1, the retrofit, strengthening and repair of civil
structures made of conventional building materials is an established engineering
practice in the US and Japan. See Karbhari (1998). In Europe, the Swiss research
institute EMPA is a pioneer with comprehensive research that led to established
commercial applications. The interested reader may find more about EMPA at
http://www.empa.ch. In England, the group Mouchel provides commercial
solutions for structural repair and strengthening. The interested reader may find
more about Mouchel at http://www.mouchel.com.
In Sweden the building contractor Stabilator carries on strengthening work on
an industrial basis. The methodology is incorporated in the Swedish bridge
design code BRO94 thanks to work conducted by Täljsten (1998). In Sweden,
comprehensive research work has been made by Täljsten (1997) in developing
technical tools for the strengthening of RC structures in bending. Carolin
(2001) has investigated some case applications of strengthening RC in Sweden.

26
3 BRIDGE DESIGN: METHODOLOGY,
TERMINOLOGY AND THE SWEDISH CODE
3.1 Bridge design methodology
Bridges are essential for the good functioning of transportation in all modern
economy. They are also subjected to very high traffic safety measures and usually
require enormous investments from taxpayers for building and maintenancre.
Therefore, the design and building of bridges is regulated by codes in most
countries. The Swedish national design code is known as BRO94 and is basically
set up in the same manner as its American equivalent, AASHTO.
3.1.1 The bridge design process
In general, the bridge design process will involve over the following 3 main steps:
- Establishing design requirements from the client. Usually the client will
provide exact data about the geographical position of the location, the
climatic conditions (temperature and RH), water flow if the bridge is to cross
over a river, extent and nature of traffic to go on the future bridge and if that
is the case, on the underlying road. Then a bidding process takes place
through which different design firms will compete on offering the best
solution, with regards to function, aesthetics and economy.
- In order to deliver a proposal, the engineering team evaluates a concept for
the geometry and materials to be used. Next, a suitable structural load-
carrying model is discussed. Some initial input data are required at this level.
Often, these data are obtained from a similar bridge submitted to equivalent
loading conditions and the optimal result is computed through iterations.
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27
- Producing the final documents, after a refined analysis, that will be used by
the contractor to actually build the bridge. Prior to construction work,
verification and quality control are carried on.
The main task of the bridge structural engineer is usually to produce the
appropriate design for the primary structural components of the superstructure
(deck guardrails and wearing surface). The design of the primary structural
components of the substructure (columns, abutments and foundations) may also
involve the structural engineer. Through these steps, the designer will specify all
the static and dynamic loads that the bridge will be subjected to. Next, drawings
are produced to illustrate the overall shape of the bridge and the different
components. Different concepts regarding material, geometry and aesthetics are
compared and a preliminary cost analysis is performed. The selected concept will
then undergo a refined analysis to accurately determine the state of stress in the
structural bridge system. Most ground fortification and ground leveling work is
usually done by engineers specialized in geotechnics. During the bridge
production phase, structural engineers might be consulted for verification, and
sometimes modification of the initial design.

3.1.2 Key factors
The most decisive factors that affect the selection of the bridge design are the
following:
- Functionality
The primary function of the bridge is to allow for the transportation of people
and goods in a safe and reliable manner.
- Cost
The function of the bridge should be achieved at the minimum possible cost for
taxpayers. A Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of different bridge alternatives should clearly
show which solution is economically optimal. The LCC includes the original
investment related to the bridge building, all expected maintenance costs
throughout the bridge’s service life and other costs such as traffic disturbance
during construction and maintenance work.
- Aesthetics
A bridge can alter a landscape by its mere presence. Once built, an expensive
and ugly bridge can hardly be replaced before the end of its service life, which is
often above a century. The visual experience of the bridge by users and people
travelling close to it is important and therefore, its aesthetics play an important
role during the design procedure.
- Environmental related issues
28
Finally, it has become increasingly important to investigate the environmental
impact of bridges. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) are made in order to evaluate the
impact of different bridge concepts and material alternatives on the
environment.
3.2 Bridge classification and bridge components
3.2.1 Bridge classification
A bridge is in a general manner defined as a man made load-bearing structure
that enables people and goods to travel across a physical hinder. There are
different ways of classifying bridges. The most common classification methods
are described below.
- Depending on the type of traffic, a bridge can be classified as road traffic,
railway or tramway bridge or bike and pedestrian bridge. Special cases
belonging to this classification are aqueduct and self-assembly military bridge.
- When referring to the main structural materials, bridges are called stone or
brick bridges, wood bridges, steel bridges, aluminum bridges, FRP bridges or
composite action bridges where 2 or more materials constitute the structural
components of the bridge deck. Composite action bridge materials are often
a combination of steel and concrete.
- If the structural load bearing system is considered, bridges are classified as
girder bridges, frame bridges, arch bridges, suspension bridges or cable stayed
bridges. There exist many variations derived from these main groups.
- The legal ownership is sometimes used to classify bridges. In Sweden, there
exist state owned bridges, municipal bridges and private bridges.
- Bridges are also sometimes classified depending on whether they are
stationary, movable or floating. Movable bridges are a type of bridge were
some span section of the bridge can be moved in order to allow for
transportation of very high objects beneath. Depending on the span moving
system, these bridges are called swing bridges, bascule bridges, span drive
bridges or vertical lift bridges.

3.2.2 Structural load-carrying system
There are three main principles for defining the structural bearing system of a
bridge. Other alternatives are derived from these main principles. These
principles utilize different ways of transferring loads to the ground. The
following description is based on work by Sundquist (1995).
- The “structural beam system” is the simplest and often the most practical
method. The beam’s or plate’s top face is mainly under compression while
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29
the bottom face is under tension. The beam structural system is usually used
for total bridge lengths up to 200 m. Above this length, the dead load of the
superstructure makes the system less efficient. However, by using a
continuous beam system, up to 300 m long bridges can be built using this
system. In combination with the use of structural console framework, bridges
over 500 m long have been built.
- When the bridge length is over 200 m and the ground conditions are
suitable, the “arch structure” is very convenient and an aesthetically
appealing bridge type. The loads are essentially transferred to the ground by
compression action. The longest bridges of this type are roughly over 500 m.
- For even longer bridges, with lengths over 800 m, the “structural suspension
system” is the most efficient. In this method, the load transfer to the ground
occurs mainly through tension action. The longest bridges of this type are
around 2000 m long.
- A variant of the “structural beam system” that is commonly used for relatively
long bridges is the “cable stayed bridge”. Bridges nearly 900 m long have
been built using this method.
There is no general rule for selecting structural system based on length solely. A
combination of length, material, ground conditions as well as economical and
aesthetic considerations will usually affect the structural system selection.

3.2.3 Bridge components
Bridges are normally subdivided into superstructure and substructure. These
parts are made of the bridge components as described in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Details of super- and substructure
Superstructure
30
The superstructure constitutes the part of the bridge that is in direct contact
with the traffic surface. It consists of the wearing surface, the deck, the girders
and the guardrails. Another definition is that all components that are above the
bottom face of the deck (or the beams under the deck) are part of the
superstructure. Bearings, joints between deck segments, girders and plates are all
part of the superstructure. In the case of an arch bridge, the arches are part of
the superstructure. Even other utilities such as drainage equipment are
considered as part of the superstructure.
Substructure
All components needed to transfer stresses to the ground are part of the
substructure. This includes the abutments and the columns. Footings and
ground reinforcement plates are also part of the substructure. Other
components that are part of the substructure are the earth or water retaining
walls.
3.3 The Swedish bridge design code BRO 94
The Swedish BRO94 regulates bridge design in a similar way as AASHTO, its
American equivalent. BRO94 is based on the national building construction
code “Boverket” issued by the Swedish National Housing Board (1996). One of
the main purposes of the code is to provide the bridge engineer with an
adequate tool for minimizing risks and cost. The code is developed from the
theory of reliability and some other concepts described below. This resulted in
the so-called Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) methodology used in
most national bridge design codes. During the design procedure, some initial
material and geometry are assumed for a structural sub-component, a
component or a whole system. Then the state of stresses is analyzed and the
material and geometry are varied until the Ultimate Limit State (ULS) is
fulfilled. Finally, the design is verified using the Service Limit State (SLS) and the
Accidental Loads Limit State (ALLS). The design procedure is described in
Figure 11. The concepts presented in sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 are derived from
the national building construction code “Boverket” issued by the Swedish
National Housing Board (1996).
3.3.1 The concept of Limit State
The Ultimate Limit State, also called Strength Criteria, considers the limit at
which a structure becomes unusable under normal loading conditions. The
Service Limit State or Service Criteria, is the limit under which the structure
does function in a satisfactory manner. This limit could be indicated by the
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31
presence of excessive deflection, vibrations and oscillations, visible cracking of
the material or other aesthetic defects. Finally, the Accidental Load Limit State
(ALLS) or Performance Criteria takes into account unusual loads that could
cause a fatal damage. Accidental load can be Vehicular Collision Load (VCL)on
a column or loads from acts of vandalism.

Figure 11: Schematic of bridge design steps
3.3.2 Safety Factor and Partial Safety Factors
The notion of safety is central to the bridge design philosophy and will therefore
be presented briefly in the following. The notions introduced are mainly based
on work by Sundquist (1994) and Xanthakos (1994).
Safey Factor
The expression “Safety Factor” is used to define the level of guaranteed safety for
a bridge under a specific set of loads. The Safety Factor concept is based on the
assumption that the quantities S, or loads acting on a bridge, and R, the
resistance of materials, components or structural systems in the bridge, are
32
deterministic. In reality, both are stochastic. If we consider a given distribution
of load effects, the corresponding probability of failure can be minimized by
increasing the resistance. An expression of the safety margin is given as Y = R –S.
Failure occurs for a negative value of Y, which is associated to a probability of
failure P
f
. The stochastic value Y has a mean value Y
-
and a standard deviation
o
Y
. The parameter Y
-
/o
Y
is called the safety index. Since strengths and loads vary
independently, a safety factor | or ¸
f
is associated to load effects and a safety
factor ¸ or ¸
m
to material resistance.
Partial Safety factor
Since total safety implies unreasonably high costs, the concept of Partial Safety is
adopted instead. The Partial Safety method is based on available statistical data
on both S
k
and R
k
. S
k
and R
k
are called characteristic values. To account for the
uncertainty related to their stochastic nature, their values are taken from normal
distribution curves. Hence, S
k
is taken as the 5 % highest values on the
distribution of statistically known applied loads while R
k
represents the 5 %
lowest fractal on the distribution of the resistance values as described in Figure
12.

Figure 12: Strength and resistance distributions
Partial Safety Factors ¸ are used to account for uncertainties. Some of the
uncertainties considered are:
- The uncertainty on the highest magnitude of the loads expected over the
bridge’s service life.
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33
- Inaccuracies in calculations and assumed mathematical model
- Defects and variations in material properties
- Mistakes during the construction work
- How serious is the impact of a of total structural collapse with respect to
economical and human casualties
For every occurring load that is considered, the following equation must be
satisfied:
or where and
k k
k S d d d d k S
R R
R R
S R S R S S ¸ ¸
¸ ¸
> > = = (1)
The subscript d stands for the design value. All ¸ are derived from sub-
coefficients as described below:
1 2 3
for the material or component resistance value
R R R R n
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ =
where ¸
R1
accounts for uncertainties other than those related to the
stochastic nature of R
k
. e.g. the geometric differences between the design
and the real structure, ¸
R2
stands for uncertainties on calculations and
theoretical model, ¸
R3
relates to uncertainties related to variations in work
execution and ¸
n
that considers the consequence and nature of a potential
failure.
1 2
for the values of the loading
S S S
¸ ¸ ¸ =
where ¸
S1
accounts for uncertainties on the load that are time dependent
and ¸
S2
accounts for uncertainties on the loading model and related
calculations.
Characteristic values of material, components and structural system resistance
are given in national material design handbooks such as the Swedish Concrete
Handbook BBK94 (1994), Steel Handbook BKR94 (1994) or the Structural
Wood Handbook (Träbyggnadshandboken 1994). Characteristic values of
applied loads on bridge structures are given in BRO94.
3.3.3 Design loads
There are different methods of classifying the loads that are applied to a bridge.
In one type of classification, we distinguish between gravity related and non-
gravity related loads. In a second classification method, we distinguish between
natural loads, human activity induced loads and loads caused by the action-
34
reaction within the structure. Finally, we can classify loads into permanent loads
(dead load of structure), transient loads (traffic, wind, snow) and accidental
loads. The last-mentioned classification method will be used to describe the
design loads. All the information described throughout the sections Design
loads and 3.3.4 are collected from BRO 94, section 2.
Permanent loads
- DL or Dead Load. This is the load imposed by the weight of the structural
components of the superstructure, including guard-rails and other accessories.
For these loads, BRO94 gives standard figures for conventional building
materials. For instance, for reinforced concrete, DL = 24 kN/m
3
, for steel DL
= 77 kN/m
3
and for pinewood and spruce wood DL = 6 kN/m
3
.
- WSL or Wearing Surface Load. For this load, BRO94 gives figures ranging
from 0.2 kN/m
2
to 3.5 kN/m
2
depending on a specific table of weight
category.
- EPL or Earth Pressure Load. Normally, EPL is applied to foundations and
abutments. The load is obtained by multiplying the density of the earth
material by a factor specifying whether the case is “earth pressure at rest”,
“active earth pressure” or “passive earth pressure”. These data are specified in
Table 21-1. In table 21-2, account is taken for the presence of slope.
- SSL or Support Settlement Load. In BRO94, it is required to verify the bridge
structure for the worst case of horizontal or vertical support settlements or
combination of support settlements. SSL = 10 mm in horizontal or vertical
direction and per support.
- CL = Creep Load and RL = Relaxation Load are other types of permanent
loads typical to bridges. These time dependent loads are also material specific
and can be found in material design handbooks.
Transient loads
Traffic Loads are given for different traffic conditions. The most relevant in our
study are:
- PL or Pedestrian Load
- SCVL or Snow Clearance Vehicle Load
- FL or Fatigue Load
- VBL or Vehicle Breaking Load
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35
- VSL or Vehicle Side Load
- SL = Snow load. Depends on the region where the bridge will be located and
the shape of the area upon which the snow rests.
- UTVL or Uniform Temperature Variation Load
- GTVL or Gradient Temperature Variation Load
- WL or Wind Load
- LG or Loads on Guard-rails
Accidental loads
- VCL = Vehicular Collision Load with regard to the columns. This applies to
cases where the columns are located less than 10 m away from the outer
limits of an underlying traffic road. F = 1000 kN and 500 kN should be
applied on the column 1 m above the traffic surface, in traffic direction and
transverse to traffic direction respectively
- UTL or Unexpected Traffic Load accounts for unauthorized vehicular traffic
that might take place
3.3.4 Load combinations
In real life, the loads mentioned above seldom occur alone. What is often
observed is a combination of various loads. Therefore, a system of Load
Combinations has been developed to account for the worst possible cases of load
combinations. Loads are reduced by means of a so-called Reduction Factor +. +
accounts for the probability that a certain load occurs in a given set of loads.
Equation (2) describes the general form of a load combination.
( ) ( ) ( )
1 2
1 2
: .....
n
n
LC I S S S = +¸ + +¸ + + +¸ (2)
In the design table 22-1, from BRO 94, values of +¸ are given instead of only +.
¸ is the Partial Safety Factor as explained in section 3.3.2. The most relevant load
combinations for a pedestrian bridge are listed below.
Load Combination IV:A
This is the main load combination for the Ultimate Limit State. It describes the
maximum possible load the bridge will ever have to support. Statistically, this
load combination might occur a couple of times under the bridge’s service life.
All permanent loads are summed after multiplying them with the adequate +¸.
A maximum of four transient loads that give the worst possible load
36
combination are then added to the case. The highest transient load is multiplied
by the highest value of +¸.

( )
( )
: 1.05 1.2 1 1
1.5 0.7 0.7 0.7
LC IV A DL WSL SSL CL
PL SL WL GTVL
= + + + +
+ + + +
(3)
The terms in the first parenthesis include permanent loads and those in the
second parenthesis, transient loads. The load causing the highest stresses of the
Pedestrian Load PL and the Snow Clearance Vehicle Load SCVL is used in the
second parenthesis of the equation above. Here we assume that PL is the higher
load.
Load Combination V:A
This is the main loading case in the Service Limit State. It expresses the
maximum load the bridge will have to carry in normal working conditions. It is
given by:

( )
( )
: 1.05 1.2 1 1
1 0.7 0.7 0.7
LC V A DL WSL SSL CL
PL WL SL GTVL
= + + + +
+ + + +
(4)
Load Combination V:B
This combination is used to investigate the effect of long-term loading such as
relaxation. Creep and crack formation are also controlled using this LC.
( ) : 1 1 1 1 0.3 LC V B DL WSL SSL CL PL = + + + + (5)
Load Combination V:C
This load combination is used to verify maximum deflection and movements of
bridge deck’s free ends.
: max( , ) LC V C PL SVCL = (6)
To account for the deflection due to self-weight (DL + WSL), the deck is built
with a corresponding initial rise.
Load Combination VI:
This is used to investigate fatigue. According to section 42.43 of BRO94, it is
not necessary to investigate the fatigue impact of traffic on a pedestrian bridge.
However, for the completeness of our study and since FRP materials are not
discussed in BRO94, a simple fatigue analysis will be conducted for the Snake
Hill Bridge. The model used to analyze the fatigue behavior for conventional
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37
building materials will not be used. For FRP materials, maximum strain level
offers a better model for fatigue analysis as recommended by the Military Design
Handbook (1998).
Load Combination VII
This case is used to analyze the structure’s egeinfrequency. DL and WSL are used
to compute the natural frequencies.
Load Combination VIII
This load combination is used to analyze the structure for accidental loads. Two
cases of accidental loads are of interest in the case of our pedestrian bridge:
- A Vehicular Collision Load VCL on the bridge columns is considered. It is
applied horizontally as a concentrated load of 1000 kN and 500 kN parallel
respectively transverse to the traffic direction on the underlying road.
- A concentrated load of 155 kN on two wheels with an area 0.6 m x 0.2 m
each, across the deck.
3.3.5 Design verification
During the design of a bridge using conventional construction materials such as
concrete and steel, the primary structural design will be based on LC IV:A. In
other words, the structure is designed for strength. Once the strength criterion is
satisfied, all remaining load combinations are used to verify the design.
However, previous design experiences with FRP, as described by Lei Zhao
(1999) and Demitz (1999), show that the design is stiffness driven. This means
that load combination LC V:C will be used first and all other LC will serve for
design verification purposes. LC V:C is used to verify the following:
- Maximum deflection should be s L/400, where L is the span length. Load
combination LC V is used.
- Minimum eigenfrequency > 3.5 Hz. Load combination LC V is used.
Life expectancy should be 40, 80 or 120 years. 40 years is the normal
requirement for wooden bridges. Load combination VI that is associated to
fatigue would normally be used to assess of the bridge’s service life.

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1
4 SURVEY OF EXISTING FRP BRIDGES
As described in section 2.3.3, retrofitting, strengthening and repair of existing
concrete, steel or wood structures, FRP materials are now used on a commercial
basis. The use of FRP as internal reinforcement, tendons and cables is also
expanding as described in Composites for Infrastructure (1998). In this section,
we will present some applications of FRP materials as primary structural
members for new bridges. FRP materials have been used to build demonstration
bridges for the last two to three decades with appreciable success. In the listed
bridges, components such as beams, columns, decks, panels or whole bridge
systems are made of FRP. When available, the following information will be
given: Physical dimensions of the bridge and or FRP components,
manufacturing method, structural system and bridge bearing class.
To the author’s knowledge, there is no available database on all FRP bridges that
have been constructed worldwide to date. Hence, no claim is made as of the
completeness of the list presented in this report. Some universities, research
institutes and other organizations working with FRP in bridges as well as
companies providing commercial solutions are also presented in this section.
4.1 Common structural systems used for FRP bridges
The most common structural system among existing FRP bridges is the simply
supported beam System. In most cases, a FRP deck rests on girders made of
conventional building materials. In some few cases, even the girders are made of
FRP materials. This is due to the fact that most FRP bridges to date are Short-
and Medium size bridges. The simply supported beam system is suitable for
short spans.
2
For bridges longer than 40 m, the cable-stayed structural system has been used.
Tendons or cables often made of FRP are used to stiffen the bridge deck. This
system allows for design of bridges over 130 m long. The draw back remains is
the difficulty to achieve requirements on dynamic properties.
When pultruded profiles are the main structural FRP materials, trusses, Rigid
Space Frame, and Space Arch have been used. However, the esthetical
possibilities of these systems are limited.
Sandwich construction is also used as the structural system for FRP bridge decks.
The sandwich as a structural system is suitable were weight saving is a big issue.
However, if the design is applied to vehicular bridges, the result will be a
relatively deep deck section. This is not considered very appealing aesthetically.
4.2 FRP bridges round the world and case studies
In the next section, a survey is presented over FRP bridges that have been built
around the world.
4.2.1 List of FRP bridges
In order to shortly present the bridges and at the same time give enough basic
information, the data are presented in Table 4. When available, the following
information is presented:
- The year of completion or installation of the bridge
- The bridge’s name and or location
- The owner, installer designer and/or manufacturer
- Technical data such as length, width, structural system, load bearing capacity
and wearing surface material
- FRP structural components
- Comments on type of bridge or other interesting details


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3
Table 4: List of bridges including FRP parts as primary structural component
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
6

Chatham Bay
Bridge/Sekie,
WA, USA
Manufacturer:
American Wood
Laminators, Drain,
OR, USA
2
0
0

f
t
.

(
6
0

m
)

n
/
a

n
/
a

n
/
a

n
/
a

Beams FiRP¹
FRP/Glulam
First vehicular bridge built with
FRP-glulam girders.
1
9
9
5

Clallam Bay
Bridge(2)/
Sekie, WA,
USA
Designer: Western
Wood Structures,
Tualatin, OR, USA
Manufacturer:
American Wood
Laminators
8
2

f
t
.


(
2
5

m
)

n
/
a

2
-
s
p
a
n

c
o
n
t
i
n
u
o
u
s


A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5

n
/
a

Beam/column
FiRP¹ Engin
eered wood
made by
Pultrusion
Vehicular bridge
1
9
8
2

Miyun Bridge/
Beijing, China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
6
7
.
9

f
t
.

(
2
0
.
7

m
)

3
7
.
3

f
t
.

(
1
1
.
4

m
)

B
o
x

B
e
a
m

n
/
a

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck/Beams
Box girder
made by Hand
Layup
FRP components removed from
the vehicular bridge several
years after installation. Weight of
entire superstructure only 1/5th
of a conventional RC bridge.
1
9
8
6

Chongqing
Communicatio
n Institute
Bridge/
Chongqing,
China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
1
6
4
.
2

f
t
.

(
5
0
m
)

1
4
.
4

f
t
.

(
4
.
4
m
)

C
a
b
l
e
-
s
t
a
y
e
d

s
i
n
g
l
e

t
o
w
e
r

7
1
.
5

l
b
/
f
t
2

(
3
.
5

k
N
/
m
2
)

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck/Beams
Box girder
made by Hand
Layup
Pedestrian bridge superstructure
designed using a single inclined
pylon cable stayed system.
Tower height 36.2 ft. (11 m).
Box structure composed of FRP
honeycomb core sandwich
plates.
4
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
8
8

Chenjiawan
Bridge/Chongq
ing, China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
5
0
.
5
m

1
4
m

R
i
g
i
d

S
p
a
c
e

F
r
a
m
e

4

k
N
/
m
2

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck/Beams
Box girder
made by Hand
Layup
3-legged spatial frame designed
using conventional RC material,
and 3 of the pedestrian bridge
beams made of FRP materials.
1
9
8
8

Guanyinqiao
Bridge,
Chongqing,
China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
1
1
4
.
4
m

4
.
4
m

R
i
g
i
d

S
p
a
c
e

F
r
a
m
e

4
.
5

k
N
/
m
2

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck/Beams
Box girder
made by Hand
Layup
Designed using the rigid space
frame with pedestrian bridge
suspended from the frame
system at mid-height.
1
9
9
2

Panzhihua
Bridge/
Panzhihua,
China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
2
4

m

3

m

S
p
a
c
e

A
r
c
h

3
.
5

k
N
/
m
2

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck made by
Hand Layup
Pedestrian bridge designed
using a rigid space arch from
concrete materials and parts of
main span with FRP materials.

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5
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
3

Chuanmian
Bridge/
Chengdu,
China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Glass
Fiber Product Factory
& New Material
Factory of Wuhan
Industry Univ.
1
0
.
6

m

5

m

N
o
n
-
S
y
m
m
e
t
r
i
c

C
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e

A
r
c
h

8
4

k
N
/
m
2

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck made by
Hand Layup
Pedestrian bridge designed
using a non-symmetric arch
system with the center span
made from FRP materials.
1
9
9
3

Xiangyang
Bridge/
Chengdu,
China
Designer: Wuhan
Industry Univ., China
Manufacturer:
Chongquing Factory
of Wuhan Industry
Univ., China
5
0

m

4

m

N
o
n
-
S
y
m
m
e
t
r
i
c

C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

4

k
N
/
m
2

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck made by
Hand Layup
Pedestrian bridge including a
main structural arch that
consists of RC and FRP
materials. First FRP bridge to
cross a river in China.
1
9
9
6

Haleakala
Crater Bridge
(2)/ Maui,
Hawaii, USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, USA

1
2
.
2

m


8
0

2
4
.
4

m


1
.
2

m


1
.
2

m

P
r
a
t
t

t
r
u
s
s

H
o
w
e

t
r
u
s
s

s
y
s
t
e
m

n
/
a

F
R
P

/

w
o
o
d

Beam
Longspan
Prestel¹
made by
pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge. A triple beam
with top and bottom chord and
double vertical posts and
diagonal members were
selected for increased strength
and stiffness.
6
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
6

Haleakala
Crater Bridge/
Maui, Hawaii,
USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, USA
1
2
.
2

m

1
.
8

m

P
r
a
t
t

t
r
u
s
s

H
o
w
e

t
r
u
s
s

s
y
s
t
e
m

n
/
a

F
R
P

/

w
o
o
d

Beam profiles
& shapes
Prestel¹
made by
pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge. FRP chosen
due to corrosion resistance to
the tropical environment, low
maintenance and ease of
fabrication in an acceptable site.
1
9
9
3

Hurricane
Bridge (5)/
Hurricane,
WV, USA
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, US

1
9
.
2

m



1
8
.
3

m


1
2
.
2

m


2
.
9

m


2
.
9

m


2
.
9

m

n
/
a

6
.
9

k
N
/
m
2

l
i
v
e

l
o
a
d


F
R
P

p
u
l
t
r
u
d
e
d

g
r
a
t
i
n
g

Deck and
beams
Pultex¹
structural
profiles
Prestel¹
made by
pultrusion
FRP selected for the pedestrian
bridge due to the highly
corrosive environment at the
chemical plant's wastewater
treatment facility. Bridge
components delivered to the site
in one piece and installed using
a crane.
1
9
9
7

Laurel Lick
Bridge
RT.26/6/ Lewis
County, WV,
USA
Designer:
WVU/CFC,
Morgantown, WV,
WVDOT-DOH,
District 7
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, US
6
.
1

m

4
.
9

m

S

S

b
e
a
m
s

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
0

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e


7
6

m
m

t
h
i
c
k

Deck and
beams
Superdeck¹,
I-Beams
Prestel¹
made by
pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge. (203 mm)
deep, interlocking panels
modules, field bonded with a
polyureathane adhesive. Deck
panels supported on (305 mm)
deep pultruded GFRP I-beams.
Abutments made of GFRP
column / piles. The deck weight
is (107 kg/m2).

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7
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
7

Shawnee
Creek Bridge/
Ohio to Erie
Trail, Xenia,
OH USA
Designer: WVU/CFC
Morgantown, USA
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, US
7
.
3

m

1
7
.
2

m

S

S

b
e
a
m
s

n
/
a

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

&


e
p
o
x
y

g
r
i
t

2
5

m
m


Superdeck¹
Prestel¹ mad
e by pultrusion
Designed as a bikeway, the
bridge must handle emergency
vehicles. Remaining details as
for the above mentioned Laurel
Lick Bridge.
1
9
9
7

Wickwire Run
Bridge/
Grafton, WV,
US
Designer:
WVU/CFC,
Morgantown, WV,
Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, US
9
.
1
4

m

6
.
6

m

S

S

b
e
a
m
s

A
A
S
H
T
O



H
S
2
5
-
4
4

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e


3
7
6

m
m

t
h
i
c
k
Superdeck¹
made by
pultrusion
Vehicular bridge. Remaining
details as for the above
mentioned Laurel Lick Bridge.
Equipped with Sensor
1
9
9
4

Philadelphia
Zoo (4)/
Philadelphia,
PA, USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics,
Philadelphia, PA,
USA Manufacturer:
Creative Pultrusion,
Alum Bank, PA, US

3

m

6
.
1

m


1
2
.
2


2
.
2
m

3
.
1

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

6
.
8

m
e
t
r
i
c

t
o
n
s

n
/
a

Beams
Pultex¹
structural
profiles made
by pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge designed in
modular parts to span 3, 6, 9 &
12 m. The system can also be
reconstructed to provide a lifting
frame for the zoo animals.
1
9
9
7

Fiberline
Bridge/
Kolding,
Denmark
Designer: RambCl,
Denmark
Manufacturer:
Fiberline Composites
Kolding, Denmark
4
0

m

3

m

C
a
b
l
e

s
t
a
y
e
d


5
0
0

k
g
/
m
2

F
R
P

c
o
m
p
o
s
i
t
e

g
r
a
t
i
n
g

Deck beams,
columns and
tower. Profiles
made by
pultrusion
Vehicular bridge was
transported in 3 sections and
installed in 18 hours avoiding
traffic problems on a busy
railway line.
8
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
8

Pontresina
Bridge/ St.
Moritz,
Switzerland
Designer: RambCl,
Denmark
Manufacturer:
Fiberline Composites
A/S, Kolding,
Denmark
2
5

m

n
/
a

2

s
p
a
n
s

5
0
0

k
g
/
m
2

n
/
a

Beams
Pultex¹
structural
profiles made
by pultrusion
Total weight 2.5 tons.
Pedestrian bridge installed by
helicopter in remote site. Load
carrying capacity 500 kilos/m2
and allows for snow clearing
vehicles of 1 ton to pass.
1
9
9
4

Bonds Mill Lift
Bridge/ Stroud,
Gloucestershir
e, England
Designer: Maunsell
Structural Plastics,
Breckenham, Kent,
UK
Manufacturer: GEC
Reinforced Plastics of
Preston, Lanxashire,
UK
8
.
2

m

4
.
3

m

B
a
s
c
u
l
e
-
l
i
f
t

4
0

m
e
t
r
i
c

t
o
n
s

a
s
p
h
a
l
t

Beams,
columns,
panels(ACCS)
structural
profiles, plates
made by
pultrusion
2-lane vehicular bridge made of
pultruded planks filled with
structural epoxy foam.
Superstructure stiffened
transversely with Maunsell's
ACCS. FRP components
bonded with epoxy adhesive in
combination with interlocking
pultruded structural profiles.
1
9
9
8

Wilson's
Bridge/ Valley
Forge, PA, US
Owner: Chester
County Commissners
Office
Manufacturer:Hardc
ore Composites, New
Castle, DE, USA
1
9
.
5

m

4
.
9

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
0
-
4
4

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge

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9
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
8

Bennett's
Creek/ West
Union, NY,
USA
Owner:New York
State DOT
Manufacturer:Hardc
ore Composites, New
Castle, DE, USA
9
.
6

m

7
.
9

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O



H
S
2
5
-
4
4

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
8

Laurel Run
Road/
Somersat
County, PA,
USA
Owner: Pennsylvenia
DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
8
.
7

m

1
0

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O



H
S
2
0

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
8

Muddy Run/
Urban Route
896, Newark,
DE, USA
Owner: Delaware
DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
9
.

6

m

7
.
9

m
)

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O





H
S
2
5
-
4
4

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
9

Mill Creek/
Wilmington
DE, USA
Owner: Delaware
DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
1
1
.
7

m

1
5
.
2

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O




H
S
2
5

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
10
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
9

Greensbranch
Vehicular/
Smyrna, DE,
USA
Owner: Delaware
DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
6
.
3

m

3
.
6

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5

(
D
E

3
)

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
9

Greensbranch
Pedestrian/
Smyrna, DE,
USA
Owner: Delaware
DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
9
.
6

m

1
.
8

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Pedestrian bridge
1
9
9
9

Bentley's
Bridge/ Elmira,
NY, USA
Owner:New York
State DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore Composite,
New Castle, DE, USA
4
2

m

7
.
5

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O



H
S
2
0

n
/
a

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
9

Salem Ave.
Bridge/
Dayton, OH,
USA
Owner: Ohio DOT
Manufacturer:
Hardcore
Composites, New
Castle, DE, US
5
1
.
2

m

1
4
.
6

m

n
/
a

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge

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11
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
7

Magazine
Ditch Bridge/
Wilmington,
DE, USA
Installer: Delaware
DOT
Designer: J . Muller
International
2
1
.
3

m

7
.
6

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5
-
4
4

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck made by
VARTM
Vehicular bridge. FRP rebar in a
portion of the top mat.
1
9
9
7

Washington
Schoolhouse
Road/ Rising
Sun, MD, USA
n/a
9
.
6

m

7
.
9

m

n
/
a

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
7

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck, beams,
columns tower
Standard
Profiles
First commercial vehicular FRP
bridge in the U.S. Replaced
existing bridge in 15 hours.
1
9
9
9

Crawford
County
Bridges (2)/
Kansas State
Highway 126,
Pittsburg, KS,
USA
Owner: Kansas DOT
Manufacturer:
Kansas Structural
Composites, Inc., US
1
3
.
7

m

9
.
7

m

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck Hand
layup
Vehicular bridge
1
9
9
6

No-Name
Creek Bridge/
Russell, KS,
USA
Installer: Kansas
DOT
Designer: Kansas
Structural
Composites, USA
2
7
.
1
7

m

7
.
9

m

n
/
a

n
/
a

p
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

1
5
2

m
m

t
h
i
c
k

Deck panels
Hand layup
2-lane vehicular bridge,
comprised of 3-9ft. Panels, 508
mm deep GFRP honeycomb
cells. Deck area is 60 m
2
and
weighs 189 kg/m
2
. Factory
made, delivered to site.
12
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
7

INEEL Bridge/
Idaho Falls,
Idaho, USA
Owner:Idaho
National Engineering
and Env. Lab., US
Manufacturer: Martin
Marietta Materials,
Raleigh, NC, USA
9
.
1

m

1
5
.
5

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
0

a
s
p
h
a
l
t

Beams Bridge
components -
square tubes
made by
pultrusion
8 people installed the vehicular
bridge in 8 hours. Tested to
withstand 2x the AASHTO req.
of load. Can be dismantled and
rebuilt in another location.
1
9
9
7

Tech 21
Bridge/ Butler
County,
Hamilton, OH,
USA
Designer: Butler
County, LJ B
Engineers, Wright-
Patterson AFB
Manufacturer: Martin
Marietta Materials,
Raleigh, NC, US
1
0
.
1

m

7
.
3

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

S
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

B
e
a
m

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5
-
4
4

a
s
p
h
a
l
t

Deck Bridge
components -
trapezoidal
tubes made by
pultrusion
Vehicular bridge. Delivered on
site in 3 sections and installed in
less than 3 hours by 15 people.
The Tech 21 team is a
consortium of public, private,
and military sectors. Equiped
with sensors
1
9
9
6

UCSD Road
Test Panels/
University of
California at
San Diego,
USA
Designer: University
of California at San
Diego, USA
Manufacturer: Martin
Marietta Materials,
Raleigh, NC, USA
2
.
3

m

4
.
6

m

n
/
a

n
/
a

n
/
a

Deck
1
9
9
9

Woodington
Run (DARPA
Task 16)/
Darke County,
OH, USA
Manufacturer: Martin
Marietta Materials,
Raleigh, NC, USA
1
5
.
2

m

1
4
.
3

m

n
/
a

n
/
a

n
/
a

Deck made by
pultrusion
Vehicular bridge

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13
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
7
5

Tel Aviv, Israel Designer: Dr. Yair
Tene
2
4

m

1
.
8

m

P
o
n
y

T
r
u
s
s


"
U
"

s
h
a
p
e
d


n
/
a

n
/
a

Panels This pedestrian bridge is a
hybrid of steel/FRP composite.
1
9
7
5

Haifa, Israel Designer: Dr. Yair
Tene
n
/
a

n
/
a

P
o
n
y

T
r
u
s
s


"
U
"

s
h
a
p
e
d


n
/
a

n
/
a

Deck and
beams
The Haifa pedestrian bridge is
actually a 1/2-scale lab test
model of the Tel Aviv bridge
structure
1
9
7
8

Charlottesville,
VA, USA
Designer: Fred
McCormick
4
.
9

m

2
.
1

m

T
r
u
s
s
e
d

g
i
r
d
e
r

n
/
a

n
/
a

Beams Pedestrian bridge
1
9
9
4

Boulder
County Bridge/
Boulder, CO
USA
n/a
1
0
.
7

m

1
.
8

m

n
/
a

n
a

W
o
o
d

Beams made
by pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge
14
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
6

Clear Creek
Bridge/ Daniel
Boone
National
Forest, KY,
USA
Designer: University
of Kentucky
Manufacturer:
Strongwell, Bristol,
VA, US
1
8
.
3

m

1
.
8

m

T
w
i
n

I
-
B
e
a
m
s

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

o
n

g
l
a
s
s

F
R
P

8
5

p
s
i

p
e
d
e
s
t
r
i
a
n

l
o
a
d

F
R
P

I-Beams,
plates made
by pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge. First use of
hybrid glass/carbon I-beams
1
9
9
7

Tom's Creek
Bridge/
Blacksburg,
VA, USA
Designer: Virginia
Polytechnic Institute,
Blacksburg, VA USA
Manufacturer:
Strongwell, Bristol,
VA, US
5
.
3

m

6
.
7

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

S
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

B
e
a
m

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
0

t
i
m
b
e
r

+

a
s
p
h
a
l
t
I-Beams made
by pultrusion
2-lane vehicular bridge. 12-
carbon/glass FRP I-beams in a
proprietary double wing-box
profile replaced existing steel I-
beams. Installation completed in
five days. Has monitoring
equipment.
1
9
9
4

Malibu Creek
State Park/
Malibu Creek
State Park,
CA, USA
Installer: CA State
Parks
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Structural Fiberglass,
In., Bedford, PA, US


1
2
.
2

m

6
.
1

m


5
1
.
5

m

1
.
8

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

n
/
a

w
o
o
d

Standard
structural
beam profiles
made by
pultrusion
Two pedestrian bridges installed
at this site.
1
9
9
4

Sierra Madre
Bridge/ Sierra
Madre, CA
USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Structural Fiberglass,
In., Bedford, PA, USA
1
2
.
2

m

1
.
2
m

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

n
/
a

w
o
o
d

Standard
structural
beam profiles
made by
pultrusion
The pedestrian bridge survived
an earthquake centered 24 km
away, but was washed out after
a dam broke two months later.

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15
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
4

Staircase
Rapids (3)/
Olympic
National Park,
WA, USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Structural Fiberglass,
In., Bedford, PA, USA

1
2
.
2

m


1
5
.
.
2


4
1
.
2

m


1
.
2

m


1
.
2

P
o
n
y

T
r
u
s
s


n
/
a

w
o
o
d

Standard
structural
beam profiles
made by
pultrusion
FRP composites due to
environmental conditions,.
Pedestrian bridge. Carried1.6
km up by mule train, and 3
bridges installed without heavy
equipment.
1
9
9
4

Will Rogers
State Park/
Pacific
Palisades, CA
USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Structural Fiberglass,
In., Bedford, PA, USA
6
.
1

m

1
.
2

m

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

n
/
a

W
o
o
d

Beam made
by pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge
1
9
9
5

Point Bonita
Lighthouse
Bridges (2)/
San Francisco,
CA USA
Designer: E.T.
Techtonics
Manufacturer:
Structural Fiberglass,
In., Bedford, PA, USA
1
0
.
7

m


2
1
.
4

m


1
.
4

m


4
.
5

f
t
.

S
i
m
p
l
y

s
u
p
p
o
r
t
e
d

n
/
a

w
o
o
d

Standard
structural
profiles made
by pultrusion
Pedestrian bridge
16
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
2

Aberfeldy Golf
Course Bridge/
Aberfeldy,
Scotland, UK
Installer: O'Rourke
Civil Engineering;
University of Dundee;
Designer: Maunsell
Structural Plastics,
Breckenham, Kent,
UK Manufacturer:
GEC reinforced
plastics, Preston, UK
1
1
3
m

2
.
2
m

C
a
b
l
e

S
t
a
y
e
d

D
o
u
b
l
e

A
-
f
r
a
m
e

t
o
w
e
r

n
/
a

F
R
P

Beams, Deck,
column,
tower Struc
tural Profiles,
(ACCS) plates
Cables
made by
pultrusion
A-frame pedestrian bridge is
made with GFRP pultruded
planks. Superstructure stiffened
transversely with Maunsell's
Advanced Composites
Construction System (ACCS).
FRP components bonded with
epoxy adhesive in combination
with interlocking pultruded
structural profiles
1
9
9
7

Taylor Bridge/
Headlingley,
Manitoba
Canada
Designer: Wordrop
Winnipeg, Canada
Manufacturer:
Marshall Industries
Comp., Lima, USA
1
3
2

m

1
7

m

D
e
c
k

&

G
i
r
d
e
r
s

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
S
2
5
-
4
4

n
o

w
e
a
r
i
n
g

s
u
r
f
a
c
e

Panels C-
Bar¹ CCFC
LEADLINE¹
NEFMAC®
Vehicular bridge with the world's
longest span with girders, a
portion of the bridge deck and
barrier walls, reinforced using
FRP. Equiped with sensors.
1
9
9
6

Chatham
Bridge/
Chatham,
Ontario
Canada
Designer: Ministry of
Transp., Ontario
Manufacturer:
Marshall Industries
Composites, USA
NEFCOM Corp.,
Tokyo, J apan
6
6

m

1
0

m

C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

D
e
c
k
/
S
t
e
e
l

G
i
r
d
e
r

O
H
B
D

T
r
u
c
k


7
4
0

k
N

a
s
p
h
a
l
t

Panels
C-Bar¹
NEFMAC®
made by
pultrusion
Vehicular bridge

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17
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
1
9
9
7

Crowchild
Trail/University
Drive/ Calgary,
Alberta
Canada
Installer:PCLCalgary
Manufacturer:
Marshall Industries
Composites, Lima,
OH, USA Autocon,
Ontario, Canada
9
6

m

1
2
.
0

m

n
/
a

C
S

6
1
5


(
C
a
n
a
d
i
a
n

t
r
u
c
k
)

a
s
p
h
a
l
t

Deck /panels
CBar¹
NEFMAC® (
hand layup
and pultrusion)
Deck slab free of reinforcing and
supported by 5 steel girders.
GFRP C-bars were used to
provide the continuity and to
minimize the transverse cracks
of the vehicular bridge. Sensors
1
9
9
6

PWRI
Demonsration
Bridge/
Tsukuba City,
J apan
Designer: Public
Work Research
Institute(PWRI)
Manufacturer:
Mitsubishi Kasei &
Tokyo Rope, J apan
2
0

m

2

m

3
-
s
p
a
n


c
a
b
l
e

s
t
a
y
e
d

n
/
a

F
R
P

Deck, beams
and tower
LEADLINE¹
CCFC
made by
pultrusion
FRP bolts used to connect the
GFRP pultruded sheets and
profiles. Bridge weight is 107
kg/m
2
. Designed for LL=352
kg/m
2

1
9
9
7

Medway
Bridge/
Medway,
Maine, USA
Designer: University
of Maine
Manufacturer:
Strongwell, Bristol,
VA, USA
Unadilla Laminated
Products, US
1
6
.
5

m

n
/
a

n
/
a

M
a
i
n
e

D
O
T
:
F
b
=

1
6
.
6

M
P
a

M
O
E
=
1
.
8
x
7
M
P
a
)W
o
o
d

FRP
reinforcement
FRP glulam
beams made
by pultrusion
Vehicular bridge consisting of 15
FRP reinforced glulam beams.
The properties of the FRP
laminas in the longitudinal
direction : E=41 GPa and a
minimum strength of 717 MPa.
2
0
0
0

Kings
Stormwater
Channel
Bridge River
Sice, CA, USA
Designer: UCSD CA,
USA
2
0
.
1

m

1
3

m

B
e
a
m
s
.

2
-
s
p
a
n
s

n
/
a

P
o
l
y
m
e
r

C
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Deck. FRP
shells filled
with concrete
as beams
Vehicular bridge.
18
TECHNICAL DATA
Y
e
a
r


Bridge Name
and/or
location
Owner, Installer,
Designer and/or
Manufacturer
L
e
n
g
t
h

W
i
d
t
h

S
t
r
u
c
t
u
r
a
l

S
y
s
t
e
m

Traffic
Loads/
Bridge
Rating
W
e
a
r
i
n
g

S
u
r
f
a
c
e

FRP Structural
Component
COMMENTS
2
0
0
0

Halgavor
Bridge,
England
Designer: Flint &
Neil Consulting
Engineers, UK
4
7

m

3
.
5

m

S
u
s
p
e
n
s
i
o
n

b
r
i
d
g
e

N
/
a

n
/
a

GFRP deck Pedestrian bridge. Low
maintenance and rapid
construction were key
considerations in the design.
2
0
0
0

The UMR
Bridge,
Missouri, USA
Designer: University
of Missouri-Rolla,
USA
9
.
1

m

2
.
8

m

S
S

b
e
a
m

A
A
S
H
T
O

H
2
0

P
o
l
y
m
e
r

c
o
n
c
r
e
t
e

Modular
assembly of
pultruded 76-
mm-square FRP
tubes.
Pedestrian bridge. Can also
allow for truck to pass

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19
20
4.2.2 Case studies
The TECH 21 Bridge:
General Information
The Tech-21 Bridge is located in the city of Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio,
USA. It was dedicated on July 25, 1997 and is the third of its kind in the USA.
It is also the first fully instrumented bridge. The Tech 21 Team is composed of
civil engineering and composite experts from the Butler County Engineer's
Office (BCEO), Martin Marietta Materials, LJB Engineers & Architects, Inc.,
and Wright Laboratory's Materials Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force
Base. The goal of the team was to promote and demonstrate the use of FRP for
common structural applications in the construction industry. The TECH-21
bridge is based on the research and development at Lockheed Martin during the
years 1992 to 1996.

Figure 13: The Tech 21 bridge. Courtesy of Dean Foster
The design features behind the concept were:
- Low cost construction
- Prefabricated modular sections for easier transportation
- Light weight for rapid assembly
- Redundant load paths and high load capacity
- Corrosion resistance and Life expectancy over 100 years

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21
The fibers used were E-glass continuous fiber with a polyester matrix. A fiber
volume fraction of 55 % was achieved. The bridge was 10 m long and 7.3 m
wide. The bridge deck was ca 830 mm deep and weighted less than 10 metric
tons. The deck is a sandwich construction consisting of pultruded tubes between
two face sheets. Tubes run parallel with the traffic direction. The deck is
supported by three U-shaped structural beams.
Design criteria
The design requirements were based on the American bridge standard
AASHTO. The primary design specifications were as follows:
- The bridge should be designed for one AASHTO HS20-44 Truck (32.7 tons)
per lane
- The bridge should be designed for the alternate military load
- Load reduction intensity factor is not considered. This would have resulted in
a 25 % reduction in live load per AASHTO 3.8.2.1
- The bridge should be designed for impact load as per AASHTO 3.8.2.1
- Additional 2.9 kPa for the wearing surface should be considered
The strength and stiffness requirements were specified as follows:
- The maximum allowable deflection should be < Span/800 between support
points.
- The ultimate load was based on the first occurrence of material stress failure
in any part of the FRP component section.
- The Maximum Stress Failure Criterion was adopted. Thus the residual load-
carrying capacity, which can exceed the strength at initial damage
considerably, was discarded.
- The Safety Factor for strength is equal to that normally used for pultruded
parts by the manufacturer Strongwell.
- Local crippling of faces and panel buckling factors were specified to
22
/ 1.0 ab g > (7)
where o = knockdown factor
| = buckling load factor
¸ = Safety Factor
o and | where determined according to standard engineering practice.
- No specific limit was established for fatigue loading since neither AASHTO
or any other bridge design guide has indication for FRP structures. A
conservative endurance limit of 20 % of ultimate is used in the aerospace to
account for fatigue and creep. The same procedure was adopted here.
Fabrication and Installation
The deck shown in Figure 13 has a so called corrugated sandwich deck
configuration. The center core is made of 171-mm wide polyester/glass fiber
tubes. They were manufactured by Glasforms, Inc of San Jose, California, USA.
The face sheets were hand layed-up by the manufacturer ACME Fiberglass in
Hayward, California. The three box girders that support the deck were
fwbricated over timber forms with E-glass and polyester. A quasi-isotropic lay-up
configuration were used for the fiber, including additional axial fibers at the
bottom flanges.
Prior to installation, several load tests were completed to verify the behavior of
the FRP components. The intention of the tests was to verify the design and
collected data that could be compared the bridge response on site. Strains,
deflections and temperature measurements were collected.
The entire superstructure weighed less than 10 tons and could easily be
transported on one truck from California to Ohio. A 30-ton crane was used to
lift and install the mounted girder-deck sections on the abutments. The whole
operation included fastening and application of adhesive bonds took only three
hours to complete. The guardrails were of conventional steel type. The wearing
surface was made of concrete asphalt with a thickness varying from 14 cm to 6
cm to allow for water drainage.
Other details
In order to account on effects of UV light on the resin, UV absorbers and
stabilizers were added to the polyester. Coupon tests showed that the void
content in the FRP is less than 2 %. This means that the void content will not

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23
favor moisture absorption and has minimal impact on the mechanical
properties.
Creep studies on coupons indicates that the material can survive 100 000 hours
at 29
o
C and at a stress level of 50% of the ultimate load. Exposure to elevated
ambient temperature on FRP samples indicated that a 2.5-mm thick laminate
could experience 10-20 % reduction in flexural strength after 50 years. During
the same period, a 10 mm thick laminate will loose about 3 % of its flexural
strength.
Through the health monitoring instrumentation, performance evaluation under
actual field conditions will be recorded during the service life of the smart
bridge. Special sensors are embedded within and linked to a system of
computers located at the BCEO for continuous monitoring. This will provide
valuable data on environmental and other life-cycle effects that cannot be
simulated under short term testing. (Initial tests indicated the load capacity of
the Bridge well exceeds AASHTO specifications by considerably more than a
factor of 2.0.)
The Fiberline Bridge:
General information
It is the first FRP bridge in Scandinavia and the first of its kind in the world to
cross over a railway. The 40 meter long and 3.2 m wide cable-stayed bridge is
made of glass reinforced Polyester profiles. It weighs about 13 tons, half the
weight of a similar steel construction.

Figure 14: The Fiberline bridge. Courtesy of Fiberline
24
Design criteria
The bridge has a load-carrying capacity of 500 kg/m2, allowing snow clearing
vehicles to pass. The design vehicle weight capacity is 5 tons and the design
wheel pressure 1.8 tons. The maximum allowed deflection is L/200 = 13 cm.
The bridge was designed according to the Fiberline Design Manual. The manuel
is intended for pultruded FRP profiles very similar to steel profiles used in the
building industry. The design methodology is based on the LRFD concept, with
the exception that the design is stiffness driven. The bridge is expected to last
approx. 100 years. The profiles are designed for a temperature resistance within
the range –40
o
C to +70
o
C. The FRP components are also designed to resist
rain, frost and atmospheric salt attack.
Other design data are as follows:
- Total length 40 m of which one span is 27 m and the other 13 m.
- The total width is 3.2 m
- The total deck depth is 1.5 m, with the inner depth being 1.2 m.
- The tower is 18.5 m long and connected to the deck by 8 stays.
- The total weight of the whole bridge was 12 tons, which is have the weight of
a similar steel bridge.
Fabrication, Installation and other details
The FRP profiles used have mechanical properties as follows:
- Flexural, tensile and compressive strength in longitudinal direction is 240
MPa
- In the transverse direction, the flexural strength is 100 MPa, the tensile
strength 50 MPa and the compressive strength 70 MPa
- The shear strength is 70 MPa
- The moduli of elasticity are 23 GPa and 8.5 GPa in the longitudinal and
transverse directions respectively. The Shear modulus is 3 GPa.
- The Poisson’s ratio are 0.23 and 0.09 in the longiudinal and transverse
directions respectively
The individual bridge components were machined and assembled at the
Fiberline factory. Hand tools and simple machines were used for that purpose.
The parts were assembled in three large sections that were transported to the

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25
bridge site on an articulated trailer. The bridge was mounted on site in only 18
night hours (3 nights) on site in Kolding, Denmark. The bridge was equipped
with strain gages in order to follow up the on field structural responses. The
total cost of the bridge was 370 000 $ US (1997), which were in the same range
as the cost of a conventional steel on RC bridge. The Fiberline bridge is
expected to require much less maintenance than bridges made of conventional
material. The energy consumption for raw materials, production and assembly is
between 1/2 and 1/4 of a comparable steel construction. Finally, the material
can be incinerated or chopped into small pieces and used as filler material e.g. in
car bumpers.
The Gilman/I5 Bridge:
General information
The information on the Gilman/I5 Bridge presented in the following in based
on the report by Burgueno (2000) and the report of prototype testing by Zhao
and al. (2001).
The design concept of the I-5/GilmanFiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) bridge
consists of the dual cable plane (fan type) system supporting concrete filled
carbon/epoxy tubes, connected in the transverse direction by evenly spaced
hybrid E-glass/carbon reinforced composite hollow cross-beams. The transverse
girders support a longitudinally spanning arch action fiber reinforced concrete
deck. Thermal expansion movements are supported thanks to a fixed support
condition at the west abutment, for torsional rigidity, and a roller support
condition with torsional restraint at the east abutment. Because of their high
cost when compared to steel stays, only part of the cable stays will be made
CFRP. In order to allow for health monitoring and assessment of the long-term
performance of the FRP materials, the bridge structure will be fully
instrumented. In the following, the results from the final design concept study
performed by the Structural Engineering Department of the UCSD, San Diego,
USA is presented. The I-5/Gilman Advanced Technology Bridge is a 137m long
cable-stayed bridge supported by an eccentric 58 m high A-frame pylon, made of
FRP materials. The overall concept of the I-5/Gilman cable-stayed bridge is
depicted in Figure 15.
26

Figure 15: Elevation of I-5/Gilman Advanced Technology Bridge Geometry
and Components

Figure 16: Plan View of the I-5/Gilman Advanced Technology Bridge

Design
The design philosophy for the I-5/Gilman Bridge is based on a general limit
state design approach which ensures that the structural performance meets
predetermined limit state criteria. These limit states can be defined in three
general categories, namely:
- Functionality Limit States (Deformation, Dynamic Response, etc.)
- Safety Limit States (Strength, Instability, etc.)

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27
- Performance Limit States (Repair, Fire, etc.)
The design approach is parallel to that of the AASHTO Load Resistance Factor
Design (LRFD) methodology. Wherever possible, the design is based on the
AASHTO-LRFD Bridge Design Specifications The AASHTO-LRFD prescribes
that the Serviceability Limit State and the Strength Limit State should be
satisfied locally and globally. Those limit states and the loads that they include
are similar to those prescribed by BRO94 and described in Section 3.3.
Only the Service I, Service III, and Strength I limit states are considered in the
preliminary design presented in the preliminary design of the I-5/Gilman Bridge
. The load combinations and factors for the Service I and Strength I limit states,
defined above, are expressed as follows:
SERVICE I = (DC + DW) + (LL + IM + PL)
SERVICE III = (DC + DW) + (LL
LANE
+ IM + PL)+0.25(LL
TRUCK
+IM)
STRENGTH I = (1.25 DC + 1.50 DW)+ 1.75 (LL + IM + PL)
where:
DC = dead load of structural components and non structural attachments
DW = dead load of wearing surfaces and utilities
LL = vehicular live load
IM = vehicular dynamic load allowance = 33%
PL = pedestrian live load
A multiple presence factor (m) of 0.85 (for three loaded lanes) is adopted
Design Criteria for FRP Materials
For the preliminary design and analysis of the I5/Gilman Bridge, the use of
ultimate strain as the comparative criteria between resistance and demand was
recommended. For the FRP materials to be used, the values of their ultimate
strain in the longitudinal direction are listed in Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla.. It
should be emphasised here that this procedure does not follow any design code
and was found out to be a suitable tool for preliminary design purpose.
Table 5: FRP Component Ultimate Strain Values
Material Tension % Compression %
Carbon/Epoxy Composites 0.01 -0.006
28
E-glass/vinylester Composites 0.02 -0.012
- Permanent Load Limit States: Safety limit state defined in terms of strain
allowables in the FRP composite components under the structure’s self
weight and other permanent loading (i.e., prestressing). The maximum value
of the strain shall be restricted to 20% of the ultimate strain.
- Service Limit States: Safety limit state referring to restrictions on strains and
crack widths that occur under regular service conditions. For the SERVICE I
loading combination the maximum allowable strain in a composite material
shall be restricted to 30% of the ultimate strain.
- Strength Limit Sates: Safety limit state defined in terms of a reduction in the
ultimate strains in the advanced composite components under the (factored)
strength combination loading. The ultimate strains shall be reduced by the
factor 0.50.
Deformation Criteria
The limitation of deflection-to-span ratio given in AASHTO are based on studies
performed for simple and continuous spans. For cable-stayed bridges more
relaxed limits are usually adopted. In addition, the limitation on the deflections
should be based on frequent loading, thus, they can be considerably relaxed
when imposed on the SERVICE I loading state. Based on this observations the
following limits are suggested for the I5/Gilman Bridge:
- Overall deflection. For calculating the maximum absolute live-load
deflection, all design lanes should be loaded, and all supporting components
should be assumed to deflect equally. The maximum absolute deflection shall
not be more than l/500 under SERVICE I loading.
- Relative transverse deflections. This deflection considers the relative
deformation of the transverse deck system with respect to the supporting
longitudinal girder system. The maximum allowable deflection of the
transverse girder shall not be more than w/500 under SERVICE I loading.
- Rotational deflections. This deflection considers the deformation relative to
the centerline of the bridge due to the most unfavorable torsional loading.
The maximum allowable deflection of the edge girder shall not be more than
l/800 under SERVICE I loading

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29
Other details
The superstructure consists of two longitudinal carbon/epoxy/concrete edge
girders, 13.7 m apart, connected in the transverse direction by hybrid E-glass-
carbon reinforced transverse girders, which in turn support a polypropylene fiber
reinforced concrete arching deck. The longitudinal edge girders are based on the
concrete filled Carbon Shell System construction concept. The shell serves the
dual function of reinforcement and stay-in-place formwork for the concrete core.
The concrete provides compression force transfer, stabilizes the thin shell against
buckling, and allows the anchorage of connection elements. Transverse ribs are
provided on the inside of the carbon/epoxy shell for full force transfer between
the concrete infill and the shell. The concept is suitable for both columns and
girders.
The girder carbon/epoxy shell members consist of circular tubes of 914 mm
inside diameter and a wall thickness of 10 mm. The carbon/epoxy tubes are fully
grouted with normal weight concrete to (1) stabilize the carbon/epoxy shell, (2)
aid the member to carry the stay compressive forces, and (3) anchorage of the
cable anchorage hardware. Structurally, composite action between the concrete
filled tubes and the deck is achieved through the use of shear dowels. The
longitudinal girders are centrally prestressed, prior to the installation of the
transverse system, in the part of the span close to the east abutment. The Hybrid
Tube System (HTS) constitutes the transverse deck system for the superstructure.
The system uses hollow hybrid E-glass-carbon reinforced FRP beams connected
along their tops with a polypropylene fiber reinforced concrete arching deck.
The girders are E-glass/vinyl ester rectangular box sections with longitudinal
carbon reinforcement in the bottom flange. The beam depth is 711 mm with a
wall thickness of 19 mm, a 25-mm bottom flange, and a 76-mm top anchorage
zone. The tubes are left completely ungrouted, although partial grouting may be
considered at connection regions. The hollow E-glass-carbon reinforced FRP box
beams straddle the longitudinal carbon/epoxy shells spaced at every 2.4 m on
center along the bridge length. An FRP form panel is snap-locked to the
pultruded girders providing a tension tie between girders and the stay-in-place
form for a polypropylene fiber reinforced arch-action-type concrete deck. Normal
weight concrete is used for the slab; alternatively, the use of lightweight concrete
will be examined. To provide stiffness to the form panels, the transverse FRP
membrane is overlaid with a lightweight filler core in a parabolic shape to allow
full construction loads. Prefabricated carbon/epoxy snap-in stirrups provide the
horizontal shear transfer between the concrete deck and the hybrid tubes.
30
The author took part in some of the prototype testing on the CFRP stays and
the superstructure, which are described in the report by Zhao and al. (2001).
4.3 Research organizations working on FRP in bridge structures
Despite the many advantages of FRP materials, an extended use in civil
structures has not been straightforward for many reasons, some of which are
described below:
- Lack of Durability data. There is a need for a database from which it will be
possible to get information about how well and how long early FRP products
were used.
- Fire performance. The regulations about fire performance in the building
sector are very detailed. Time and financial resources are necessary for any
new material, product or application to qualify.
- Structural design methodology. The structural design in building
construction is specified in national design codes such as AASHTO in the
US or BRO94 in Sweden. These documents present a step by step design
procedure that does not exist in the traditions of FRP structures’ design.
Moreover, a structural design methodology appropriate to building
constructions must be developed that will allow efficient design and use of
raw material. Better techniques for the design of mechanical and adhesive
joints of components need also to be developed.
- Profile Standards. Most structural components made of conventional
materials exist in standard “on-the-shelves” sections and the structural
designer does not need to deal with any material sizing, as is the case with
FRP structural components.
- High material cost. The FRP materials have a raw price 3 to over 10 times
higher that of conventional building materials. Here, there is a need for
accurate LCC analyses where the cost over the service life will be compared in
order to outline the economical advantages of FRP in the long term.
- Reuse and recycling. There is an unjustified idea that FRP materials would be
less environment friendly that conventional building materials. Existing
results from LCA studies of FRP structural parts should be made available for
the building industry to dismiss the myth.
To address the above-mentioned problems related to an increased use of FRP
on-going research is taking place all over the world. Research teams from the

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31
FRP industry, universities and research institutes are building networks in order
to deal with the issues in a more organized and effective way. Up to the mid-90’s
the research in FRP applications for civil infrastructures was scattered all over
the world in different independent institutions. In order to render the research
more effective in the US, The Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF),
the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) joined their efforts to the FRP
Market Development Alliance MDA. As a result, the major research needs were
set up and each research institute or commercial partner was assigned to a
specific task group. The main groups were:
- Bridges and bridges decks,
- Concrete and masonry reinforcement, and
- Primary and secondary structural components.
Further these groups were subdivided in areas with the expected potential for
near-term market penetration. The sub-areas were:
- FRP composites as alternative to steel reinforcement in RC structures
- FRP composites jackets or wraps for seismic retrofit of columns, piers and
walls
- FRP decks in composite action with girders made of conventional building
materials or in all FRP solutions.
- Structural Components such as wall panels and profiles made of FRP
Finally, the tasks were subdivided in the following research fields:
- Effects of moisture and humidity
- Effects of alkaline environment
- Thermal effects
- Creep/ Relaxation
- Fatigue
- UV Exposure
- Fire resistance
Each research fields comprises a number of research institutes that collaborate to
solve the issues. For the interested reader, a wealth of information is available at
the MDA homepage http://www.mdacomposites.org/.
32
The Structural Engineering Department of the University of California San
Diego (UCSD) has launched extended research in applications of FRP in civil
structures beginning in the early 1990’s. The first applications were retrofit of
columns against seismic action. Later on, strengthening of existing structures
were studied. There is also an extended collaboration with Japanese institutions
in the fields of strengthening, cables and tendons. See the draft report by
Karbhari (1998). Since the mid-90’s, a number of bridge decks have been
developed. See for instance the work by Karbhari, Heegemier, Seible and Wang
(1995) for more details. A series of Ph. D. Projects have been initiated to look at
specific issues. Davol (19098) investigated the Structural Characterization of
Concrete Filled FRP Shells. This concept is used to design columns without any
steel reinforcement. Wernli (1999) studied FRP tension members used as
tension rods, stay-cables, and external and internal post-tensioning tendons.
Results from his work were implemented in the design of the cables of the I-
5/Gilman Advanced Technology Bridge described by Zhao, Karbhari and Seible
(2000). Burgueño (1999), investigated System characterization and Design of
Short- and Medium-Span bridges. Zhao (1999) studied the Deck-to-Girder
Connections in FRP Composite Superstructures.
At the Center for Composite Materials of the University of Delaware, Eckel
(1998) carried a theoretical and experimental studies of the behavior of
sandwich FRP bridge decks. At the same research Institute, Demitz (1999)
investigated the applicability of the Limit States Design Methodology for FRP
Bridges Structures.
At the West Virginia University, Brown (1998) carried on the Design and
analysis of a deck and stringer FRP bridge system. At the Virginia Polytechnic
Institute, Hayes (1998) worked on the characterization and modeling of a FRP
structural beam and bridge structure in a rehabilitation project. In the same
institute, Nguyen, Tang et al. Performed a fatigue and environmental study of a
FRP structure in offshore applications. Finally, At the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), Ehlen and Marshall performed a LCC
analysis of some FRP bridge decks.
In Europe, the Network Group for Composites in Construction (NGCC) plays a
role similar to that of the American CERF/FHWA/MDA, namely to coordinate
research from different institutions and integrate FRP manufacturers. The
reader interested may consult their homepage http://www.ngcc.org.uk/. Beside
the NGCC, the pultrusion industry in Europe haqs initiated a research group
with basically the same goal. Their work is presented at
http:/www.pultruders.com. The research Institute DERA has developed some

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33
FRP bridge concept in collaboration with the Architect firm AAA. In Holland,
the research Institute TNO has also developed a prototype of a FRP bascule-lift
FRP bridge deck. In Denmark, the pultrusion manufacturer Fiberline has
developed and implemented the Fiberline cable-stayed all FRPO br4idge. In
Sweden, The Nordic Network for Fiber Composite in Building Construction is
currently working at developing solutions for implementing FRRP in building
sector.
One of the pioneers of FRP research in Europe is the research institute EMPA
in Switzerland. They are specialized in strengthening and repair of existing
structures using FRP. Mouchel Ltd. In England is another company specialized
in Strengthening and Repair work. In Sweden, the research organizations
mentioned in section 1.2 have coordinated their efforts on FRP research and
have a common homepage at http://nnc.ce.luth.se. As mentioned in section
1.1, the retrofit, strengthening and repair of civil structures made of
conventional building materials is an established engineering practice. In
Europe, EMPA., Mouchel. In Sweden the building contractor Stabilator carries
on strengthening work on an industrial basis. The methodology is incorporated
in the Swedish bridge design code BRO94 thanks to work conducted by Täljsten
(1997). In Sweden, comprehensive research work has been made by Täljsten
(1997) in the field of strengthening of concrete beams in bending and shear.
In Asia, the Japanese PWRI has been a pioneer in the field of retrofitting against
seismic action. They have also developed a FRP pedestrian bridge. In China,
since the efforts by the Chongqing University in the 1980’s, there are no reports
of new developments in new FRP bridges. Likewise, in Israel, after the efforts
Dr. Yein in the 1970’s, no further work is reported. In Australia, The Faculty of
Engineering and Survey of the University have been working on developing
optimized FRP deck for bridge structures as reported by Simpson (2000).
34
5 MECHANICS OF FRP, SANDWICH
CONSTRUCTION AND FRP-CONCRETE
COMPOSITES
5.1 FRP and the Classical Laminate Theory
The mechanical and physical properties of FRP structural parts depend on the
properties of the constituents namely:
- The fiber type, mechanical properties, length and orientation
- The matrix type, it’s mechanical properties, bonding ability to the fiber,
curing properties and environmental resistance
- The quality of the bond between fibers and resin. This in return is depending
on manufacturing process and workmanship. However, when considering
the mechanics of FRP in this report, we will assume perfect bonding and
negligible void content.
Classical Laminate Theory deals with the mechanical behavior of FRP
components. Several authors have published work on this matter. See for
instance Jones (19xx), Whitney (19xx) and Tsai (19xx).
In report, we will concentrate on continuous fibers and thermosets as matrices.
Following, a briefing is given about the basic notions necessary to design and
analyze the behavior of an FRP component under load.

5.1.1 The Lamina
When unidirectional fibers in one single layer are embedded in a resin, the
composite obtained after curing is called a ply or a lamina. The ply is the basic
unit used to develop the micromechanics of FRP. The mechanical properties
determined through micromechanics are merely approximate values convenient
for preliminary design. The final design should always be based on measured ply
or laminate properties as state by EUROCOMP (1999).

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35

Figure 17: Aligned Fibers imbedded in a matrix to form a ply
The basic quantities for determining the mechanical properties of the ply are the
volume fractions and mechanical properties of the constituents denoted:
- The density of the fiber µ
f
, its modulus of elasticity in the longitudinal
direction E
Lf
and its Poisson’s ratio v
LTf
.
- The density of the matrix µ
m
, its modulus of elasticity E
m
and its Poisson’s
ratio v
m
.
- The fiber volume fraction V
f
is defined as

f
f
c
v
V
v
= (8)
where v
f
is the fiber volume and v
c
the total FRP composite volume. V
m
Is
then defined as
1
m f
V V = ÷ (9)
The matrix is considered isotropic and therefore, the mechanical values are the
same in all directions. The fiber exhibits different properties in longitudinal and
transverse direction and therefore has different values for strength and modulus
of elasticity in longitudinal and transverse direction. E
Lf
, and o
Lf
which describe
the modulus of elasticity and strength of the fiber in the longitudinal direction
are the ones needed to compute the ply’s mechanical properties. In Figure 18, a
36
description is given of what will be called global and local coordinates systems in
a single lamina.

Figure 18: local (dotted lines) and global (full lines) coordinate systems.
The simplest model to assess ply properties is given by the so-called “Rule of
Mixtures”. The model is illustrated by equations (10) to (14) below.
L f f m m
E E V E V = + (10)
where E
L
is the modulus of elasticity in the longitudinal direction

1
f
m
T f m
V
V
E E E
= + (11)
where E
T
is the modulus of elasticity in the transverse direction

LT f f m m
V V v v v = + (12)
where v
LT
is the major Poisson ration

1
f
m
LT f m
V
V
G G G
= + (13)
where G
LT
is the in-plane shear modulus

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37

f f m m
V V µ µ µ = + (14)
The rule of mixture usually gives accurate values of E
L
, v
LT
and µ, based on the
assumptions that the fibers in the ply are continuous and straight and perfect
bonding exists between the fibers and the matrix. For E
T
and G
LT
however, the
values obtained are very conservative. Better models are given by the Halpin-Tsai
equations or the self-consistent field micromechanics as described by
McCullough (19xx).
Stress Analysis
In the equations above, the ply’s elastic properties related to the material
symmetry (fiber direction) were described. In general, the ply is considered to be
in a state of plane stress. For a linear elastic orthotropic material, the stress-strain
relation is given by equation (15). However, for a general loading case, the stress
analysis is more complex. The interested reader may consult Jones (1987).
In general, a laminate is considered to be in a state of plane stress. For a linear
elastic orthotropic material, the stress-strain relation is given by:
{ } | |{ }
11 11 12 11
22 12 22 22
12 66 12
0
0 or
0 0
S S
S S S
S
c o
c o c o
¸ t
¦ ¹ ( ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
= =
´ ` ´ `
(
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
¹ ) ¸ ¸ ¹ )
(15)
where S is the compliance matrix. For this particular case, the terms in S are
given by

12
11 12 22 66
11 22 22 12
1 1 1
, , and S S S S
E E E G
v
= = ÷ = = (16)
The stiffness matrix is then defined by
{ } | |{ }
11 11 12 11
22 12 22 22
12 66 12
0
0 or
0 0
Q Q
Q Q Q
Q
o c
o c o c
t ¸
¦ ¹ ( ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
= =
´ ` ´ `
(
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
¹ ) ¸ ¸ ¹ )
(17)
and the terms in Q are given by

11 12 11 22
11 12 22 66 12
12 21 12 21 12 21
, , and
1 1 1
E E E
Q Q Q Q G
v
v v v v v v
= = = =
÷ ÷ ÷
(18)
In a real structure, the directions of the geometrical shape and the applied loads
do not always coincide. Therefore, a transformation is needed to express the
38
stresses from the global coordinate system to the local ply system and vice versa.
See Figure 19 for a closer description of the orientations.

Figure 19: Stress state in local and global coordinates
The following equations allow for he transformations of the stresses from one
coordinate system to another

2 2
11
2 2
22
2 2
12
2
2
xx
yy
xy
m n mn
n m mn
mn mn m n
o o
o o
t t
( ¦ ¹
¦ ¹
( ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
= ÷
´ ` ´ `
(
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
÷ ÷
¹ )
¹ ) ¸ ¸
(19)
| | | |
11 11
-1
22 22
12 12
or and
xx xx
yy yy
xy xy
T T
o o o o
o o o o
t t t t
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
= =
´ ` ´ ` ´ ` ´ `
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
¹ ) ¹ )
¹ ) ¹ )
(20)
with m = cos (u), n = sin(u) and u as shown Figure 19.
In the same manner and using engineering strains, the strains are related as

2 2
11
2 2
22
2 2
12
2 2
xx
yy
xy
m n mn
n m mn
mn mn m n
c c
c c
¸ ¸
( ¦ ¹
¦ ¹
( ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
= ÷
´ ` ´ `
(
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
(
÷ ÷
¹ )
¹ ) ¸ ¸
(21)

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39
| |
( )
| |
11 11
T
-1 T
22 22
12 12
or and
xx xx
yy yy
xy xy
T T
c c c c
c c c c
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
= =
´ ` ´ ` ´ ` ´ `
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
¹ ) ¹ )
¹ ) ¹ )
(22)
Failure modes:
Within a single lamina, failure can occur in the following ways:
- Tensile fiber failure mode
- Tensile matrix failure mode
- Compressive fiber failure mode
- Compressive matrix failure mode
The interested reader may consult the MIL-Handbook (1998) for a deeper
analysis.
5.1.2 The Laminate
In real structural components that are actually used, several plies will normally
be stacked together to form a laminate as described in figure yy. A laminate
constituted of plies with same fiber direction is called unidirectional. If the fibers
in different plies have different directions, we have a multidirectional laminate.
40

Figure 20: Plies with different directions in a multidirectional laminate
A code is used to describe such a laminate in a simple manner. For example, for
the laminate in Figure 20, [0, 90, 45,]
s
means 0, 90, 45, 45, 90, 0. The subscript s
stands for symmetric.
Stress analysis
The stress analysis in a laminate is based on the following assumptions:
- The thickness of each ply is very small as compared to the plate’s dimensions
(thin plate assumption)
- Each ply is a thin plate with uniform thickness
- The bond between any two plies is perfect. Hence the plies cannot slip with
respect to each other and the displacements are continuous at the interface
- The whole laminate acts as an anisotropic unit
- The following kinematics assumptions (Kirchhoff) applie:
- The normal to the mid-plane of the laminate AD in figure xz remains
straight and perpendicular to the mid-plane in the deformed state A´D´.
- The normal to the mid-plane does not change its length when a plate
deforms that is AD = A´D´. See Figure 21 for details about the
deformation.

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41

Figure 21: Deformation of the laminate in the x-z plane
The stress-strain relation for the ply k can then be expressed by

_
xx xx
yy yy
k
xy xy
Q
o c
o c
t ¸
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ (
=
´ ` ´ `
(
¸ ¸
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
¹ ) ¹ )
(23)
where
_
k
Q
(
(
¸ ¸
is the stiffness matrix of the k-th layer in global coordinates as
in Figure 20.
Just as in classical beam theory, the strain matrix {c} can be expressed as
{ } { } { }
o
z c c k = + (24)
where {c
o
} represents the strains at the mid-plane z = 0 and {k} the curvature
matrix.
Then equation (18) can be written as
{ } { } { }
_ _
o
k
k k
Q z Q o c k
( (
= +
( (
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
(25)
to express the stress in each ply. While the strain varies linearly, jumps are
observed in the stress distribution as described in Figure 22. This is because
different plies exhibit different stress response depending on fiber orientation
and or type of fiber and matrix.
42

Figure 22: Stress and strain profiles in a multidirectional laminate
Resultant forces and moments are related to the stress distribution. If the whole
laminate is considered, these moments and forces are represented as Figure 23.

Figure 23: Resultant forces and moments applied to the laminate
If the total laminate thickness is h and ply number i has a thickness t
i
, the
resultant force and moment in the x-direction for example can be expressed as

2 2
2 2
( ) and ( )
h h
x x x x
h h
N z dz M z zdz o o
÷ ÷
= =
} }
(26)
and for a general stress analysis

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43

2 2
2 2
and
h h
x x x x
y y y y
h h
xy xy xy xy
N M
N dz M zdz
N M
o o
o o
t t
÷ ÷
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹ ¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
= =
´ ` ´ ` ´ ` ´ `
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
¹ ) ¹ ) ¹ ) ¹ )
} }
(27)
Finally, the so-called laminate constitutive equations can be formulated as

0
11 12 13 11 12 13
0
21 22 23 21 22 23
0
31 32 33 31 32 33
11 12 13 11 12 13
21 22 23 21 22 23
31 32 33 31 32 33
x x
y y
xy xy
x x
y y
xy xy
N A A A B B B
N A A A B B B
N A A A B B B
M B B B D D D
M B B B D D D
M B B B D D D
c
c
¸
k
k
k
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹ (
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ (
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ (
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ (
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
=
( ´ ` ´ `
( ¦ ¦ ¦
( ¦ ¦ ¦
( ¦ ¦ ¦
( ¦ ¦ ¦ ¸ ¸ ¹ ) ¹ )
¦
¦
¦
¦
(28)
or
o
N A B
M B D
c
k
¦ ¹ ( ¦ ¹
=
´ ` ´ `
(
¹ ) ¸ ¸ ¹ )
(29)
A is called the extensional stiffness matrix and its elements are given by
| |
_ _
1 1
and with , 1,2,6
n n
i kj kj i
i i i i
A Q t A Q t k j
= =
( | |
= = =
|
(
¸ ¸ \ .
¿ ¿
(30)
B is called the coupling stiffness matrix and is expressed by
| |
2 2 2 2
_ _
1 1
1 1
or with , 1,2,6
2 2
n n
i i i i
kj kj
i i i i
z z z z
B Q B Q k j
÷ ÷
= =
÷ ÷
( | |
= = =
|
(
¸ ¸ \ .
¿ ¿
(31)
Finally the bending matrix D can be written as
| |
3 3 3 3
_ _
1 1
1 1
or with , 1,2,6
3 3
n n
i i i i
kj kj
i i i i
z z z z
D Q D Q k j
÷ ÷
= =
÷ ÷
( | |
= = =
|
(
¸ ¸ \ .
¿ ¿
(32)
Now all necessary equations for the stress analysis of a general multidirectional
laminate under general loading conditions are available.
Very often, the laminate is designed in such a way that as many as possible of the
elements in the matrices A, B, and D can be eliminated. To achieve that goal, we
will make the laminate, symmetric, balanced and or cross-ply, to mention some
of the possibilities.
Symmetric laminate
44
In a symmetric laminate, for each ply there exists an identical ply located
symmetrically with respect to the mid-plane. The major advantage of symmetric
laminate is a state of stress where moment and normal forces are uncoupled.
Balanced laminate
In a balanced laminate each ply with orientation angle u thickness t has an
equivalent ply with the same thickness and an angle -u. The location of the ply is
arbitrary. The element and described in the extensional stiffness matrix are equal
to zero.
Hygrothermal stresses
Besides the mechanical stresses treated earlier, we must account for the stress
caused by temperature and moisture occurrence and variations. If thermal and
hygroscopic strains are respectively expressed by

{ }
0
L
th
T
T
o
c o
¦ ¹
¦ ¦
= A
´ `
¦ ¦
¹ )
(33)

{ }
and
0
L
H
T
C
|
c |
¦ ¹
¦ ¦
= A
´ `
¦ ¦
¹ )
(34)
When all applied loads are considered in a laminate, the mechanical strains can
be given by:
{ }
{}
{ } { }
M th H
e e e e = - - (35)
The global thermal strains in each lamina are computed as:

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45

th
x
x
th
y y
th
xy
xy
T
e
a
e a
a
g
ì ü
ï ï
ì ü
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï ï ï ï ï
=D
í ý í ý
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï î þ
ï ï ï ï î þ
(36)
where
x
y
xy
a
a
a
ì ü
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï ï ï
í ý
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï î þ
for each lamina is obtained by

{}
0
x
L
y
T
xy
Q
a a
a a
a
-
ì ü
ï ï ì ü
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï ï ï ï ï
=
í ý í ý
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï î þ
ï ï î þ
(37)
where
0
L
T
a
a
ì ü
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
í ý
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï
ï ï î þ
are the thermal coefficients of the single lamina in its principal
directions.
The stress in each lamina can then be computed as:

{}
th th
x x
th th
y y
th th
xy xy
Q T
s e
s e
t g
-
ì ü ì ü
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï ï ï ï ï
= D
í ý í ý
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï
ï ï ï ï ï ï ï ï î þ î þ
(38)
The same procedure is used to compute hygroscopic strains and stresses.
5.1.3 Strength and failure analysis
Failure mechanisms
During the presentation of the lamina is section 5.1.1, the failure modes for a
single ply were mentioned. Some of the failure mechanisms of a laminate are
similar to that of a ply. The main failure mechanisms for a laminate are:
- Fiber failure in tension or compression
- Fiber pullout
- Matrix crack in compression or tension
- Matrix shear failure
- Interfacial debond between the fiber and the matrix
46
The interested reader may consult Agarwal and Broutman (1990) for instance,
for a deeper analysis.
Strength criteria
In Figure 24, failure stresses and strains are indicated by the cross symbol “X”.
For instance,
1
s
+
is the stress at which the laminate fails if it is subjected only to
tensile stress in the 1-direction. In a similar manner,
2
e
-
is the failure strain when
the laminate is subjected to compression in the 2-direction. The relations
between stresses and strains are described as:

1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2 2
12 12 12
/ , / ,
/ , / ,
/
E E
E E
G
e s e s
e s e s
g t
+ + - -
+ + - -
± ±
= =
= =
=
(39)
Note that a single failure strain such as
2
e
-
does not necessarily correspond to a
complete description of the strain state at failure. This is due to the Poisson
effect between strains in perpendicular direction.

Figure 24: Stress and strain spaces and failure stresses and strains
There are many theories about how to establish the strength criteria of a FRP
laminate under a state of stress. Unfortunately, those theories do not always give
the same results. In fact, each of those theories is often well fitted for some
particular type of problems.
The maximum stress criterion

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47
According to this concept, the composite does not fail if the state of stress is as
described in equation (40) below.

1 1 1
2 2 2
12 12
s s s
s s s
t t
- +
- +
±
- < <
- < <
<
(40)
This criterion describes the failure when the laminate is subjected to tensile
stress in the longitudinal direction. One limitation is that the interaction effects
between stress components are not taken into account.
The maximum strain criterion
This criterion states that failure does not occur if:

1 1 1
2 2 2
12 12
e e e
e e e
g g
- +
- +
±
- < <
- < <
<
(41)
This criterion is suitable for analyzing the strength of the matrix under uni-axial
loading.
A typical analysis procedure is to analyze strength in tension in the longitudinal
direction using the maximum stress criterion, and strength in compression in
the transverse direction using the maximum strain criterion.
The maximum work criterion
Also called Tsai-Hill criterion, this concept states the laminate has not failed if

2 2 2
2 1 2 1 12
1
X Y X X S
s s s s t
Î
æ ö æ ö æ ö
÷ ÷ ÷ ç ç ç + - + =
÷ ÷ ÷
ç ç ç ÷ ÷ ÷ ç ç ç
è ø è ø è ø
(42)
with X, Y and S being the material’s ultimate tensile strength, compressive
strength and shear strength respectively.
Criterion adopted from conventional bridge engineering
Karbhari and Lei (1999) have used another approach that is closer to the
conventional bridge design method. The stresses experienced by the FRP are
expressed in terms of strains that are compared to a percentage of the material’s
ultimate limit. This rather conservative approach based on experimental data is
described as follows:
48
 Permanent Load Limit States: Safety limit state defined in terms of strain
allowable in the FRP components under the structure’s self weight and other
permanent loading. The maximum value of the strain shall be restricted to
20% of the ultimate strain.
 Service Limit States: For the SERVICE I loading combination the maximum
allowable strain in a composite material shall be restricted to 30% of the
ultimate strain.
 Strength Limit Sates: Safety limit state defined in terms of a reduction in the
ultimate strains in the FRP components under the strength combination
loading. The ultimate strain resistance shall be reduced by the factor 0.50.
While this method may be useful during a preliminary design, the failure
analysis methods prescribed by the mechanics of FRP should be used during
the refined analysis.
Effects of creep
In the case of the sandwich deck, the effect of creep will mainly affect deflection
requirement. In concrete structure, a modified (reduced) elastic modulus is used
in order to account for the effect of creep. The parameters influencing creep in
general are:
- The load duration
- The stress level
- The moisture content
- The temperature
For practical applications of FRP in civil infrastructure, the creep-stress
relaxation properties are dominated by the resin matrix dependent properties,
rather than fiber or interfacial properties. The creep behavior of FRP is also
strongly dependent on the fiber orientation of the system. The time dependency
of creep compliance is less affected by the creep behavior of the matrix if the
composite is loaded along the direction of the fiber. For off-axis loading, the
creep behavior is strongly dependent on the creep of the matrix. Creep failure
and long-term relaxation should be investigated in the refined analysis of the
long-term behavior of the FRP structural component. In the analysis of the
short-term behavior, we can omit the creep and relaxation. These effects are
taken into account through the material’s Partial Safety Factor.

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49
The creep behavior of the Balsa core is different of that of the FRP shell. At
average temperature (25
o
C), and for a moisture content below 12%, the
decrease in wood properties is between 8% and 30% as reported in Timber
Engineer (1995). The Balsa provider Baltek recommends to make sure that the
moisture content is between 3 and 6% before the vacuum infusion. From a
study on moisture on a 14 years old sandwich construction, it is shown that if
the manufacturing is done properly, the moisture content is kept below 10 %.
See the investigation result at
http://www.baltek.com/whatsnew/2_01moisture.html. In a conservative
approach, the section stiffness could be increased by 30 % to account for creep.
However, in the material Partial Safety Factor described in Section 6.3.2, the
effect of long-term loading has already been taken into account.
Effects of relaxation
Relaxation occur when
5.2 Mechanics of Sandwich construction
A sandwich structure is basically made of a core material within two faces. See
Figure 25 for a schematic of a sandwich. In a more rigorous way, the adhesive
that bonds the faces to the core could be considered as a third element. In the
following description of sandwich design and analysis, we will use the 3-part
concept.

Figure 25: Schematic of a sandwich
Usually, the face material is thin compared to the core, stiff and strong while the
core is rather weak and light. In its function, a sandwich can be compared to an
I- beam. The main difference is that the core material in a sandwich is different
from face material while the web in an I-beam usually has the same material as
50
the flanges. The concept of sandwich beam is essentially used to increase the
flexural flexibility of a beam or plate without any dramatic weight increase.
Sandwich construction is used in the design of a wide variety of products. For
instance, the coach of some all-terrain military vehicles is made of self-supporting
sandwich panels. Rotor blades of wind mills used for wind energy generation are
often based on sandwich construction. The inner bodies of many railway
passenger-cars are also made of sandwich beams. Other industries were sandwich
structures are used are bodies of truck structures and containers, boats, large
doors to industrial buildings, etc...
The main reason for using sandwich construction is the possibility to combine
lightweight and strength requirement. The properties of each component are
used in an optimal manner. Other advantages of sandwich construction are their
superior fatigue strength, good thermal and acoustic insulation and cost
competitiveness.

Figure 26: Comparing solid beam and sandwich beam
Usually the density of the core material is 5 to 20 times lower than that of the
material in the faces. If we set the weight of the solid beam in Figure 26 to 1 and
the weight of the sandwich to (1+ weight
core
), the equivalent flexural rigidity are 1
respectively 12.

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51
5.2.1 Faces and core material
Face materials:
The face material can be made of steel, aluminum or FRP composite. In the
ideal sandwich model, faces carry all tensile and compression forces. However,
faces may also need to carry local pressure. For instance for a sandwich bridge
deck, the top face should be design to carry the shear forces caused by the local
wheel pressure of a trafficking vehicle.
Core materials:
The core material can be made of PVC, a wood like Balsa or some kind of
honeycomb structure. The advantage of balsa is that it has both superior
bonding strength and superior shear strength. Whereas foam is very weak against
inter-laminar shearing forces, balsa is quite strong. When Vacuum Infusion is
the manufacturing process for producing the sandwich, as is the case in our
project, honeycomb is usually not the most suitable core material. The structural
function of the core material is:
- To keep the distance between the faces constant. This requires that the core is
stiff enough.
- To be rigid enough to resist shear stresses that may force the faces to slip
relatively to each other.
- Fulfill requirements on buckling, resistance to moisture and aging.
Joints:
The joints are needed to ensure a good composite action between faces and core.
Thus, the joints should be designed to resist shear and tensile stresses. As a rule
of thumb, the joints should be able to resist the same shear stress as the core.
When Vacuum Infusion is used to manufacture a sandwich component, the
resin impregnating the fibers will act as an adhesive joint between core and FRP
faces.
52
5.2.2 Design of sandwich structural components

Figure 27: Cross-section and geometry of a loaded sandwich beam
The ordinary engineering beam theory can be used to design sandwich beams
with some modifications. The effects of shear stress on the deflection of the
beam be accounted for. The flexural rigidity of an isotropic homogeneous beam
is usually expressed by: D EI = where E is the modulus of elasticity and I the
second moment of inertia. In a sandwich beam, the flexural rigidities of the
different parts measured about the centroid are summed up.
For a symmetric sandwich cross-section like the one described in Figure 27, the
flexural rigidity is given by:
3 2
3
2
6 2 12
f f f f
c c
o c
f
E t E t d
E t
D D D D = + + = + + (43)
where 2D
f
is the bending stiffness of the faces about their individual
neutral axis

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53
D
o
the bending stiffness of the faces about the middle axis
D
c
the bending stiffness of the core
The shear stiffness is computed by:
f f
c c
c
f
c
f
G A
G A
V V V
b b
= + = + (44)
where G and A stands for the Shear modulus and area respectively. The
indexes c and f refers to core and faces respectively. The parameter | is a
form factor that accounts for the contribution of side faces if such members
exist in the beam. | is given by
f
side
A
A
b = (45)
In the case of an open beam, V is equal to V
c

In equation (43), it is assumed that the top and bottom faces are similar and that
the cross-section is symmetric.
The following assumptions when verified, can simplify the analysis of the
sandwich beam:
- If the faces are thin compared to the core, shear and bending stresses in the
faces can be ignored. This approximation is investigated by the condition:
2
2
0.01 if 3 100 or 5.77
f
o
f f
D
d d
D t t
æ ö
÷ ç
÷
ç
< > > ÷
ç
÷
ç
÷÷ ç
è ø
(46)
If the beam has faces on the side, the shear and bending stresses in the side faces
cannot be ignored
- The weak core approximation is verified by:
3
6
0.01 if 100
f f
c
o c c
E t d
D
D E t
< > (47)
The shear stress is assumed constant throughout the depth of the core
Stresses and strains:
The direct stresses and strains are given by:
and
x
f
x
f f
M zE
M z
D D
e s = = (48)
54
for the faces and
and
x x c
c c
M z M zE
D D
e s = = (49)
for the core material
where M
x
is the applied bending moment and z the distance from the
position where the stress is computed to the centroidal axis of the beam.
The shear stresses are expressed by the following equations:
( )
( )
2
2 2
2 4
2
f
x c
c
f f f
o
f
E
T t
z t t t z
D D
t
æ ö
÷ ç
÷ = + + -
ç
÷
ç ÷ ç
è ø
+
(50)
and for the core
( )
2
2
2 2 4
f f
x c c
c
E t d
T E t
z z
D
t
é ù æ ö
÷ ç ê ú
÷ = + -
ç
÷
ê ú ç ÷ ç
è ø
ë û
(51)
where T
x
is the applied shear force and t
c
the core depth.
The maximum shear stress is is the core at the position of the neural axis that is
for z = 0. The minimum core shear is at the interface face-core
Deflections:
The deflection of a sandwich beam differs from that of an isotropic beam by the
contribution of the shear stresses.. If we consider the simply supported beam
shown in Figure 27, the total deflection is given by:
3
48 4
s
b
PL PL
w w w
D V
= + = + (52)
If we have a uniformly distributed load q instead, the expression of w is:
4 2
5
384 8
s
b
qL qL
w w w
D V
= + = + (53)
In general, the equation for w depends on the loading case and the boundary
conditions. Elementary beam tables can be used to derive the contribution of
shear for each individual case.
The value of w
s
is estimated by the following equation:
0 0
x x
s
Q Q
w dx x C
V V
é ù
= = + ê ú
ê ú
ë û
ò
(54)

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55
where x is the position at which the deflection is wanted and Q the shear
force at the same location. Q is obtained with ordinary beam equation.
Buckling:
The critical value of the general buckling load is given by:
1 1 1
cr s
b
P P P
= + (55)
where
( )
2 2 2
2
and
c
s
b
c
G d n D
P P
t L
p
b
= = (56)
where | is given by the well known Euler buckling cases.
The expressions in equation (56) are per unit width.
Apart from the global buckling, local buckling can be estimated by:
1/ 6
2
3
4
or 0.5
f
c c
f f
c c
D
L E E G
E G
p s
æ ö
÷ ç
÷
ç
= =
÷
ç
÷
ç
÷÷ ç
è ø
(57)
Finally, the free vibration of the beam might need to be calculated. The
expression for the natural frequency is a function of the boundary conditions.
For a beam supported on two edges with simple support, the value of e
m
is given
by:
( )
2 2
* 4 2 2
1
m
D
m
L m
w p
r p q
=
+
(58)
where m = 1,2,3...is the mode number
µ
*
is the mass per unit surface
and
2
DL
V
q = is the shear factor.
Prior to the design procedure, the following approximations should be
controlled:
1. If the width b < c (core depth), then the beam is considered narrow and E is
used in computing D. If b > c , the beam is considered a wide beam and
lateral expansions and contractions in the y-direction must be considered.
Then E/(1-v
2
) is used instead in the expression for D.
2. If the faces are dissimilar, (D
f
is replaced by D
f1
+ D
f2
) when computing D.
3. If the beam has side faces, their contribution must be added to D.
56
The design and analysis of a sandwich-boxed beam with similar faces can be
carried on according to the following steps:
1. Control thin face and weak core approximations, select appropriate equations
for and compute D.
2. Compute the shear stiffness V
3. Compute stresses and strains by using equations (48) to (51)
4. Use elementary beam tables and equations (52) to (54) to evaluate the
maximum deflection
5. Use equations (55) to (57) to estimate general and local buckling loads
6. If required by the analysis, use equation (58) to estimate the natural
frequency.
Failure analysis:
The next step in the analysis is to investigate the failure modes. The main
fracture modes in a FRP sandwich construction are described in Figure 28.

Figure 28: Failure modes encountered for a sandwich beam. After Zenkert
editor (1997)
In the case of our wide sandwich boxed beam, the failure modes of interest are:
- Yielding or fracture of the face in tension or compression. The criterion for
failure is when the maximum stress in the component reaches the maximum
allowable. This will be verified using FRP failure criterion as described in
section 5.1.3.

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57
- Core shear failure. The shear stress calculated as given by equation (51) will
be compared to the maximum allowable collected from the material data.
- Face wrinkling can occur in the compression face during buckling. This case
can be controlled using the local buckling equations given earlier in this
section.
- General buckling can be investigated using the equation mentioned earlier in
this section.
- Shear crimping is a failure mode that might occur in the core material when a
critical stress is reached in the face. The critical stress is given by
2
f
S
t
s = (59)
with the stress given per unit width.
- Core indention might occur at any location where concentrated load occurs.
The stress caused by the concentrated load will be compared to the core’s
maximum allowable.
- Debonding at the joint between the faces and the core can occur if the shear
stresses at the interface exceed the maximum allowable of the joint material,
namely the resin.
- Fatigue. For the face material, the fatigue analysis will be performed as for
FRP materials in general. This means that the maximum strain should be
lower than 0.2 % as recommended by the FRP design handbook
EUROCOMP (1998).
The information about the design and analysis of FRP sandwich structural
component as described in this section is taken from “ The Handbook of
Sandwich Construction” (1998).
In addition to the failure modes described above, punching shear due to
concentrated wheel load should be investigated. The model described in Figure
29, is normally used to investigate punching load in concrete bridge deck. The
model can be used to initiate a refined analysis of punching shear in sandwich
beams.
58

Figure 29: Punching shear failure
Impact of inserts:
Often, the sandwich component needs to be connected to other components in
order to function within a structural system. This requires the presence of
embedded insert in the core material. The design of those inserts is crucial to the
good functioning of the system. Some aspects to be considered are:
- Zones of stress concentration
- Potential infiltration of humidity that may condense inside the component at
the interface core-FRP. If the core material is Balsa, this condensed humidity
will lead to the degradation of the material.
5.3 Composite action of concrete and FRP in structural components
5.3.1 Composite action concrete-FRP
Bonding between concrete and FRP (Work at San Diego):
High vct cement at UCSD
Effects of climatic conditions (Conf. article):
If no design is made to ensure mechanical perfect mechanical composite action,
then surface treatment similar to that used in repair of concrete by frp necessary.

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59
5.3.2 concrete filled FRP shells
Concrete filled steel shells have been used in many structures during the last
three decades with great success, as described in the work by Davol (1998). In
contrast, the use of concrete filled FRP shells is a relatively new method of
combining the compressive strength of concrete to the tensile strength of FRP in
order to obtain an ideal composite column. Although the model for FRP filled
shells is derived from the steel filled shells, the refined analysis is rather
different. This is due to the anisotropic nature of the FRP shell that requires
stress analysis in different directions. Some analytical and experimental work
have been carried on by Mirmiran and Shahawy (1994) and Davol (1998). In the
following, the basic equations for preliminary design are presented.


Figure 30: Concept for concrete filled circular FRP shell. After Davol
(1998)
In the model presented in Figure 30, the following assumptions are made:
- The shell is thin in comparison to the radius of the section and thus, the
strain gradient in the shell is negligible.
- The concrete core will essentially take compressive force.
- The FRP shell will essentially carry tension load.
The model assumes that the shell is thin compared to the radius of the cross-
section and that the strain gradient in the shell is negligible. Thus for a circular
section, the bending stiffness of the laminate has no effect on the analysis and
60
the equivalent orthotropic plate properties of the FRP shell can be used, as
stated by Davol (1998). Stress states in compression and tension behavior will be
analyzed in the first place. From that analysis, it will be able to study the bending
behavior. An incremental elastic approach of the concrete dilatation is taken for
this analysis. We will assume that the fiber-reinforced shell remains linear elastic
throughout the loading history to failure. The tangent modulus and an
equivalent tangent Poisson’s ratio of the concrete are used in the incremental
relation that accounts for the nonlinear concrete behavior.
A bi-axial stress of state is assumed in the shell that gives strains in longitudinal
and tangential directions as described in the following equations:

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61
and
L T T L
T L TL LT
T T L L
E E E E
s s s s
e n e n = - = - (60)
where the indexes L and T stand for the longitudinal and tangential
directions respectively.
Compression strains:
The compression in the concrete is a function of the radial expansion. The
longitudinal and radial strains in the concrete are given by:
( ) ( )
r
1 1
2 and 1
c r c r c
l l l
c c
E E
e s n s e n s n s
é ù
= - = - -
ë û
(61)
where the indexes l and r stand for the longitudinal and radial directions
respectively.
We assume full composite action between the FRP shell and the concrete core,
which is illustrated by the following equations:
T
, and
r r
T L l
R
t
e e e e s s = = =- (62)
Finally, we can use equations (60) to (62) to determine the radial stress, the
radial strain and the axial stress as follow:
( )
( )
1
r
LT l H
r
TL LT
E t
R
n e e
s
n n
+
=-
-
(63)
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
2
2
1 1 2
1 2 1
c c c c
T TL LT LT
r
l
c c c
T TL LT
E R E t
E t E R
n n n n n n
e e
n n n n
é ù
- + - -
ê ú
=
ê ú
- - - - -
ê ú
ë û
(64)
TL
r
L L L
T
R
E
E t
n
s e s
æ ö
÷ ç
÷
ç = -
÷
ç
÷
÷ çç
è ø
(65)
To account for the non linear behaviour of the confined concrete cylinder,
Miramar and Shahaway (1995) developed some empirical equations based on
experimental data. The dilatation rate is expressed by:
2
0
2
1
l l
co co r
l
l l
co co
a b
c d
e e
m
e e e
m
e
e e
e e
æ ö
÷ ç
÷ + + ç
÷
ç
÷ ç ÷
D è ø
= =
D æ ö
÷ ç
÷ + + ç
÷
ç
÷ ç ÷
è ø
(66)
62
where µ
o
is the initial dilatation rate computed from equation (64) and the
coefficients a, b, c and d are experimentally obtained fitting parameters given
in Table 6. Those coefficients were derived through a comprehensive
experimental investigation by Mirmiran and Shahawy (1994).
Table 6: Coefficients used in Equation (66)
Constant a b c d E
co
(MPa)
Value 1.0 -0.09967 5.802 7.061 20.9

The concrete stress is determined by subtracting the load in the shell from the
total applied load.

1
' 0
2
1 1
0 0
1
c
c
l
c c
a
f
b c
e
e
s
e e
e e
=
æ ö
÷ ç
÷
ç + +
÷
ç
÷
÷ çç
è ø
(67)
Equations (66) and (67) can then be used in a program to simultaneously solve
(61) and (64) for the equivalent tangent Poisson’s ratio and tangent concrete
modulus as a function of the axial or radial strain. The tangent concrete
modulus is given by

0
2 0
0 0
1
1
r
c
c c
r r
c c
a
E E
b c
e
e
e e
e e
+
=
æ ö
÷ ç
÷
ç + +
÷
ç
÷
÷ çç
è ø
(68)
Tension stresses:
We assume that under tension, the longitudinal stress in the concrete core is
zero. There is a radial contraction in the shell due to its Poisson’s
ratio. This radial contraction is resisted by the concrete core. The radial stress in
the concrete is computed as:

0 r c H
E s e = (69)
This equation together with equations (60) and (61) give the hoop strain as a
function of the axial strain:

0 0
T LT
T L
c c LT TL LT
E t
E R E R
n
e e
n n n
é ù
ê ú
=
ê ú
-
ê ú
ë û
(70)

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63

Shear stresses:

Figure 31: Shear stress at interface concrete-FRP shell. After Davol (1998)
Figure 31 shows the forces in a section of shell and concrete necessary to
maintain equilibrium in a section of the member with shear forces present. For
the shear stress analysis, we can consider the scenarios:
- Inadequate or nonexistent shear transfer mechanism between the shell and
the encased concrete core. The shear capacity of the concrete is estimated by:

'
, where 0.16 0.29 MPa
c c
k k
V A f n n = £ £ (71)
- The second case applies to a shell and concrete composite system that has an
adequate shear transfer mechanism.
64

Figure 32: Cross-section geometry for interface shear determination
Referring to Figure 31, we can say that at a distance dx along the member, the
moment changes by:
' M M Vdx = + (72)
for small values of dx, we get

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65
'
M Vdx
P
M
+
= (73)
The shear transferred is thus

' P P PV
q
dx M
-
= = (74)
An effective thickness is used to calculate the shear strain from the shear flow:
2 , where
c
ca
ca
eff
L
E dyz
zE
t t E
E dyz
= + =
å
å
(75)
Bending stresses:
Based on the analysis of tension, compression and bending stresses, a refined a
refined bending analysis can be carried out. However, due to the complexity of
the analysis, a computer program is needed. The computer program used by
Davol (1998) followed the pattern in

Figure 33: Analysis flow for bending behavior
Davol also showed that special attention should be paid for two factors when
using the concrete filled FRP shell concept:
- The ratio of fibers quantity in the hoop direction to that of the fibers in the
longitudinal direction.
66
- The geometry of the FRP shell’s cross-section. Rectangular, circular and
elliptical cross-section result in different state of stress.
5.4 Joint design for FRP components
The assembly of structural members, made of FRP or other materials, requires
joints, which are therefore integral parts of the structural system. In a FRP
composite bridge deck, the joints should also be considered as primary structural
components. In the following, a summary is given on the design of joints in FRP
structures. The information is mainly collected from the MIL-Handbook (1998).
Joints can be be classified as:
Primary structural joints. Their failure implies a failure of the whole structural
system. They are designed to satisfy strength and stiffness during the whole
service life of the structure.
Secondary structural joints. They provide some strength and stiffness to the
structural system, but their failure is not catastrophic to the entire system. An
example is the field connection of two modular units.
Non-structural joints. These joints connect decorative panels or other non-
structural components.
For more details, the reader is referred to the EUROCOMP Design Guide and
Handbook (1996), “Structural Design of Polymer Composites”, which is a
comprehensive design guide for FRP structures following a Load and Resistance
Factor Design (LRFD) format.
5.4.1 Bolted Joints
Rivets are suitable for joining larninates up to 3 mm thick. The closing pressure
is not always readily controllable, resulting in a wide variation in clamping
pressure. In addition, the riveting operation can potentially damage the
laminates. Bolted joints are the most efficient form of all mechanical fastening
for carbon FRP (CFRP). On a specific strength basis (strength/mass), they are
even superior to conventional structural materials.
The use of mechanical fasteners to join FRP members originates from the same
applications to metallic members. Specific issues are the stresses around the
holes in FRP bolted joints. Mechanically fastened FRP joints share the same
basic failure modes with metals. Though, the mechanisms by which damage
initiates and propagates can be fundamentally different and so classical metal
failure criteria are not always applicable. FRP components can indeed be

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67
considerably weakened by holes and cut-outs. Most isotropic materials exhibit
some plasticity, which relieves the stress concentration and causes it to have only
a small effect on the net failure stress. This is not the case for unidirectional
FRP, which are elastic to failure, and where stresses concentration causes low net
failure stress. Therefore, the necessity to design a quasi-isotropic FRP laminate
around the mechanical joint. In addition to failing in modes similar to those
found in metallic connections, i.e., by shear, tension or bearing, FRP
connections may also fail by cleavage of the laminate or the connector pulling
through the laminate as shown in Figure 34.

Figure 34:Modes of failure in bolted joints for FRP (from Hart-Smith,
1987)
Tension
The average net stress o
n
, across a section is given by:
( )
n
P
w nd t
o =
÷
(76)
where P is the tension carried by the joint of width w and thickness t with n
bolt holes of diameter d within the section.
Tensile strength depends highly on fiber orientation. The fibers parallel to the
load (0º) carry most of it, and for CFRP, failure is initiated at the stress
concentration at the edge of the hole at 90º to the loading axis as shown by
68
Potter (1978). For GFRP, failure is a more complex combination of shear and
tension failures. Failure initiates with the 0º fibers shearing over the projected
area of the hole and propagates by in-plane shearing between the 0º and 45º
plies across the entire width of the laminate. Consequently, only the 45º plies
remain to carry the axial load, and tension failure occurs immediately after in-
plane shearing.
Shear Failure
The shear strength t of an FRP joint of thickness t carrying a force P is calculated
in the same manner as for isotropic materials,
2
P
et
t = (77)
where e is the distance from the center of the bolt hole to the ends of the
connected plates and t the thickness of the laminate.
As mentioned above for tension failure, fiber orientation is also critical in
determining shear strength. For 0º fibers, the shear strength of a joint is low
compared with the in-plane shear strength of the laminate, indicating high shear
stress concentration around the hole. In contrast, the shear strength of 0º/ 45º
joints is high and insensitive to end distance, suggesting low shear stress
concentration.
Bearing Failure
Bearing causes compression on the loaded half of the bolt hole. Thus, the
compressive strength of the 0º fibers, as well as the clamping pressure are
important parameters in determining bearing strength. An average bearing stress
assumed to act uniformly on the cross-sectional area of the hole can be
calculated as
P
ndt
o = (78)
Laminates containing some 90º and / or + 45º plies perform well under bolt
bearing conditions.
Cleavage Failure
Cleavage failure only occurs in 0 º /+ u lay-ups with a high proportion of 0 º
fibers (u is the orientation of the plies that are not at 0 º). Failure initiates in a
single shear mode followed by failure of the net section on one side of the

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69
laminate. If such lay-ups are needed, the region around the hole should be
reinforced.
Pull-out Failure
Pull-out failure is associated mostly with rivets. Since rivets are used mostly in
single shear, axial in-plane loading imposes out-of-plane bending and peeling
(pulling apart) of the joint. Under extreme loading, rivets may fail by bending or
head shearing.
Of the above modes of failure, the most desirable are bearing and tension.
Important factors affecting connection strength:
- Fiber Orientation
- Lateral Constraint: Lateral constraint due to clamping pressure can
significantly increase joint strength, although over-tightening of bolts may
cause surface damage to the laminate. Collings (1977) and Garbo and
Ogonowski (1981) recommended an optimum bolt clamping pressure of 22
MPa for CFRP.
- Resin creep causes clamping pressure to decrease in time (Shivakumar and
Crews, 1982). This behavior is more pronounced in high temperature and
high moisture conditions (up to 60% clamping pressure at 60 º C, 1 %
moisture content). This loss in clamping pressure does not necessarily
translate in an equal loss in joint strength. Indeed, finger-tight constraints
produce joint strength of 88 % of optimally constrained joints for dry, 0º/ +
45º laminates at room temperature (Collings, 1982).
- Stacking Sequence. Callings (1977) showed that, for bolted CFRP joints
consisting of 0º (2/3) and + 45º (1/3) plies, there was no difference in shear
strength, but a difference of 6 % in tensile strength between two different
stacking sequences. Bearing strength, however, shows a significant drop (16
%) for the more "grouped" laminates (Fig. 2.9, Table 2.1).
- For pin-loaded holes (without clamping pressure), Quinn and Mathews
(1977) showed that a 90º/+45'/0º laminate produced the highest bearing
strength, and a 0º/90º/+45' the lowest, with a relative reduction of 30 %
- Joint Geometry
Width: In contrast to metals, FRP cannot take advantage of plasticity to relieve
stress concentration near bolt holes. As a result, for a given hole diameter, net
tensile failure stress depends strongly on width. The effect of width is most
70
marked for laminates with a high proportion of 0º fibers and least for + 45º
laminates as described by Collings (1977).
Hole Size: Hole size has little influence on the net tensile strength and shear
strength of 0º/+ 45º CFRP (Collings, 1977) or 0º/ + 45º GFRP (Kretsis and
Matthews, 1985). The bearing strength of CFRP is unaffected by hole diameter d
provided sufficient clamping pressure is provided. However, for GFRP, the low
elastic modulus of glass causes out-of-plane cracking for d/t > 3 regardless of
lateral constraint, in 0'I + 45º lay-ups. Values of d/t < 1.5 should not be used due
to the risk of bolt shear. Joint strength is limited by bearing failure for small d/w
ratios, and by tension failure through the hole for large d/w ratios. A reduction
in end distance e, below a certain value of e/w = 1 further decreases joint
strength.
Interaction between holes: Joint geometry is generally chosen such that potential
tensile or shear failures occur simultaneously at a mean stress as close as possible
to the bearing failure stress. If these requirements are met, and adequate spacing
is provided for ease of installation, then interaction between adjacent bolts and
holes is minimal. On the other hand, matching the stiffness of the joining parts
equalizes the load distribution to the bolts and maximizes joint strength.
Fatigue Strength:
The fatigue performance of bolted CFRP joints can be better than that of open
holes. Thus mechanical joints of composite materials are unlikely to be fatigue
critical, in contrast with aluminum alloys (Clayton and Jones, 1976; Heath-
Smith, 1979). Garbo and Ogonowski (1981) showed that residual strength is
generally equal to or greater than the strength of non-fatigued specimens,
because of progressive relief of stress concentration. However, in most cases, the
specimens sustained hole elongations of 0.05 d, a value greater than that
normally allowed in metallic joints. Therefore, elongation, rather than strength,
may be the governing fatigue criterion for CFRP joints.
Conclusion:
Mechanical fasteners are an effective method of joining FRP members. The best
overall performance for the three main failure modes (tension, shear and
bearing) is obtained for 0º /+ 45º laminates. As a general rule, there should be
between 1/8 and 3/8 of the fibers in any one of the basic laminate directions,
0º, + 45º, - 45º and 90º (Hart-Smith, 1987). Maximum joint strength is
developed when the joint geometry is designed to suppress tension and shear

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71
failures, and sufficient clamping pressure across the thickness of the laminate is
provided.
5.4.2 Adhesively Bonded Joints

5.4.3 Combining Bolted and Bonded Joints

5.4.4 Other joining methods

5.4.5 Joining FRP and concrete
Work from San Diego

6 DESIGN REQUIREMENTS AND OVERALL
CONCEPT SELECTION
6.1 Design requirements
6.1.1 Conditions imposed by client’s requirements

It should be specified here that the municipality of the Luleå City is not yet a
client in the strict sense of the term. They have shown genuine interest in the
project and have been associated to the study and preliminary analysis process.
We have therefore asked for their design criteria and performance requirements
72
in relation to bridges of this type. They also provided geometrical and
topological data such as location, bridge length, etc…
The requirements from the municipality of Luleå City are as follow:
- The bridge should have a total length of 33 m and a width of 3 m.
- The minimum depth down to the underlying traffic road should be 5.1
meters instead of the conventional 4.7 m recommended by Bro 94
- It should be possible for skiers to use the bridge during the winter.
- The mid-span must be easy to remove whenever necessary by means of a
crane. It should also have a minimum length of 10 m.
- The bridge columns should not be placed too close to the underlying road in
order to avoid collision with street-cleaning vehicle.
- The maximum allowable slope of the bridge deck surface in elevation is 5.6
%. This requirement is aimed at making it possible for disabled people’s
vehicles to use the bridge.
- A minimum useful life of 80 years, preferably 120 years.
- The total cost of the bridge should not exceed the cost range of a similar
bridge with conventional materials.
- The bridge must satisfy all other requirements imposed by “BRO 94” the
standard for bridge design established by the Swedish Road Administration.

6.1.2 Conditions imposed by the aesthetic requirements
Usually the client is responsible of determining the desired architecture of a
bridge. In this project, since the client wasn’t familiar with FRP material and its
aesthetic potentials, this task was left to the design team at SICOMP. The
preliminary design was initialized with the classical concept of a rectangular cross
section bridge deck on circular columns. However, the project manager wished
to associate this new application of FRP with an original and appealing shape
that will exploit and reveal the architectural flexibility of the material. A
renowned artist from the region was asked to suggest a genuine shape for the
bridge, assisted by the project team. Since, the bridge was to be built near a place
called “Snake Hill” in Swedish, the bridge was preliminary called “Snake Hill
bridge”. The artist proposed a serpentine shape for the bridge deck and the
columns as snake tongues. Further more, the tongue pattern was to be used in
designing a FRP guardrail system. The bridge should be slender, appealing and
adapted to the surrounding landscape.
6.1.3 Other design requirements
Manufacturing process

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73
One of the sponsors of the project required that the project should support the
regional FRP manufacturing industry. Since there are no pultruded profiles
manufacturer around, the alternative left is to manufacture the components
using Vacuum Infusion. As described in section 1, the manufacturing process
affects the mechanical properties of the structural components. For instance, it is
not economically viable to produce sections similar to structural steel sections, as
would be the case with pultrusion.
Modular concept requirement
Manufacturing deck sections by Vacuum Infusion may sometimes requires
moulds that can be rather expensive. Therefore, it is necessary to design the deck
sections in a modular form that requires as few, inexpensive and reusable
moulds as possible.
On site assembly requirement
Since the manufactured parts need to be transported from the factory to the
future bridge site, it is necessary to design sections that be could easily
transported. Moreover, the sections must be designed with ease of installation in
mind.
Cost requirements
Since the main goal of the project is to promote a commercial use of FRP in
bridge construction, it is of outmost importance to develop a design concept that
will enable the “Snake Hill bridge” to be economically competitive. The total
cost of the bridge over its service life should be comparable or lower than that of
a bridge made of conventional building material.
6.2 Overall shape selection
A preliminary architectural sketch attributes a serpentine shape to the bridge in
both horizontal plane and elevation. In addition, the columns should remind of
a snake tongue. The conceptual work resulted in the proposed shape as
described in Figure 37, Figure 38and Figure 39. This shape resulted in
curvatures in both the horizontal and the vertical plane. The conceptual
designed was further developed in a Bachelor thesis by Forslund (2001).

74

Figure 35: development of the serpentine concept. Courtesy of S. Berglund

Figure 36: Development of a downscaled model
One essential aspect of the aesthetic requirement is the deck slenderness. 3 ways
of determining the ideal achievable slenderness have been used in this study:
- The wish of the project manager to achieve a a total depth of around 300
mm. Minimum depths is actually synonym to minimum cost for core
material.
- Start from the total depth of existing pedestrian bridges made of conventional
materials (Steel, wood, Reinforced Concrete (RC), Composite Steel-RC).
These are usually between 450 mm and 800 mm. Lower depths are achievable

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75
with tensioned RC deck, which is not cost effective for a small to medium
size pedestrian bridge in Sweden.

Figure 37: Proposed geometry for column, deck and guardrails. Courtesy of
J. Forslund

Figure 38: 3 D models of bridge at site and with removed mid-span.
Courtesy of J. Forslund (2001)
Gottemoeller (1997) gives some rules of thumb about selecting aesthetic
proportions that are consistent with function and cost requirements. Some of
his recommendations are as follows:
- The length of any given span should be bigger that the distance between the
bottom of the deck and the ground below it. It our case one of the client’s
requirement was to have a minimum height of 5.1 m from the underlying
traffic road to the bottom of bridge deck. Thus, our shortest span should be
longer than 5.1 m.
- The ratio of span to lowest height under bridge deck should be about the
same for all spans.
- The width of the column at the top should be < L/8 if L ifs the longest span.
76
- The abutment’s visible height should be < h/3 if h is the height of the closest
column.
- If the deck thickness varies, it should vary between d and 1.3d to 2d, d being
the smallest thickness
From the result of the geometry concept selection, it is concluded that the bridge
will have curvatures both in vertical and horizontal planes as shown by sketches
in figures Figure 40 and Figure 41.


Figure 39: Sketch of bridge in elevation with vertical curvature

Figure 40: Serpentine shape (left) and initial concept (right) for bridge deck
in horizontal plane
However, the curvatures in the horizontal plane as proposed in the artist sketch
would extend the bridge length and increase the final cost. Moreover, an

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77
excessive vertical curvature contradicts with the maximum allowable slope of 5.6
% set by the municipality. The selected concept for the preliminary design
became a bridge with 3 spans of which the mid-span is straight and the outer
spans are curved. The vertical curvature was set to 5.6 % in conformity with the
client’s requirement as described in section 6.1.1.


Figure 41: Final sketch with reduced vertical and horizontal curvatures
In the final sketch as presented in Figure 41, the curvatures proposed by the
artist have been considerably reduced in order to meet cost requirements.
6.2.1 Structural beam system concepts
From the sketches of concepts presented in section 6.2, different structural beam
concepts relevant for achieving the curvatures were investigated.
Arch beam
For the vertical curvature, the arch beam as presented by Sundqvist (1995) was
investigated. The basic idea of the arch function is that the compression action
can solely be used to transfer stresses to the ground. The arch can have up to
three joints or no joint at all depending on the bridge length and the ground’s
mechanical properties. The arch is then connected to the bridge deck through
columns. However, the height f should be > L/5, with L being the total length
of the arched bridge span. In our case, this will lead to a vertical curvature of 2.2
to 6 m, much higher than the max allowed slope requirement indicated in 6.1.1.
Another problem is that the arch function requires fixed supports at the
78
abutments’ positions, which is not compatible with a removable span. Therefore,
the arch function alternative was discarded.

Figure 42: Force equilibrium for a 3 joints arch beam
Curved beam
In the curved beam concept, there is no need for a relatively high elevation f as
described in Figure 42. The requirements on structure stiffness are instead
partially fulfilled by a special design of the end supports. The advantage of the
curved beam as described by Bozhevolnaya (1998) is in the partial load
transferring function through the compression action. The curved sandwich
beam optimizes the function of the faces and the core, hence leading to an
effective material use. This concept does not set limits for the arch height.
However, the concept was originally developed for uniformly distributed loads.
The model approximation for concentrated loads gives results that do not agree
well enough with experimental data. Moreover, the supports conditions
prescribed are difficult to achieve and therefore, this model is discarded for the
preliminary analysis.

Figure 43: Equilibrium stress state in a curved sandwich beam
Straight beam approximation

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79
A refined analysis will require a thorough study of the vertical curvature.
However in this preliminary design and analysis step, we will use the
approximation of a conventional sandwich straight beam.
6.2.2 Structural beam system concept for the horizontal curvature
According to the Swedish Road Administration, “Vägverket” (1994), the radius
of horizontal curvature should be at least 20 m. According to Gottemoeller
(1997), the length of a chord in the horizontally curved section should be > L/2
if L is the total bridge length. For any chord length smaller than that, the desired
esthetical effect will not be achieved. This applies for bridges with total length <
150 m.
6.2.3 Selecting boundary conditions and span lengths
As explained earlier in the text, stiffness is the driving factor for designing the
cross section of the deck. Thus the first step for any given structural beam system
is to determine the minimum stiffness D = EI that satisfies the deflection
requirement. For a given cross-section and material system, the value of D or the
minimum deflection, is a function of the number of spans and of the boundary
conditions. Thus, we need to determine a structural beam system with optimal
boundary conditions and number of spans. The contribution of shear in the
total deflection, as explained in section 5.2.2, should be accounted for.
Structural beam alternative system 1, ALT1
In accordance with rule of thumb and common practice in bridge engineering as
described in section 3.1.1, the beam concept described as ALT1 in Figure 44 was
first selected. For that beam system, the deflection requirement is L/400 =
16500/400 = 41.25 mm.
The contribution of bending or shear to the total deflection is a function of
boundary conditions and loading case. Simply supported and clamped beams of
the same length will give different contributions from the shear. Likewise,
uniformly distributed and concentrated loads have different impact on the shear
contribution to deflection. Section 5.2 discusses bending and shear contribution
in the total FRP beam deflection.
For ALT1, the contribution of bending to the deflection is about 90% of the
total deflection or 37.1-mm. However, at a later stage of the preliminary design
work, the municipality of Luleå requested a solution where the columns are
further apart in order to avoid any collision between them and the street-
cleaning vehicle.
80

Figure 44: The 3 beam system alternatives investigated
Structural beam alternative system 2, ALT2
The new solution leads to a minimum of 19 m between the columns and the
structural beam concept described as ALT2 in Figure 44. The mid-span has 2
internal hinges. Based on the discussions on deflection of FRP beams presented
in section 5.2, we conclude that about 84 % of the total deflection is due to
bending. In this case, with a 19 m long mid-span, the maximum deflection
should be < 47.5 mm of which 39.8 mm is due to bending stress.
Structural beam alternative system 3, ALT3
This alternative has the same span length as ALT2. The only difference is that
the outer supports are fixed. Again, using the theory described in section 5.2, we
estimate the contribution of bending to 86 % of the total deflection.
Table 7: Comparing the behavior of the 3 alternative beam systems
Property ALT1 ALT2 ALT3
Stiffness D
10
14
Nmm
2

3.119 1.697 1.5716
Max moment
kNm
+408.4 at middle
of mid-span
-360 at roller’s
positions
-360 at roller’s
positions
Max Shear
kN
99 at roller’s
positions
114 at roller’s
positions
114 at roller’s
positions
From Table 7 we can see that the beam system requiring lowest D and
consequently lowest material quantity is ALT3. However, ALT2 requires only

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81
7% higher material quantity. ALT3 requires the end supports to be fixed. The
cost of encastring the beam at those positions might make this alternative rather
expensive. A special solution needs to be developed. Therefore, in the
continuation, we will adopt the structural beam system ALT2 shown in Figure
45. For the loading q = 12 kN/m, the reaction forces are, as described inFigure
45, R1 = R4 = -9.4 kN and R2 = R3 = 207.4 kN.

Figure 45: Selected structural beam system. Units in kN and mm
6.3 Selecting material system
6.3.1 General considerations prior to material selection
The basic ingredients that contribute to the material properties are the
manufacturing process, the fiber volume fraction v
f
, the fiber and resin types and
finally the fiber orientation lay-up. Another factor is the configurations in which
the material is commercially available.
82
From experience of Vacuum Infusion at SICOMP it is known that a fiber
volume fraction v
f
between 50% and 53% is usually achieved. Hence, v
f
= 50%
will be used as a conservative value.
From the works by Lei (1999) and Demitz (1999), it is obvious that a FRP system
of glass fiber and vinyl ester is a suitable material concept for a bridge deck
because of the requirements on long-term properties. Glass fiber is considered
primarily thanks to its relatively low price compared to other fiber types. Vinyl
ester is selected for its higher environmental resistance compared to polyester the
cheaper resin. More details on the selected materials are given in section 2.1.
6.3.2 Determination of the Partial Safety Factor ¸
m

Partial Safety Factor for the FRP shells
The equation for determining ¸
m
in EUROCOMP (1998) is given as:

,1 ,2 ,3 ,4
and 1.5 10
m m m m m m
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ ¸ = s s (79)
where ¸
m,1
refers to the level of uncertainty in the determination of the material
properties, ¸
m,2
to the material production process, ¸
m,3
to environmental effects
and duration of loading and ¸
m,4
.to fatigue effects. For ¸
m,1
and ¸
m,2
, we have to
refer to datasheets provided by material suppliers while ¸
m,3
and ¸
m,4
since are not
material dependent. The Snow Clearance Vehicle Load is applied only
periodically. Therefore we can select a ¸
m,3
that applies to short-term loading,
which is ¸
m,3
= 1.2. Fatigue is not an issue as the number of cycles for using the
Snow Clearance Vehicle is very low (discussions with Luleå city council).
BRO94’s 21.2226 suggests to use the number of cycles 10
5
for bridges with
Average Day Traffic s10000. Therefore, the factor ¸
m,4
= 1.5 is selected. The
values of ¸
m,3
and ¸
m,4
are material independent.
The geometrical dimensions and mechanical design properties of the core
material that can be selected will depend on its Partial Safety Factor ¸
m
selected.
BRO94 doesn’t give any indication about the determination of the Partial Safety
Factor ¸
m
for PVC-foam and Balsa-wood. However, table 2.6 that refers to FRP
materials in EUROCOMP can give a good estimate of ¸
m
even for core materials.
Partial Safety Factor for PVC-foam:
The material properties provided by Divinycell (1992) are reliably measured
according to international standards, the ASTM D 1621 to 1623 and the ASTM
C273, but are not minimum values. Therefore, we will use ¸
m,1
= 1.5 instead of
the minimum value of ¸
m,1
= 1.15. Since the product is stable as far as the

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83
manufacturing process is concerned, we will use ¸
m,2
=1.2. This gives a total value
of ¸
m
= 1.5x1.2x1.2x1.5 ~ 3.2. In previous structural design at SICOMP,
(Confidential Report 00-034, 2000), the value of ¸
m
=4 has been used. Moreover,
the Divinycell design manual (1992) prescribes a factor of 2 for material
degradation and 2 for long-term and fatigue properties, which leads to a total
partial safety factor of 4. Accordingly, ¸
m
= 4 can be used as a conservative design
value.
A common design practice in order to reduce the cost of PVC-foam is to use
different material qualities at different depth intervals (Sicomp’s confidential
report 008). For instance, if the total depth of the deck is 400 mm, the first 200
mm from the top face could be made of H200 and the remaining 200 mm of
H100. The two different PVC qualities are joined by means of a structural
adhesive. The PVC qualities denoted by “Hxxx” are given in Table 10. However,
it is not cost effective to mix more than 2 to 3 different qualities since this can
jeopardize the mechanical properties of the whole core block.
Partial Safety Factor for Balsa-wood:
We will use the material data provide by the supplier DIAB (Probalsa 2000).
Since there is a wider distribution of the mechanical properties of Balsa (Diab’s
article), as compared to PVC-foams, we need a higher value of ¸
m,1
. ¸
m,1
= 1.5.is a
suitable value. A report from Diab (1999), indicates that in some applications,
Balsa core material exhibits lower strength than that reported in product
datasheet. One reason is that the material data is specified for a specific material
thickness, say 50-mm depth. To obtain 500 mm of depth, several pieces need to
be glued together, which decreases the mechanical properties. Therefore, we will
use ¸
m,2
=2. This gives a total value of ¸
m
= 1.5x2x1.2x1.5 ~5.4 for the Balsa core.
However, the most reliable way of obtaining ¸
m,2
according to DIAB is to test a
piece of balsa with a thickness equal to that of the end use (ProBalsa Manual,
2000).
Material properties:
Glass fiber Ahlstrom 63008, 900 g/m
2
with 80% [0/90/0] and 20% [0/45/-45]
Vinyl ester 411-C50
Core material: Balsa CK100 from Baltek with µ = 150 kg/m
3

6.3.3 Selecting FRP system
Fiber and resin data are first collected from supplier’s datasheets. Lamina
properties are then computed using micromechanics as described in section 4.1.
84
Finally, laminate properties are obtained using CLT that is also described in
section 5.1. With alternative 2 from Figure 46, the lamina properties are
measured experimentally using the 1233-1234 ISO standards (1999). The first
alternative gives a good approximation useful during the preliminary design
related to the classical bidding process typical for the building industry.
However, for the final design and the refined analysis, the second alternative
gives more accurate mechanical properties. Using micromechanics and Classical
Laminate Theory, the values in Table 8, Table 9 and Table 22 are computed. A
third method, described as alternative 3 in Figure 46 is to use data from a similar
material system that has been used in an earlier application.

Figure 46: 2 alternatives for computing laminate properties
As described in section 5.1, fiber orientation is decisive to the mechanical
properties of the laminate. The bridge deck will be submitted to a variety of load
combinations that were described in section 3.3.4. Thus, the laminate needs to
be multi-axial to resist the simultaneous presence of bending, torsion, tension
and compression throughout the deck section. It is good engineering practice to
design FRP structures using symmetric and or balanced laminates in order to
uncouple different stress states, as described in section 5.1. Stitched fabrics
described in section 2.1.1 are normally used for Vacuum Infusion and are
commercially available in configurations such as [0/90], [0/90/0] and [0/±45].
Using multi-axial stitched fabrics also contributes to a reduction of labor
intensive moments during the manufacturing process. This is because it requires
more labor to position single 0
o
-fiber fabric layers in the right orientations than
stacking a fewer number of multiaxial reinforcements prior to the infusion of
resin.

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85
The top face is essentially subjected to compression stresses and should therefore
have a fiber orientation dominated by 0
o
-orientation. Likewise, the bottom face
with its tension dominated stress state should have a maximum of 0
o
-oriented
fibers. However, in order to achieve a symmetric and/or balanced laminate
configuration, both the top and the bottom faces will have the same fiber
configuration. Finally, the webs that are mainly subjected to shear should have
fibers with [0/±45] orientation. The Eurocomp Design Code recommends at
least 20% of [±45] fiber orientation in the faces. The overall rule of thumb is
also to use at least 10% of any orientation considered in any given laminate. For
instance for 16 mm thick laminate, 25 layers of glass fibers might be needed. At
least 6 of them should be [±45] and 3 should be 90
o
oriented.
The equations used to obtain the laminate properties are described in section
5.1.
In Table 8, some mechanical properties of a single lamina obtained by using
micromechanics are presented.
Table 8: Lamina mechanical properties for different fiber types and v
f

Fiber type GF/V50 GF/V53 CF/V50
E
x
GPa 37.93 40.0 115.5
E
y
GPa 10.56 11.24 78.33
G
xy
GPa 3.19 3.43 3.13
v
xy
0.29 0.28 0.29
c
x,t
% 2.46 2.47 1.70
c
y,t
% 0.58 0.55 0.81
c
xy
% 3.93 3.69 4.02
-c
x,c
% -1.46 -1.46 -1.19
-c
y,c
% -2.83 -2.69 -3.98
o
x
10
-4
6.79 6.64 0.18
o
y
10
-4
26.11 24.89 24.57
µ kg/m
3
1933 1974 1532
o units in m/m/C. GF = glass fiber. V = Vinyl ester. CF = Carbon fiber. V50
and V53 stand for 50% respectively 53% volume fiber. The properties described
86
in Table 8 and Table 9 were computed using the methods described in section
5.1.1
Table 9: Mechanical properties for GF lamina at different orientations
0 90 45
E
11
GPa 37.93 10.56 9.55
E
22
GPa 10.56 37.93 9.55
G
12
GPa 3.19 3.19 7.33
v
12
0.29 0.08 0.49
The thickness of each layer of glass fiber fabric is 0.7 mm for a surface weight of
1800 g/
2
and a density of 2560 kg/m
3
.
Wide beam assumption’s effect on stiffness value
The equation (43) used to determine the value of the stiffness D is that of a
normal beam and is given in section5.2.2. However, the beam that represents
our bridge deck can be considered as a wide beam. Therefore, we can replace the
value of the modulus of elasticity E
x
by E
x
/(1-v
xy
v
yx
).
6.3.4 Selecting core material
Some of the core materials that are suitable to our cross-section are presented in
Table 10 and Table 11.
Table 10: Mechanical properties of PVC core materials by Divinycell
Core material µ
(kg/m
3
)
E
c

(MPa)
G
(MPa)
o
c

(MPa)
o
t

(MPa)
t
s

(MPa)
H100 90 95 30 1.4 2.6 1.2
H130 120 130 40 2.2 3.4 1.7
H160 145 175 50 2.8 4.0 2.2
H200 180 235 70 3.7 5.5 2.8
H250 230 300 87 4.9 6.5 3.8
The values in Table 10 are minimum values from the Divinycell datasheet.

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87
Table 11: Mechanical properties of some Balsa core materials
Core material µ
(kg/m
3
)
E
c

(MPa)
G
(MPa)
o
c

(MPa)
o
t

(MPa)
t
s

(MPa)
ProBalsa LD7 64 920 59 2.6 3.9 0.9
ProBalsa PB 121 2000 100 6.4 7.5 1.8
ProBalsa HW 185 4300 170 13.8 14 3.2
CK/D57 74 1226 73 3.6 4.0 1.1
CK/D100 129 2104 104 7.0 7.9 2.0
CK/D150 220 5259 230 17.3 16.9 3.7
The first three core materials are provided by the supplier DIAB and the
remaining by Baltek. In the Diab ProBalsa Data manual (2000), the supplier
states that the data are reliable for standard thickness of 12.7, 25.4 and 50 mm.
For any other thickness, they recommend that the ASTM C273 should be used
to determine the shear stiffness for design. All the values are minimum values.
The minimum values for CK/D are minimum values obtained according to
appendix 10.3.
One important factor when selecting core material is that it must withstand the
punching shear stress applied by the wheel load.
6.4 Selecting concept for deck cross section
6.4.1 Results from previous experiences
As mentioned in section 4.2.2, many researchers have worked on designing the
optimal cross section for sandwich bridge decks. See the work by Eckel (). The
ideal cross-section is a function of the materials, the deck depth, the size of the
section and the manufacturing process. A concept found to be optimal using
pultrusion might well show up to be too expensive when using Vacuum
Infusion. The investigated alternatives are presented in Figure 47 by increasing
order of structural efficiency from A to D. Concept D was found to be optimal
with regard to structural response and manufacturing ease by Pascal (2000).
88

Figure 47: Deck section concepts studied by Pascal (2000)and Eckel (xxxx)
Manufacturing the sections presented in Figure 47 by Vacuum Infusion requires
a core material. Since the internal webs contribute to carry shear load in the
deck, including them is a good way to avoid using expensive core material. The
core material used will mainly help to keep the fiber in place during the Vacuum
Infusion process and has no load carrying function. For that purpose, we only
need a PVC-foam that can withstand the temperature generate during the curing
of the resin. This requirement can be satisfied by using a relatively cheap PVC
core. However, previous work at SICOMP has shown that manufacturing of
sandwich structures with diagonal internal webs by Vacuum Infusion, as in
alternative C and D in Figure 47 increases the labor time thus eating up the
advantages of that concept. The conclusion is that a section with diagonal
internal webs results in a rather expensive solution. Therefore, the deck concept
in Figure 48 was selected to initiate the conceptual cross sectional design. Using
classical beam analysis, we estimate that a deck section with such a geometry and
made of a conventional isotropic building material will need a stiffness of D
x
=
1.5716 10
14
to satisfy the minimum deflection requirement. Using the procedure

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89
described in appendix xx, we obtain a sandwich construction which geometry
varies according to Table 12.

Figure 48: Classical Sandwich concept with external webs
6.4.2 Parameter study on depth of Classical Sandwich construction
The total depth d is varied in order to obtain the stiffness D
x
= 1.5716 10
14

which is needed to satisfy deflection requirement. Varying d implies a variation
of all the values in Table 12.
Table 12: Material cost as function of depth (and glass fiber)
d
(mm)
t
f

(mm)

W
GF

(t)
W
Vinyl

(t)
W
Balsa

(t)
W
Total

(t)
Cost
(kkr)
200 94.1 23.87 11.8 0.212 35.88
250 61.6 15.78 7.79 2.29 25.87
300 40.8 10.53 5.203 3.973 19.7 911.3
350 32.1 8.574 4.169 2.687 15.43
400 22.7 6.149 2.989 3.345 12.48
450 16.2 4.441 2.159 3.947 10.55
427.4 12 3.144 1.553 7.373 12.07
500 11.2 3.104 1.509 4.522 9.135
90

0
200000
400000
600000
800000
1000000
1200000
0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Total depth d (mm)
M
a
t
e
r
i
a
l

c
o
s
t

(
S
E
K
)

Figure 49: Total deck section depth vs. Material cost for GFRP
From Table 12 and Figure 49, it appears clearly that the optimal thickness that
satisfies min deflection requirement with lowest material cost is approximately
410 mm. In addition, lower depth means thicker face laminate as shown in
Table 12. When using Vacuum Infusion, thickness above 16 mm increase the
risk of worsening laminate quality and hence leading to lower values of
mechanical properties. (Ref.).
6.4.3 Classical Sandwich with internal webs
The deck cross-section presented in Figure 50 is a variant of alternative B from
Figure 47. The idea is to use just the amount of internal webs necessary to fulfill
the requirement of concentrated wheel load. The wheel load is applied over an
area of 200 x 200 mm
2
. Hence, the minimum distance between internal webs
should be 200 mm. Since the total deck width is 3000 mm, this leaves us with
14 internal webs. Given the tractor’s dimensions and the fact that the wheels do
not reach a section in the middle of the deck, the number of internal webs can
be reduced. Only 600 mm at the center of the bridge deck will not be in contact
with the wheels and therefore do not need internal webs. This results in a total
of 12 internal webs. See Figure xxx for more details. In the following, we
investigate the impact of introducing vertical internal webs.

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91

Figure 50: Classical Sandwich with internal webs
For the moment being, there is no knowledge about a comparison of increased
stiffness (and reduced material quantity) vs. increased labor cost due to the
internal webs. The conclusion is that we cannot use this concept without being
sure of its superior cost efficiency. Therefore, it was decided to keep the classical
sandwich concept and instead investigate the impact of varying the cross-
sectional geometry.
6.4.4 Comparing different sandwich beam cross sections
The different cross sections that were compared are presented in Figure 51. The
1-Girder and 2-Girders concepts are common in bridge engineering. The idea is
to achieve a cross-section that results in an aesthetically thin bridge deck and at
the same time fulfills the structural requirements. The 2–girders concept has a
slightly deeper deck than the 1-girder concept but requires less core material.
However, the 2-girders concept requires more labor time during the
manufacturing process. Therefore, the 1-girder concept was selected. The
optimal solutions with respect to total material cost are presented in Table 13.
92

Figure 51: The 3 alternative cross-sections
Table 13: Effect of cross section on total material cost
W
glas

(kg)
W
vinyl

(kg)
W
core

(kg)
W
carbon

(kg)
Cost
(kkr)
d
(mm)
Classical
Sandwich

4674 2329 3927 80.145 837.9 450
1 Girder
Sandwich
4764 2316 3615 80.145 794.3 466/220
2 Girder
Sandwich
5314 2584 3580 80.145 815.3 566/220

6.4.5 Carbon fiber as face –web material
Another method of improving the stiffness is to use carbon fiber as the shell
material. Table 14 gives an indication on how this solution affects the section

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93
geometry and the material cost. The price of carbon fiber when this investigation
was conducted was 420 SEK/kg (2001.)
Table 14: Material cost as function of depth (and carbon fiber)
d
(mm)
t
f

(mm)

W
CF

(t)
W
Vinyl

(t)
W
Balsa

(t)
W
Total

(t)
Cost
(kkr)
250 15.2 2.726 1.917 1.94 6.583 1030000
275 12.6 2.267 1.594 2.252 6.112 952200
300 10.5 1.897 1.334 2.549 5.779 896400
350 7.5 1.369 0.962 3.109 5.441 837500
400 5.3 0.984 0.692 3.646 5.322 813600
427 3.54 886100
450 3.8 0.723 0.708 4.163 5.395 820500

0
200000
400000
600000
800000
1000000
1200000
0 100 200 300 400 500
Total depth d (mm)
M
a
t
e
r
i
a
l

c
o
s
t

(
S
E
K
)

Figure 52: Deck section depth vs. material cost if CFRP is the shell material
From Table 14 and Figure 52, it appears that the optimal thickness that satisfies
min deflection requirement with lowest material cost is about 410 mm. For the
same cost and about the same total depth, 12 mm of glass fiber or 3.5 mm of
carbon fiber is required. The material cost is highly depending on the prevailing
market price. Price fluctuations occur regularly for FRP materials. Therefore, the
cost analysis should be repeated prior to final deck manufacture.
94
Using solely carbon fiber as shell material results in a rather expensive bridge
deck. A third alternative is therefore to apply a few layers of carbon fibers at the
top and bottom faces of the glass FRP faces. Optimizing this solution with
respect to total material cost gives the results in Table 15.
Table 15: Deck depth as function of carbon fiber quantity (hybrid solution)
E
top

(MPa)
E
bottom
(MPa)
G
12
(MPa)
D
10
14

d
(mm)
o
maX

(mm)
Only GF

29010 29010 3192 2.034 473 42.83
GF + 2CF
layers
29010 31060 3191 2.034 466 42.84
GF + 4 CF
layers
29010 33020 3190 2.039 459 42.72
GF + 6 CF
layers
29010 35430 3188 2.037 450 42.77
Only CF 29010 79960 3129 2.035 426 42.81
D is the total stiffness and d the total deck depth
In Table 16, the different FRP shell solutions are compared. It appears that the
most cost effective concept should include glass fiber.
Table 16: Total cost as function of carbon fiber quantity

W
GFRP

Kg
W
GLAS

Kg
W
VINYL

Kg
W
CORE

Kg
W
CFRP

Kg
W
CARBON
Kg
Cost
(kkr)
Only GF

6993 4707 2288 4144 0 0 850.3
GF + 2CF
layers
6977 4696 2302 4071 45.5 26.715 846.1
GF + 4 CF
layers
6963 4686 2316 4009 91 53.43 843.5
GF + 6 CF
layers
6944 4674 2329 3927 136.5 80.145 837.9
Only CF 3888 2617 1616 3805 834.17 489.8 830.7


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95
When studying the results presented in Table 12 and Table 14, it appears that
smaller section depth means thicker face laminate. The structurally optimal deck
section depth lies between 400 mm and 500 mm depending on the selected fiber
type. When the material cost is considered, these results are highly depending on
the prevailing material price. Price fluctuations (mainly decreasing) are constant
for FRP raw materials. Therefore, the cost analysis should be repeated prior to
final deck manufacture.
6.4.6 Final selected cross section
Finally, the 1 Girder Sandwich with 466-mm depth was selected as the most
suitable for satisfying both the deflection requirement and the aesthetic
requirement. Next, structural verification of the selected cross section will be
carried on.

Figure 53: selected deck cross section concept
Table 17: Sections properties
FRP Shell Balsa core Sandwich system
A mm
2
110.98 10
3
1.179 10
6
1.29 10
6

I
yy
mm
4
5.13 10
9
21.73 10
9
26.88 10
9

I
zz
mm
4
96.50 10
9
658.25 10
9
754.75 10
9

I
r
mm
4
101.63 10
9
679.99 10
9
781.63 10
9

y
c
mm 1500 1484 1500
z
c
mm 280.3 250.23 267.44

6.4.7 Alternative cross-section varying with moment curve
Another concept that may result in lowering the total material cost of the bridge
deck is to vary the depth of the section along the bridge length, following the
moment curvature graph. From conversation with the manufacturer, this
alternative set higher requirement on the tool to be used during the Vacuum
Infusion. Ultimately, the increased mold cost might as well cancel the benefit
96
obtained by reducing the material quantity. A deeper investigation is necessary
before a conclusive statement can be made.





7 PRELIMINARY DESIGN OF THE BRIDGE DECK
When using conventional bridge materials as described in section 3.3.5, the
design procedure starts with the verification of Strength Criteria. As discussed in
section 4.1, previous experience of FRP bridges show that their design is stiffness
driven. Besides, during our study on sandwich core in section 6.3.4, we found
out that the punching shear capacity of the core material is also a driving design
factor. Hence, the design will be carried on according to the following steps:
1. Use the Snow Clearance Vehicle’s wheel loads to meet requirements on
compression stress resistance of the sandwich core.
2. Use Load Combination V:C to ensure that the sandwich deck structure
meets the maximum allowed deflection requirement.
3. Next, ultimate strength is checked for the main loading case as given by Load
Combination V:A.
4. The service strength criteria as given by Load Combination IV:A is verified.
5. Fatigue is investigated using the loads given in Load Combination VI.

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97
6. Eigenfrequency is checked.
7. Horizontal movements of span ends due to temperature and/or support
settlements are examined using Load Combination V:C.
8. Creep and relaxation are controlled by Load Combination V:B.
9. Accidental loads are verified using Load Combination VIII.
10. Stress verification of the deck in the transverse direction
11. Effects of different positioning of the Snow Clearance Vehicle Load along
the bridge deck and influence lines are investigated.
7.1 Summary of design loads and requirements
From all the design requirements, we collect quantitative design-input data that
are needed for the structural design and analysis of the FRP Sandwich bridge
deck. The basic input data are:
- The prescribed design loads and other structural design requirements such as
maximum allowed deflection and minimum allowed natural frequency. These
data are not changing, regardless of the design result.
- The mechanical properties of the FRP and core materials. These data might
change during the design process.
- The initial deck geometry. Just as with the material properties, these
geometric data might have changed by the time we reach the final product.
7.1.1 Design Loads and other quantitative structural requirements
Design Loads
1. The Dead Load (DL) of the deck is derived from the selected cross-section
presented in section 6.4.6 to DL = 4.1 kN/m (3.86 without the guardrails),
including the weight of the guardrails. The wearing surface material selected
is Acrydur
©
that is described in section 8.3.
2. The Wearing Surface Load WSL = 0.66 kN/m for a 5 mm thick wearing
surface.
All the following loads are as given in BRO 94, section 2.
3. The Snow Load (SL) for Luleå city is determined according to BRO94 as SL =
0.6x1.8x3 = 3.2 kN/m.
98
4. The Support Settlement Load (SSL)in both vertical and horizontal directions
are set to SSL = 10 mm.
5. In Table 18 from BRO94, temperatures are given for computing the thermal
stresses on conventional construction materials such as steel, aluminum,
concrete and wood. Since no data exists for FRP, we will use the
temperatures allocated to wood bridges. The temperature difference than
can occur between FRP and Balsa is set to +20
o
C according to BRO94
21.264.
Table 18: Uniform and gradient temperature according to BRO94
Section type Average T
o

C
AT
o

C
T
+
T
-
AT
+
AT
-

Steel, Alu. Deck on steel
rectangular or I-beam
T
0
+
+20 T
0
-
-10 20 -5
Concrete or wood deck on
steel rectangular or I-beam
T
0
+
+20 T
0
-
-5 10 -5
Concrete on rectangular or
concrete T-beam
T
0
+
T
0
-
10 -5
Wood deck on wood beam T
0
+
T
0
-
5 -5
For the city of Luleå, the Uniform Temperature Variation Load ( UTVL) and
the Gradient Temperature Variation Load (GTVL) are computed for a
maximum temperature T
0
+
= 25
o
C and a minimum temperature T
0
-
=-28
o
C. For
more details on UTVL and the GTVL , see figures 21-9 to 21-11 in BRO94.
Since wood is nearly considered as an anisotropic material, temperature
conditions for wood materials will be used for the FRP deck.
6. The Pedestrian Load is PL = 4 kN/m
2
= 12 kN/m.
7. The Snow Clearance Vehicle’s Load is SCVL = 120 kN. The distance between
the 2 axles is 3 m in the longitudinal direction and the wheels are separated
by 1.6 m. The wheel loads are applied on a surface 0.2 m x 0.2 m. One axle
load is 80 kN and the second 40 kN. The total dimension of the vehicle is
3.2 m x 2 m. Also see Figure 58.
8. The Vehicular Breaking Load is VBL = 60 kN. This load represents half the
weight of the snow clearance vehicle. It is applied horizontally at the upper

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99
level of the wearing surface, over the whole deck width and in traffic
direction).
9. The Vehicular Side Load is given as VSL = 30 kN (half the VBL, applied in
the transverse traffic direction at the upper level of the wearing surface).
VBL and VSL are classified as accidental loads.
Other structural requirements:
Apart from the design loads mentioned above, the following quantitative design
requirements are given:
10. Maximum allowed deflection d
max
s L/400 with L being the span length
11. Minimum allowed natural frequency f
min
> 5 Hz
12. Minimum service life should be 80 or 120 years
7.1.2 Determining the worse loading case
We need to establish which of the Pedestrian Load (PL) and the Snow Clearance
Vehicle Load (SCVL) causes the worst effects on the structure. This is in
accordance with BRO94 that stipulates that only the worst of these two loading
cases should be used during the design of a pedestrian bridge. The Pedestrian
Load is q = 4 kN/m
2
= 12 kN/m. The Snow Clearance Vehicle Load is
represented by P
1
= 80 kN and P
2
= 40 kN where the distance between P
1
and P
2

is 3 m. The response of the beam system to PL and SCVL are compared to
determine which case produces the worst effect. The worst loading case will then
be used to investigate deflection caused by the Load Combination V:C.

Figure 54: The 2 load cases to be compared
100
Classical beam theory gives the results presented in Table 19, from which it is
obvious that the Pedestrian Load PL gives rise to the worse stresses. Hence it will
be selected as the loading force during control of deflection according to Load
Combination V:C.
Table 19: Stresses and deflections caused by PL and SCVL
Force or deflection PL SCVL
M
max+
, kNm 360 at roller supports 261.8 under load P1
M
max-
, kNm -181.5 at bridge center -261.8 at roller supports
V
max+
, kN 114 at roller supports 65.5
V
max-
, kN -114 at roller supports -54.5
Max deflection, mm 39.8 at bridge center 38.5 at bridge center

7.1.3 Summarizing load reactions
Regardless of the geometry, the loads stated by BRO94 will be applied. Prior to
the structural verification, the reactions due to those loads are summarised in
table .
Reactions due to vertical Support Settlements:
The vertical Support Settlement Load (SSL) reactions are obtained by combining
vertical settlement at different locations. The supports are labelled as shown in
figure and the denotation is used in table .
Prior to establishing Table 21, we need to determine the worst case of settlement
loads and the effects of temperature variations. Table 20 presents the worst
combinations of support settlements that might occur. For instance, case 12
means that supports 1 and 2 as in Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla. are given a
vertical forced displacement of 10 mm each. The structural beam system has a
total of 4 supports.

Table 20: Stresses and deflection caused by settlement loading cases
Case Deflection
(mm)
Max M+
(kNm)
Max M-
(kNm)
Max T+
(kN)
Max T-
(kN)
12 10 at 0-11 0 0 0 0

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101
Case Deflection
(mm)
Max M+
(kNm)
Max M-
(kNm)
Max T+
(kN)
Max T-
(kN)
m
13 18.6/8.6 at
x=22/11 m
88.7 at 33 88.7 at 0 0 12.7 at 0-7
and 26-33 m
14 10 0 88.8 at 0/33 12.7 at 26-
33
12.7 at 0-7
24 18.6/8.6 at
x=22/11 m
88.7 at 33 88.7 at 0 0 12.7 at 0-7
and 26-33 m
Not all the support combinations are shown in the table. The worst cases are
obtained by 13 and 24.
Finally, all reactions due to single applied loads are summarized in Table 21.
Table 21: Load cases and relates moment and shear
Case Load Moment
(kNm)
+ -
Shear
(KN)
+ -
Displ.
(Mm)
PL 12 kN/m 181.5 at
7/26
360 at
16.5
114 114 43.2
SCVL 120 kN 261 at 7 261 at 18 65.5 at 7-
15
56.1 at
0-7 &
18-26
41.2
WL 2.7 kN/m 40.8 81 at
16.5
25.6 25.6 9.7
DL 4.1 kN/m 62.0 123 38.9 38.9 14.8
WSL 0.66 kN/m 10.0 19.8 6.3 6.3 2.4
SL 1 kN/m 15.1 30 9.5 9.5 3.6
Vertical
Settlement
10 mm 88.7 at
33
88.7 at 0 0 12.7 at
0-7 and
26-33 m
18.6/8.6
at
x=22/11
m

102
7.2 Initial design input data
7.2.1 FRP and core materials
From the design requirements as described in section 6.1.3, we know that the
selected manufacturing system is Vacuum Infusion. In order to obtain the
geometrical dimensions that can satisfy the structural requirements of the
pedestrian bridge, the sandwich construction concept is adopted. The sandwich
will consist in a shell made of FRP and a core material that can be a PVC-foam
or a balsa wood.
Initial FRP material data
In conclusion, the following FRP configuration is used as the first input in the
preliminary design iteration process:
- Glass fiber of type
- Vinyl Ester of type
- The fiber orientation in the faces is [0/90/±45/0]. The thickness of the face
laminate is 12 mm.
- The fiber orientation in the external webs is [±45/0]. The thickness of the
webs is 3 mm.
- The fiber volume fraction is 50%. The mechanical properties of the face and
web laminates are given in Table 22.
From the report by Williams (2000), we have some measured data for a FRP
system with polyester as the resin. While Vinyl ester exhibits better
environmental resistance, the mechanical properties needed for a preliminary
design are essentially the same. Properties that are matrix dominated like the
modulus of elasticity in the transverse direction E
y
, will be slightly higher (5 to
6%). Hence, we can use the same values in our study.
Table 22: Mechanical properties of the FRP shell
Property Face
(MPa)
Web
(MPa)
Face
wide

(MPa)
Web
wide

(MPa)
E
x
MPa 25816 14435 26213 18427
E
y
MPa 17420 10660 17688 13608
G
xy
MPa 4964 6775 5040 8649

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103
Property Face
(MPa)
Web
(MPa)
Face
wide

(MPa)
Web
wide

(MPa)
v
xy
0.150 0.543 - -
v
yx
0.101 0.399 - -
o
x
10
-6
9.73 10.42 9.73 10.42
o
y
10
-6
14.25 17.43 14.25 17.43

Initial core material data:
In order to initiate the design iteration process, we will use PVC H150 presented
in Table 10 as the core material.
7.2.2 Cross-section geometry
The selected cross-section to initiate the design with is presented in Figure 55.

The section properties of the initial deck cross section are given in table xxy.
Figure 55: Initial deck cross section for the design iteration process
7.3 Structural verification of selected deck
7.3.1 Compression and punching shear resistance of core material under
wheel load
The applied load for one back wheel is 40 kN. We assume that the FRP shell’s
thickness varies from 5 to 20 mm and the total deck depth varies up to 800 mm.
We need to estimate both the compressive and shear stresses.
Compressive stresses through FRP:
Regardless of the selected core material, the stresses caused by a back wheel load
throughout the top face thickness are described in Figure 56. For the
104
compressive stress, the area of the wheel deck is A = 200x200 mm
2
= 40000
mm
2
, as given by BRO94. At the contact surface between the wheel and the
bridge deck, the compressive stress is .
2
( ) 40000
( ) 1
( ) 40000
F N
MPa MPa
A mm
s = = = . From
the first FRP- core interface throughout the depth of the core material, the
compressive stress varies according to the graph in Figure 57. From Figure 56
and Figure 57, we can determine the minimum required strength for the core
material at any depth from the FRP top face. Assuming a face thickness of 12
mm, the minimum compressive stress experienced by the core material is 0.94
MPa. The selected core material must withstand that compressive stress.
0 10 20
0.9
0.95
1
Thickness (mm)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

s
t
r
e
s
s

(
M
p
a
)
1
0.917
ot1
18 0 t

Figure 56: Compressive stress through the top FRP face
Within the depth interval 200 mm to 500 mm, the compressive stress decreases
and will then vary between 0.5 and 0.27 MPa. Within that interval, it is possible
to select a material with lower strength. This argument is valid for a core
material that exhibits linear elastic behavior until failure of the sandwich system.
0 500 1000
1
2
3
Thickness (mm)
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

S
t
r
e
s
s

(
M
p
a
)
2.83
0.667
o1
700 12 d

Figure 57: Compressive stress through depth core
Since the manufacturing method selected for the bridge deck is Vacuum
Infusion, the use of a core material is compulsory. PVC-foam core material from

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105
Divinycell
©
and Balsa-wood from Baltek
©
are investigated as alternative core
material. The main advantage of the PVC core is its superior hygrometric
properties. There is very little risk that humidity might penetrate the PVC,
worsen its mechanical properties and ultimately jeopardize the sandwich
function. The main advantage of the balsa core is the cheaper price. Apart from
contributing to the sandwich effect in the beam, the core material must also
withstand the shear stresses caused by the wheel loads. BRO94 gives specific
details about the design for wheel load in chapter 21.2227. The wheel load area
is 200 mm x 200 mm. See Figure 58 for more details. The Design Tractor load is
120 kN over two axle of which the back axle carries 80 kN. The load on each of
the back wheels is 40 kN and the core material must carry that load.

Figure 58: Snow vehicle and wheels dimensions according to BRO94
The area that carries the compressive stress increases with the depth and hence,
the compressive stress decreases with the deck depth. If the area increases at an
angle of 45 degrees downward, the compressive stress through the top-face to the
interface FRP-core is given by Fel! Hittar inte referenskälla.. A conservative
approach is adopted in which the thickness of the wearing surface is not
accounted for. The linear decreasing of the compressive stress as a function of
depth is valid for a linear elastic material like that in the faces. For the core
material, the analysis is more complex.
Evaluating the shear stress in the core material
106
For the shear stress, the area of concern is A = 4 d b, where d is the depth of the
bridge deck and b = 200 mm the width along which the shear force applies. The
shear stress caused by a back wheel deck is given in Figure 59. We assume a
minimum deck depth d of 200mm and a maximum of 800 mm. The expression
for the shear stress is
2
( ) 40000
( )
( ) 2(200 200)
V N
MPa
A mm d
t = =
+
.
Hence, the shear will vary between 0.067 MPa and 0.25 MPa. A thicker deck
implies lower shear stresses.

Figure 59: Shear stress due to back wheel deck as a function of section
depth
Beside the shear stress caused by the wheel deck, the shear stress in Ultimate
Limit State will have to be controlled at a later stage of the design. The data
presented in Figure 56, Figure 57 and Figure 59 are computed in Appendix 2.
See section 5.2 for more details about the state of stresses in a sandwich
construction. The minimum shear stress in the core is also the maximum shear
in the FRP shell.
The following input data are now available for selecting the core material:
- The design load for compressive stress is o
c,u
= 0.94.
- The design load for shear stress is 0.1 MPa < t
s,u
< 1.7 MPa (500 mm to 300
mm).
- The Partial Safety Factor is set to 3.2 s ¸
m
s 4 for a PVC-foam core. In other
words we should select a PVC core with compressive stress within 3 MPa <o
c,u

< 3.8 Mpa and shear stress within 0.32 MPa < t
s,u
< 0.67 MPa.

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107
- The Partial Safety Factor is set to ¸
m
= 5.4 for any Balsa core. This leads to
selecting a Balsa core with compressive stress o
c,u
> 5.1 and shear stress within
0.54 < t
s,u
< 0.92.
The mechanical properties of some potential core materials are described in
Table 10. The core material with lowest mechanical properties that satisfies the
wheel load requirement is PVC200. However, since Balsa is a cheaper material,
we will select ProBalsa PB with the following properties:
o
c
= 6.4 MPa
t = 1.8 MPa
E = 2000 MPa
G = 100 MPa
Reactions due to all load combinations are summarized in
7.3.2 Summary of reaction from Load Combinations
Before verification of each Load Combinations, the reactions and deflections are
summarized in the following table:
Table 23: Summary of reactions by Load Combinations
Case Load M+ M- V+ V- Def.
V:C 12 360 181.5 114 114 46.6/5.3
IV:A 25.69* 770.7 388.6 244.1 244.1 96.5/3.7
V:A 19.69* 590.7 297.8 187.1 187.1 73.7/1.2
VIII 155 310 426.2 77.5 77.5 42.6/4.7
V:B 8.36* 250.8 126.4 79.4 79.4 29.7/0.0
e 4.76 142.8 72 45.2 45.2 18.5/2.1
In the load cases where DL and WSL are included, their contribution to
deflection is note taken into account. This is because the deck is manufactured
with an upward rise that cancels their contribution.
Apart from the load reactions, the reactions at support locations are also of
interest during structural verification. These reactions are presented in the
following table.
108
Table 24: Reactions at support locations (in kN)
Case Support 1 Support 2 Support 3 Support 4
V:C -9.4 207.4 207.4 -9.4
IV:A -20.2 444.1 444.1 -20.2
V:A -15.5 340.3 340.3 -15.5
VIII -44.3 121.8 121.8 -44.3
V:B -6.6 144.5 144.5 -6.6
e -3.7 82.3 82.3 -3.7
Finally, the rotations at support locations are reported in the following table, for
the ultimate strength, service strength and service deformation. The values of the
rotations are necessary when designing the supports.
Table 25: Rotations at support locations
Case Support 1 Support 2 Support 3 Support 4
V:C
IV:A
V:A

7.3.3 Stiffness control using Load Combination V:C
The load combination to be used is : max( , ) LC V C PL SVCL =
The flexural stiffness to be satisfied is D = 1.68 10
14
mm
4
. This is satisfied by
iterating the input value for the deck depth. See Appendix 10.1. The cross-
section has a total depth of 475-mm, a face thickness of 14 mm and external web
thickness of 3.5 mm. The section satisfies the minimum allowed deflection
requirement.

Figure 60: Deflection under Load Combination V:C

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109
From the deflection diagram, we can see that the deflection is < 39.9. This value
of the deflection is due to bending, which account for 84 % of the total
deflection. The total deflection should be < L/400 = 19000/400 = 47.5 mm.
7.3.4 Ultimate strength investigation using Load Combination IV:A
The ultimate strength limit is verified by using the load combination LC IV:A
given by: ( ) ( ) I : 1.05 1.2 1 1.5 0.7 0.7 LC V A DL WSL SSL PL SL WL = + + + + +
Using the superposition principle, moment and shear are respectively computed
as:
Table 26: Stresses due to LC IV:A
Part of deck M
(kNm)
V
(kN)
o
(MPa)
c
(10
-3
)
t
(MPa)
¸

FRP
Topface
770.7 244.1 -27.9 1.06 1.26 10
-5

FRP
BottomFace
770.7 244.1 32.3 1.23 1.46 10
-5

Core 770.7 244.1 2.5 1.23 0.144 1.43 10
-3

FRP failure
As explained in Section 5.1.3, the maximum value of the strain shall be
restricted to 20% of the ultimate strain.
The following ultimate properties are collected from Fiberline and refer to
pultruded FRP. They can be used as a reference.
o
t,1
= 240 with c
t,1
= 0.93 % and 0.19 % is the 20 % value
o
c,2
= 50 with c
t,1
= 1.4 % and 0.28 % is the 20 % value
o
t,2
= 240
o
c,2
= 70
t
12
= 25 with ¸
12
= 0.5 % and 0.1 % is the 20 % value
The conclusion is that the FRP material withstands the loads. In the refined
analysis, measured properties should be used.
Core material failure
For the Balsa core, the ultimate values are
110
o
c
= 6.4 MPa
t = 1.8 MPa
Even the core material withstands the applied stresses with good marginal.
7.3.5 Service strength investigation using Load Combination V:A
The load combination to be applied here is given by:
( ) ( ) 1.05 1.2 1 1 1 0.7 0.7 DL WSL SSL CL PL SL WL + + + + + +
The stresses in the cross section are given below
Table 27: Stresses due to LC V:A
Part of deck M
(kNm)
V
(kN)
o
(MPa)
c
(10
-3
)
t
(MPa)
¸

FRP
Topface
590.7 187.1 21.3 81.4 - -
FRP
BottomFace
590.7 187.1 24.8 94.6 - -
Core 590.7 187.1 1.9 94.6 1.58 0.158 10
-3


FRP failure
Again from Section 5.1.3, the maximum allowable strain in a composite material
shall be restricted to 30% of the ultimate strain.
o
t,1
= 240 with c
t,1
= 0.93 % and 0.28 % is the 30 % value
o
c,2
= 50 with c
t,1
= 1.4 % and 0.42 % is the 30 % value
o
t,2
= 240
o
c,2
= 70
t
12
= 25 with ¸
12
= 0.5 % and 0.15 % is the 30 % value
The stresses and strains are even lower than those in the case presented in
Section 7.3.4. We can conclude that the strength of the FRP is ok.
Core material failure
For the Balsa core, the ultimate values are
o
c
= 6.4 MPa
t = 1.8 MPa

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111
which are also far above the core properties given in Table 27.
7.3.6 Investigating moisture, creep and relaxation using LC V:B
The load combination for investigating moisture, creep and relaxation is given
by ( ) : 1 1 1 0.3 LC V B DL WSL SSL PL = + + + .
The reactions due to those loads are given below
Table 28: Stresses due to LC V:B
Part of deck M
(kNm)
V
(kN)
o
(MPa)
c
(10
-3
)
t
(MPa)
¸

FRP
Topface

FRP
BottomFace

Core
The stress level given in Table 28 is to be used for investigating the impact of
creep on the stiffness. The maximum allowed deflection should be reduced by
30 % as explained in Section 5.1.3.
7.3.7 Investigating temperature effects
When investigating hygrothermal effects, moisture contents effects if existing
will overshadow the effects of temperature in the case of Balsa, as reported by
the “The Composite Store” (2000) at the web homepage
http://www.cstsales.com/data_end_grain_balsa.htm.
The strains caused by the temperature variations are presented in Table 30. The
strains are examined both in the longitudinal and in the transverse direction.
The following equation is used for that purpose.

0
x
th
y
T
o
c o
¦ ¹
¦ ¦
= A
´ `
¦ ¦
¹ )
(80)
This refers to the overall thermal stresses in the laminate, which is considered as
orthotropic. In the refined analysis, the effect of temperature for each lamina
must be investigated. o
x
and o
y
are the coefficients of thermal expansion in
longitudinal and transverse direction respectively. AT is the temperature
variation as given by Bro 94. The thermal coefficients are given in Table 29.
112
Since all the 3 spans are free to move in the longitudinal and transverse
directions, the thermal loads will only cause direct normal stresses.
The results from horizontal deformations due to thermal stresses and horizontal
settlements are used to determine the structural resistance of the supports.
Reactions due to temperature loads:
From the different cases of temperature loads described in section 3.3.3, the
worst case will be selected are used in different load combination cases. The
purpose here is only to determine the highest stress caused by any thermal load
from those prescribed by BRO94. In a refined analysis, the extra stresses
experienced at the interfaces FRP-Balsa should be investigated.
The temperature related material properties given in Table 29 will be used to
compute the thermal stresses.
Table 29: Thermal expansion coefficients for FRP and Balsa
FRP face FRP web Balsa
o
x
(/
o
C 10
-6
) 9.3 8.2 7
o
y
(/
o
C 10
-6
) 15.1 17.2 10.5
o
z
(/
o
C 10
-6
) - - 1.1
The thermal expansion coefficients are used as equivalent orthotropic properties
for the whole laminate in order to compute the strains and stresses in Table 30
and Table 31. In a refined analysis, the thermal strains and stresses are
computed for each single laminate as described in Section 5.1.2. To account for
the interactions of the stresses in the global directions, the modulus of elasticity
will be modified as in the wide beam assumption mentioned in Section 6.4.
Data for FRP computed using micromechanics. Data for Balsa collected from
The Handbook of Sandwich Construction (1997). The equations for computing
the stresses are described in appendix 10.4. We need to compute the values of
in the general coordinates system before computing the thermal stresses.
The strain is computed as:

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113
T e a =- D (81)
and the stress as:
E s e = (82)
where E is collected from Table 22, for the wide beam case.
Finally, the normal force is computed per unit length or width as:
N t s = (83)
where t is the laminate thickness.
Table 30: Stresses due to temperature variations in the FRP shell faces
AT
(
o
C)
Strain
c
(10
-4
)
Direct stress, o
(MPa)
Normal. N
(N/mm)
A
Tunif,+,L
+38 -3.5 -9.2 -110.4
AT
unif, -,L
-28 2.6 6.8 81.6
AT
unif,+,T
+38 -5.7 -13.8 -165.6
AT
unif, -,T
-28 4.2 7.4 88.8
AT
grad,+,L
+18 -1.7 -4.5 -54
AT
grad, -,L
-8 0.7 1.8 21.6
AT
grad,+,T
+18 -2.7 -4.7 -56.4
AT
grad, -,T
-8 1.2 2.1 25.2
Table 31: Stresses due to temperature variations in the FRP shell webs
AT
(
o
C)
Strain c
(10
-4
)
Direct stress, o
(MPa)
Normal. N
(N/mm)
A
Tunif,+,L
+38 -3.1 -5.7 17.1
AT
unif, -,L
-28 2.3 4.2 12.6
AT
unif,+,T
+38 -6.5 -8.8 26.4
AT
unif, -,T
-28 4.8 6.5 19.5
AT
grad,+,L
+18 -1.5 -2.8 8.4
114
AT
(
o
C)
Strain c
(10
-4
)
Direct stress, o
(MPa)
Normal. N
(N/mm)
AT
grad, -,L
-8 0.7 1.3 3.9
AT
grad,+,T
+18 -3.1 -4.2 12.6
AT
grad, -,T
-8 1.4 1.9 5.7

Table 32: Stresses due to temperature variations in the Balsa core
AT
(
o
C)
Strain c
(10
-4
)
Direct stress, o
(MPa)
Normal. N
(N/mm)
A
Tunif,+,L
+38 2.7 0.6
AT
unif, -,L
-28 2.0 0.4
AT
unif,+,T
+38 4.0 0.9
AT
unif, -,T
-28 2.9 0.6
AT
grad,+,L
+18 1.3 0.3
AT
grad, -,L
-8 0.6 0.1
AT
grad,+,T
+18 1.9 0.4
AT
grad, -,T
-8 0.8 0.2

7.3.8 Fatigue investigation using LC VI
The rule of thumb recommended by MIL-HANDBOOK is that the ultimate
strain is lower than 0.2 %. This requirement is the same as the requirement in
Section 7.3.4, where 20 % of the ultimate strains is the limit. So we can
conclude that the FRP shell and Balsa core also satisfy the fatigue requirements.

7.3.9 Eigenfrequency and buckling investigation using LC VII
The eigenfrequency is computed using the equation

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115

2
2
n
EI
f
L m
p
= (84)
where L is the length of a simply supported deck,
EI = D is the flexural stiffness,
And m the mass as given for LC VIII
In our case, if we consider the removable mid-span, which is simply supported,
we have L = 19 m, D = 1.678 10
2
m
2
and m = (DL + WSL) = 14.7 kg/m. The
resulting eigenfrequency if f
n
= 0.015 Hz. This value is much lower that the
required minimum of 3.5 Hz. This is a recognised problem with FRP bridges
because of their lightweight. The solution is to design damping devices at the
support locations. The design of the damping device is subject to the following
requirement as given by Appendix 9-27 of BRO94:
The vertical vibration acceleration is a
RMS
s 0.5 m/s
2
. a
RMS
is computed as
4
2
RMS
Fv
a
mD p
=
where F is a concentrated load = 240 kN and
v = 15 m/s the vehicle speed

7.3.10 Accidental loads verification using LC VIII
The accidental load of unexpected traffic is given by a single concentrated load
of 155 kN, applied on an area 0.6 m x 0.2 m. 0.6 m is in the traffic direction.
The reactions are given in the table below
Table 33: Stresses due to accidental load on the deck
Part of deck M
(kNm)
V
(kN)
o
(MPa)
c
(10
-3
)
t
(MPa)
¸

FRP
Topface

FRP
BottomFace

Core

7.3.11 Miscellaneous
Stresses in the transverse direction
116
In the transverse direction, the bridge deck can be considered as simply
supported with the width 3 m. The stiffness is computed as:

Influence lines
Prior to investigating the influence, we need to estimate the mechanical
properties of the bridge deck as if it was some equivalent orthotropic plate.

Torsion

7.4 Final selected bridge deck section



8 DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR REMAINING
STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS
8.1 Design of columns


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117

Figure 61: Concept models of the 2 column. Courtesy of Berglund &
Forslund

8.1.1 Selecting column concepts
The material concept was a carbon fiber FRP shell and a concrete core without
conventional steel bar reinforcement. The structural model is discussed in
Section 5.3.
118

Figure 62: Preliminary geometry for the tongue-shaped column

8.1.2 Load applied on the columns
Strength Criteria
The loads applied are collected from the case studied in Section 7.3.4.

Service Criteria
The loads applied are collected from the case studied in Section 7.3.5.

Performance Criteria
The Vehicular Collision Load VCL is given as F = 1000 kN and 500 kN in the
longitudinal and transverse directions respectively. VCL is applied on the
columns.

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119
8.1.3 Material Selection

8.1.4 Selected cross section
Conclude with all data (geometry, material allowable, etc...) on the final
8.2 Design Proposal for the guardrails
BRO94 gives very restrictive instructions about the
Design loads:
The first Load on Guardrails LG
1
= 9kN/m is applied 0.55 m above the top level
of the wearing surface and the second load LG
2
= 0.8 kN/m is applied at the top
level of the guardrail.
8.3 Design Proposal for the wearing surface

8.4 Design Proposal for Abutments and foundations
8.5 Design Proposal for the Connections
Work from San Diego + pictures (my own on CD/diskette)
9 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
120
9.1 Conclusions
9.1.1 General conclusions

9.1.2 Summary of Preliminary Design Proposal

9.2 Discussions
9.2.1 Design issues and BRO94
Temperature load limits for FRP: During the structural analysis, the temperature
load limits given for wood by BRO94 have been used for the FRP materials. In a
refined analysis, temperature limits specific to FRP should be derived.
Use of characteristic values instead of minimum values for material data
If a data set of characteristic values could be established for both FRP and core
materials, the material selection could be done in a more cost effective way. For
instance, H160 (min. o
c
= 2.8 MPa) would most probably be selected instead of
H200 (min. o
c
= 3.7 MPa) in a situation where min. required o
c
= 3.0 MPa.
Core strength is central to design: In the survey of previous FRP bridges as
conducted in section 4.1, it was stated that the design of FRP bridge decks is
stiffness driven. As opposed to bridge decks made of conventional building
materials were the design is driven by the Ultimate Strength requirement. One
of the conclusions from our study is that the strength of the core material is
equally important as a driving design factor. Unlike with conventional building
materials, it is the Serviceability Strength requirement that is of concern.
Core material selection
Other alternative core materials are concrete and Lightweight concrete. When
weight is not a primary issue, as could be the case for the outer spans, concrete is
an excellent alternative. The material cost will decrease dramatically and the
natural vibration frequency will be much better. However, an appropriate
solution must be developed to solve the chemical compatibility problems at the
interface concrete-glass FRP. A solution is to use Carbon FRP at the areas of
direct contact between concrete and FRP.
The wide beam assumption used for comp
Varying depth d:

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121
When varying the thickness t
f
, we must have in mind the standard layer
thickness of the stitched mat as provided by the material supplier. For a face
thickness of 8.5 mm, the [0/90/0] mat is 4.25 mm thick with implies layer
thickness of about 1.42 mm. The material density µ
f
is 2560 kg/m3 and the
surface weight M
f
is 1800 g/m2. The [0/45/-45] mat is 4.25 mm thick with the
0-layer being 2.125-mm thick and the 45-layer 1.063-mm thick. See appendices 3
and 4 for more details about fiber mat properties. The equation below describes
the relation

f f
f
f
N M
V
t µ
= (85)
where N
f
= number of layers
M
f
= stitched mat’s weight surface (kg/m
2
)
µ
f
= fiber density (kg/m
3
)
t = thickness (m)
The material availability implies that we can only increase material with precise
values.

An interesting observation is that there is a relation between the ratio FRP
volume - core material and the total cost of the sandwich deck. This is valid for a
specific core-FRP system and stiffness. Repeating this procedure with different
core-FRP systems and for different stiffness targets may give a useful indication
of the adequate ratio for a general sandwich bridge deck. This procedure must
be closely related to the actual price of the constituting materials.
Internal webs vs. manufacturing costs:
122
As explained earlier in section 6.4.1, the structurally most effective deck sections
include internal webs in their geometry. A deeper study is necessary to compare
the gain in stiffness (or decrease in material quantity) vs. the increased cost of
manufacturing. Only after such an analysis will it be relevant to adopt or discard
the solutions with internal webs.
Deck depth as a function of moment diagram vs. manufacturing costs:

Zones of stress concentration: (e.g. stresses during uplifting, at connections,
etc...)
9.2.2 Bill of quantities and cost estimate

9.2.3 Bridge Section Assembly on Site

9.2.4 Miscealleneous issues (Manufacturing and quality control, Predicted
Service Life, etc...)

9.3 Future work

10 APPENDICES

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123
10.1 Appendix 1
t1 12 :=
Top face thickness
Geometrical properties:
t2 t1 :=
Bottom face thickness
L 33000 :=
Total bridge length
t3 0.25t1 · :=
Web thickness
b 3000 :=
Total bridge width
d 464.1 :=
Total bridge height
Distance from bottom face to neutral axis
tc d t1 ÷ t2 ÷ :=
Core thickness
e
d
2
:=
bc b 2t3 · ÷ :=
Core width
D0 b 2t3 · ÷ ( )
E1t1
3
·
12
E2t2
3
·
12
+ E1t1 · d e ÷ ( )
2
· + E2t2 · e
2
· +

¸
(
(
¸
· :=
Face stiffness
Dc Ectc · bc ·
tc t2 +
2
e ÷
|

\
|
|
.
2
·
Ecbc · tc
3
·
12
+ :=
Core stiffness
Dw 2
E3t3 · d
3
·
12
· :=
Web stiffness
D D0 Dc + Dw + :=
Total Stiffness
D 1.448 10
14
× =
Worksheet for computing stiffness and stresses in a Sandwich cross section
Material properties:
vxy 0.150 := vyx 0.101 :=
v 0.5 :=
fiber volume ratio
In faces: [0/90/0]n and in web[0/45/-45]
µg 2560 :=
Glass density
E1
25816
1 vxyvyx · ÷ ( )
:=
Top face E-modulus
µc 185 :=
Core density
Bottom face E-modulus
E2 E1 :=
µr 1265 :=
Resin density
E3
14435
1 vxyvyx · ÷ ( )
:=
Web E-modulus
µgfrp 1933 :=
Glass FRP density
Ec 2000 :=
Core E-modulus
G1 4964 :=
Top face shear modulus
G2 G1 :=
Bottom face shear modulus
G3 6775 :=
Web shear modulus
Gc 100 :=
Core shear modulus

10.2 Appendix 2
10.3 Appendix 3
Core material µ
(kg/m
3
)
E
c

(MPa)
G
(MPa)
o
c

(MPa)
o
t

(MPa)
t
s

(MPa)
ProBalsa LD7 64 1850
59 2.6 3.9 0.9
124
Core material µ
(kg/m
3
)
E
c

(MPa)
G
(MPa)
o
c

(MPa)
o
t

(MPa)
t
s

(MPa)
ProBalsa PB 121 2000 100 6.4 7.5 1.8
ProBalsa HW 185 4300 170 13.8 14 3.2
CK/D57 104/1.4 2241 108 6.89 6.52 1.85
CK/D100 151 3921 157 12.67 13.0 2.94
CK/D150 238 7604 292 25.01 22.59 4.74

Testing the properties of the core material in the actual construction will give
data more reliable for design use and this in return will mean reducing the value
of the Partial Safety Factors
10.4 Appendix 4
11 REFERENCES
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