Design of A Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bridge

Benedict MK Leo


Fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials are commonly used in the aerospace, marine and defence industries. Due to their inherent advantages, FRP composite materials are increasingly making their way into civil engineering applications. In the field of bridge engineering, FRP composite materials are used mainly for strengthening and rehabilitation purposes but there are few bridge superstructures which are designed entirely out of FRP composite materials. This is mainly due to the high initial costs of FRP composite materials and the lack of design guidelines and standards. This paper will first review deficiencies in existing bridges constructed out of conventional materials such as timber, concrete, cast iron and steel. FRP composite materials offer the potential of being a choice as a structural material due to their inherent advantages over conventional materials. The current uses of FRP composite materials in bridge engineering will also be reviewed. This paper will then propose an innovative design of a FRP bridge, using Strongwell Systems™ pultruded profiles as the bridge deck and composite FRP-concrete beams as girders. Finally, the performance of this bridge system will be analysed using finite element modelling with ANSYS.


Hybrid beam; composite materials; FRP composites; finite element analysis

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