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Tomasz Siwowski, Damian Kaleta and Mateusz Rajchel

Abstract

The main goal of the research project was to develop and demonstrate the first Polish FRP composite road bridge, starting from concept design and material research, and going thru manufacturing technique selection, detailed FEM analysis and structural testing of elements. The R&D project comprises also the proof test of the completed bridge as well as structural monitoring in exploitation period. The objective of the paper is the description of the bridge and its structural solutions, i.e. FRP box girders and lightweight concrete deck slab acting compositely. Further the FEM analysis of the girder and the bridge span made on design stage has been presented. The VARTM manufacturing technique was used for girders production. Its main steps have been also presented. Finally the research on the new FRP box girder with LRC slab (hybrid girder) has been briefly showed. The full scale prototype girder with the total length of 22 m was tested to evaluate its carrying capacity, modes of failure, basic dynamic parameters as well as overall behaviour under ultimate static load. The FRP girder met the prescribed serviceability and safety criteria. The FEM model of the girder was validated against testing results and was further used for bridge design. Thanks to R&D project the first Polish FRP bridge is likely to be built late autumn 2015. The output of the research project gives a very promising future for the FRP composite bridge application. The research works showed in the paper have been partially financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development in the frame of the research project “ComBridge” (www.com-bridge.pl).

Open access

Mateusz Rajchel and Tomasz Siwowski

Abstract

Despite many advantages over the conventional construction materials, the contemporary development of FRP composites in bridge engineering is limited due to high initial cost, low stiffness (in case of glass fibers) and sudden composite failure mode. In order to reduce the given limitations, mixed (hybrid) solutions connecting the FRP composites and conventional construction materials, including concrete, have been tested in many countries for 20 years. Shaping the hybrid structures based on the attributes of particular materials, aims to increase stiffness and reduce cost without losing the carrying capacity, lightness and easiness of bridges that includes such hybrid girders, and to avoid the sudden dangerous failure mode. In the following article, the authors described examples of hybrid road bridges made of FRP composite and concrete within the time of 20 years and presented the first Polish hybrid FRP-concrete road bridge. Also, the directions of further research, necessary to spread these innovative, advanced and sustainable bridge structures were indicated.

Open access

Tomasz Siwowski and Mateusz Rajchel

Abstract

The paper presents initial results of a new approach to FRP composite bridge construction that is presently being developed and tested in Poland. The concept combines lightweight concrete with FRP composites to create a durable highly optimised structure. The paper describes the bridge system itself and presents the research results on its development. The basic design is presented together with research results on its development: FEM analysis and a range of static test results of full-scale bridge beam experiments. The paper finishes with some test results of a full scale bridge that was constructed near Rzeszow in December 2015.