Design and research on the first polish FRP composite road bridge


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” (

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