Figure 1: The Lusail Marina Bridge – a future candidate for FRP?
Figure 1: The Lusail Marina Bridge – a future candidate for FRP?
Figure 2: Bradkirk FRP footbridge. (Picture courtesy of Birse Rail.)
Figure 2: Bradkirk FRP footbridge. (Picture courtesy of Birse Rail.)
Figure 3: Financial viability of existing FRP footbridges. (Source: Optima Projects.)
Figure 3: Financial viability of existing FRP footbridges. (Source: Optima Projects.)
Figure 4: Financial viability of long-span FRP footbridges. (Source: Optima Projects.)
Figure 4: Financial viability of long-span FRP footbridges. (Source: Optima Projects.)
Figure 5: Standen Hey FRP road bridge. (Picture courtesy of Network Rail.)
Figure 5: Standen Hey FRP road bridge. (Picture courtesy of Network Rail.)
Figure 6: Ecological impact of different materials. (Source: DSM.)
Figure 6: Ecological impact of different materials. (Source: DSM.)
Figure 7: CFRP bridge produced by FiberCore, spanning 24.5 m.
Figure 7: CFRP bridge produced by FiberCore, spanning 24.5 m.
Figure 8: Road bridge in Spain produced by Acciona Infraestructuras, consisting of moulded FRP primary beams and concrete decks.
Figure 8: Road bridge in Spain produced by Acciona Infraestructuras, consisting of moulded FRP primary beams and concrete decks.
Figure 9: Launder Aqueduct fabricated from pultruded panels.
Figure 9: Launder Aqueduct fabricated from pultruded panels.
Figure 10: The Holländer Bridge in Germany uses Fiberline pultruded decks in conjunction with steel beams.
Figure 10: The Holländer Bridge in Germany uses Fiberline pultruded decks in conjunction with steel beams.

The conference organised by the Network Group for Composites in Construction (NGCC), and held at the Building Centre in London in February, showed the progress that has been made since a similar conference was held three years ago.

An architect’s perspective

Mark Whitby from Ramboll presented a keynote review of 20 previous and future bridges, manufactured from steel, concrete and aluminium. These showed dramatic, sculptural forms and in many respects cutting-edge design and engineering, but a distinct lack of FRP in their manufacture.

Whitby explained that FRP is not generally considered as a candidate material by bridge engineers, as they tend to stick to tried and tested materials with which they are familiar. However, he admitted that many of the bridges he showed could have been made from FRP and that this may have provided technical and economic benefits, certainly once through-life costs are considered.

Greater awareness and knowledge of FRP materials is still needed within the construction industry. Hopefully some future projects, such as the bridge shown in Figure 1, will include FRP.

 


This article is an extract from a feature published in the May/June 2010 issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine. You may download the complete feature here at no cost.