In the U.S., fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials have been in service on public infrastructure facilities as bridge decks and superstructures for over ten years.
While the structural performance of these 100+ bridges has generally been satisfactory, some issues have given bridge owners and their consultant engineers reason to hold back a on wider acceptance and use of these new materials.
Here the authors give some specific examples of completed projects, explain the deficiencies that need to be explored further before composites can compete with conventional materials, and point to some promising technologies that may spark a renewed interest in these materials.
Lou Triandafilou, P.E. Senior Structural Engineer
Federal Highway Administration, Eastern Resource Center 10 S. Howard Street, Suite 4000, Baltimore
Jerome S. O’Connor, P.E., F. ASCE
MCEER Senior Program Officer, Transportation Research University at Buffalo, The State University of New York 115 Red Jacket Quadrangle, Buffalo, NY
Terms: Composite materials