Due to their lightweight, ease of installation in the field, and potential life-cycle durability, fiber reinforced composites are increasingly being considered in applications such as replacement bridge decks. However, current costs associated with the fabrication of such decks are 4–5 times that of conventional reinforced concrete decks thus placing great importance on the development of cost-effective processes such as resin infusion. This paper describes results of a test program aimed at the assessment of two different resin infusion schemes for the fabrication of foam core filled truss-type bridge decks. Model flow studies and simple analytical procedures are used to assess flow phenomena. The results of process and performance comparisons show that although the use of a microgroove network can be more efficient than the use of a high-permeable medium, in terms of rate of infusion, and global structural performance may be comparable, there is a greater likelihood of defect formation. Process induced defect formation is different in the two schemes with the former having a higher susceptibility for localized effects. Defect types are identified, and comparisons of performance are made at both a local and global level.
"It is estimated that with the use of road salt, the life of a conventional bridge deck is reduced to ten years. At this point, repair or replacement is required and this can be as high as 75% to 90% of the total annual maintenance cost of the structure (Karbhari et al, 2001). Current trends in North America have seen not only an increase in truckloads, but also an increase in the number of traffic lanes to meet the demands of a growing population. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The consideration of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge decks as a replacement for conventional reinforced concrete bridge decks is on the rise. This is because FRP bridge decks are easier to install, lightweight, durable and non -corrosive. Development of an optimal design will ultimately address the high cost that is associated with the FRP materials and fabrication. This paper is an overview of an experimental program that deals with the development of GFRP bridge deck modules. Two separate full -scale decks were tested under a simulated AASHTO HS30 design truckload. Both static and cyclic loading tests were performed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resin Infusion Processes such as SCRIMP, VA-RTM, and variations thereof, are increasingly being considered for the fabrication of large structural components such as bridge decks and ship hulls wherein preform elements consist not only of varying fabric architectures but also include foam cores. Based on the method of infusion – high permeability distribution media or resin channels/microgrooves, flow through the preform can be tailored to be either 1-D, 2-D, 3-D or a combination thereof. This paper emphasizes the effect of exothermic temperature history on flow & cure phenomena, and mechanical properties of a series of structural elements ranging from a flat plate to a typical truss-core type structure. The effect of geometry and flow on exothermic characteristics is experimentally monitored, and results correlated to provide guidance in the further use of the process. Critical areas lacking in detailed understanding are identified and a set of preforming and process induced defects that cause changes in thermal history are described.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A systematic testing program was conducted to investigate the failure modes and failure mechanisms of multi-cellular FRP composite bridge decks. To compare loading patch effects on deck local failure, a steel patch made according to AASHTO specifications and a special rubber-stuffed truck tire patch were used in lab testing. The testing results showed that the failure of FRP deck using steel patch was local punching and shear cracking; while the deck failure using tire patch was local bending failure. Deck-loading patch contacting analyses were also conducted using Finite Element Method. This research showed that the failure modes of the investigated multi-cellular FRP deck systems were related to the stiffness and deformability of the loading patches.
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