Dutch All-Composite Bridge for Heavy Traffic

05 April 2001

The small town of Den Dungen in the Netherlands will be the location for an all-composite bridge suitable for heavy traffic. The main structure of the bridge is made of glass and carbon fiber reinforced beams, whereas the top layers are made up of a PUR-foam sandwich construction partially reinforced with glass fibers. Now, through a special Research Fund, made available by the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works & Water Management the cost has been guaranteed and construction can go ahead. The project is executed by the Bouwdienst (Civil Building Authority) the operational division of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works & Water Management together with the Centre of Lightweight Structures (CLC; a joint venture between TNO (Netherlands organization for applied scientific research) and the Delft University of Technology.
Mr. Aldert Verheus of CLC explained during a Seminar at the bi-annual Netherlands Composite Days in Nieuwegein how the structure of special designed beams would be able to carry the Class 45 design traffic loads. The construction design is still under review. One option is to use side by side adhesive bonded beams with on the top a layer of structural PUR foam, reinforced with carbon fiber material. The most economic system will be chosen.
The span of the bridge is less than ten meters. Wheels of trucks heavier than class 45 are usually placed more than 5 meters apart and will cause no problem through overloading, because the bridge deck is in the first place designed on stiffness. This in effect means that the bridge can carry the heaviest known loading class in the Netherlands, i.e. Class 60 based on strength.
Contact CLC, Mr. Aldert Verheus

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