Global FRP Use in Bridge Applications

22 April 2004

A new report on the use of FRP composites in global bridge applications show that at least 40% of the bridges within the United States are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

MDA Composites have published a comprehensive report on the use of FRP composites in global bridge applications. The report reviews the quantity, volume, area, and location of composites as applied to bridge applications worldwide.

The report claims to be “by far the most comprehensive compendium of bridge installations to date”, and includes graphs and tables that summarize data from over 350 installations.

The MDA Market Investigation team’s mission is to investigate the emerging market for FRP composite bridges, develop the path forward for composite bridge technology and implement strategies to speed R&D including developing specifications and standards. The ultimate goal of the team is to create a new “family” of FRP composite bridge products and structures including bridge decks, structural profiles, concrete repair, concrete reinforcement (rebar, dowel bar, and tendons), cable (pre- and post tensioning), pilings systems and ancillary products.

The Team has volunteered to help FHWA and the AASHTO Bridge T-21 committee to ensure dialogue between the composites industry and the bridge engineering specification community.

In addition, two projects undertaken by the Composites Bridge Team are now integrated on the MDA website. The Team was responsible for the creation of the FRP Product Gateway for Composite Bridges illustrating practical applications of FRP composites to bridges. This includes vehicular and pedestrian bridge systems, FRP rebars and tendons for concrete reinforcement, FRP composite systems for repair and strengthening, and seismic retrofit for beams, columns, slabs and walls, piling products and systems for marine waterfront structures, and new structural shapes applied to beams for bridge decks. The second project was the compilation of an extensive database of the world's FRP bridges. The compendium includes over 300 global installations broken down by country. In addition to the compendium, MDA members received a complete statistical breakdown of these bridges including a searchable database.

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