Advanced Engineering 2018

CatStrong CRP-X3 Reduces Bridge Repair Costs

13 November 2012

The Kentucky Transportation Center’s research team has developed a new product called CatStrong CRP-X3 consisting of carbon fibre reinforced polymer rod panels (CRP) that are bonded to existing reinforced and pre-stressed concrete bridge structural members that have become deficient.

The goal of CatStrong CRP-X3 is to decrease bridge repair costs by reducing the number of labour hours typically required to retrofit concrete bridges. 

CatStrong CRP-X3 is produced in the Structures Laboratory at the University of Kentucky.  The research team, led by Program Manager Dr. Issam Harik, developed CatStrong CRP-X3 by using small diameter carbon fibre rods that are set on fiberglass mesh to form a sheet or panel.  The “X3” in the title indicates the product strength level.  According to the team, the CatStrong CRP-195 panel can resist more than 195,000 pounds of tensile force per one foot wide section, while weighing only 6.84 ounces per square foot.  One square foot of CatStrong CRP-195 provides a strength equivalent to a square foot of A36 steel that is 0.28 inch thick and weighs 183.2 ounces (more than 27 times the weight of CatStrong CRP-195).

CatStrong has been installed successfully on four bridges in Kentucky since 2011.  During the application of CatStrong CRP-X3, roads remain open, and the impact on the traveling public is minimal. 

“The objective is to reduce repair costs since it can be quickly applied by a single person, thus reducing the labour hours and the construction equipment needed for the job. CatStrong CRP-X3 panels are ideally suited for structures with limited access, such as bridges over a waterway or a deep ravine,” said Harik.

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