Evaluation of a New FRP Fender System for Bridge Pier Protection against Vessel Collision

Physical protection systems typically are used to reduce vessel impact loads to nondestructive levels or redirect vessels away from bridge piers. An efficient physical protection system is critical for the safe operation of bridges and vessels. A new fender system, referred to as a floating fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP), can meet the design needs to protect both bridge piers and vessels. In addition, the floating FRP fender system, which is composed of FRP box modules filled with rows of FRP tubes, offers high-performance energy dissipation capabilities, modular construction, and easy replacement benefits. This paper focuses on a performance evaluation of this new fender system, used in a prestressed concrete bridge, by using a nonlinear explicit dynamic finite-element analysis program. The study included a vessel collision analysis with material properties calibrated by experimental data. The authors concluded that this new fender system has excellent energy-absorbing capabilities, significantly reduces collision forces, and increases collision duration imposed on the bridge pier and colliding vessel. Therefore, the new protection system is worthy of consideration for locations where a vessel-bridge collision is a concern.


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  • Accession Number: 01534520
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2014 3:01PM