Long-Term Performance of a Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Truss Bridge

In the summer of 2005, after 8 years of use as a temporary bridge during the winter, the Pontresina Bridge for pedestrians was transported to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne for a detailed assessment of its structural safety, serviceability, and long-term durability. The assessment included visual inspection, quasistatic testing identical to that performed in 1997, and detailed investigations of material degradation. The visual inspection showed a variety of different local defects and damage such as local crushing caused by impact, local cracks due to inappropriate storage and lifting of the structure, fiber blooming, degradation of cut surfaces, and damage due to vandalism. Comparisons between load tests performed in 1997 and 2005 showed, however, that structural safety and serviceability of the bridge were not affected by these local damages. The stiffness of the pultruded shapes remained unchanged, whereas a slight decrease in strength between 13 and 18% was measured, which, however, is not critical when considering the highly effective safety factors. In view of a further service period of 5 years until next inspection, the visible damages were repaired. This experience showed durability is primarily affected by inappropriate constructive detailing and that pultruded glass fiber-reinforced polymer shapes, if correctly manufactured/processed, can offer good long-term performance and durability.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission from ASCE
  • Authors:
    • Keller, Thomas
    • Bai, Yu
    • Vallee, Till
  • Publication Date: 2007-1


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01045106
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 17 2007 9:34PM