Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Bridges of West Virginia

The use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites (glass fabrics with thermoset resins) for bridge construction is a new development in West Virginia. This FRP composite technology has been the material of choice in the aerospace industry since the 1960s. However, recently glass FRP composites have been gaining popularity and acceptance in the bridge construction industry, because of their high-strength and stiffness-to-weight radio, corrosion resistance, higher energy absorption, and competitive cost. In addition, the low self-weight of FRP composite bridge decks (approximately 15 – 20 lb/ft) has resulted in the increased live-load carrying capacity of old bridges after replacement of old concrete decks with the FRP decks. Indeed, the ever increasing truck loads, public demands for durable bridges, and more expensive labor rates, are making FRP composite modular bridge systems a desirable choice for highway bridges. The use of FRP composite bridges has not been fully accepted yet because of the high initial costs, lack of material and design specifications, and a dearth in understanding of design, construction, inspection, and repair. Engineered FRP composites brought about by the strong demand in the aerospace industry are being accepted in the civil engineering community, including the infrastructure industry, offshore drilling industry and the automotive industry.

  • Corporate Authors:

    West Virginia University, Morgantown

    Constructed Facilities Center
    Morgantown, WV  United States  26506-6101

    West Virginia Department of Transportation

    1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
    Charleston, WV  United States  25305-0440

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 2001


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: 44p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153515
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-ERC-2-002
  • Created Date: Mar 25 2010 12:50PM