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Recent advances in composite materials for civil engineering have created interesting possibilities for replacing conventional structural forms with components made out of fiber reinforced composite materials. Composite materials offer several advantages over conventional materials such as a superior strength/weight ratio, a better stiffness/weight ratio, a high degree of chemical inertness, and flexible custom design characteristics. Some of the potential down-stream benefits include lower life-cycle costs, lighter members, high corrosion and fatigue resistance, and higher live load capacity (Seible and Karbhari 1996). Composite materials are clearly having a major impact on how facilities are designed, constructed, and maintained. In order to enhance the application of fiber-reinforced composites in infrastructure renewal, it will be important to understand the constructability, maintainability and operability issues related to the use of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) structural components. The main objective of this project is to evaluate the constructability, maintainability and operability issues related to FRP bridge decks as compared to conventional deck construction. In order to achieve the objective, this research identified (i) the state of the art (research & development) and also state of practice of fabrication and use of composite bridge decks both in new bridges and in rehabilitation projects, (ii) issues related to constructability, maintainability, and operability of FRP bridge decks, fabrication issues, construction methods, quality, safety, man-hour requirements, cost and productivity issues, as well the skill level required, and (iii) determined the productivity, man-hour requirement, and system bottlenecks that were important for understanding the construction process and to develop construction guidelines for FRP bridge deck construction. The data required for this project were collected through questionnaire survey, interviews, and case studies.


FRP bridge deck panels, construction simulation, constructability, maintainability, operability, construction guideline, SPR-2778

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Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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