Feasibility study on heavy-traffic fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bascule bridges:

by J.C. Moen

Institution: Delft University of Technology
Year: 2014
Keywords: fibre reinforced polymers; FRP; bascule bridge; structural engineering; optimisation; parametric analysis; finite element analysis; material-adapted design; sandwich construction; VVK
Record ID: 1262154
Full text PDF: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:13e88ba3-f8cc-4422-a033-019dd190e058


The material properties of fibre reinforced polymer composites fundamentally differ from construction steel, and therefore a different approach is required in the design of structures composed of this material. Simple substitution of steel elements by composite counterparts will inevitably result in inefficient structures. When the material’s characteristics are however respected in the design, one can create extremely lightweight, durable and practically maintenance-free structures at a competitive price. In this thesis, the material-specific challenges regarding the design and production of composite bascule bridge superstructures are investigated. Subsequently, the influence of several design parameters on the efficiency of the structure is analysed. Based on the drawn conclusions, different alternatives for the geometry and pivot system of the superstructure are evaluated based on their respective compatibility with composite material. Finally, the technical- and economical feasibility of the conceptual design is assessed. The results of this research show that there may be a promising future for composite material in the (bridge) construction industry, as long as material-adapted design and optimisation techniques are embraced.