Falcon – A Multi-Disciplinary Effort to Promote FRP bridges in Sweden
Conference contribution, 2018
Sweden has a long history in using fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in marine, transportation and energy sectors. However, when it comes to application of composite materials to build bridge structures, it somewhat falls behind.
Despite several advantages that FRP composites offer, such as high specific strength and stiffness, corrosion resistance and light-weight, their infrastructural applications in Sweden have not been fully understood and yet to be realized. The first efforts to use FRP composites for construction of pedestrian bridges started in 2011, however, due to lack of knowledge about the materials and design of composite structures among engineers, they were halted.
Falcon, a joint effort project with total budget of 640 k Euro funded by VINNOVA and co-funded by industrial consortium partners, aims at gathering together the relevant parties, consisting universities, research institutes, bridge designers, composite manufacturers and clients to realize the first FRP bridge in Sweden. The main objectives of the project are to investigate and implement the best practice for FRP bridges and improve the procurement processes for bridge owners and thereby pave the way towards widespread infrastructural application of composites. This paper, presents some results of this project including legal hindrances and possible strategies to promote FRP as a construction material for future bridges.