Preliminary Study on Using FRP Materials in Culvert Road Bridges- Mechanical behavior and life-cycle cost analysis
The purpose of this preliminary study was to investigate the feasibility of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) materials to be used as an alternative material for steel in flexible culver bridges.
Flexible steel culvert bridges have been in use for a long time. The simplicity of manufacturing, installation and rather cheap price of these structures, have made them very popular for short span bridges, especially on waterways. However, there are a number of drawbacks involved such as durability and thus long-term performance of these structures and fatigue issues which necessitate rather thick soil cover on the crown or utilizing thicker steel plates.
FRP materials, having superior mechanical and durability properties look to be a viable alternative for steel plates in this type of structures. Long and successful history of using FRPs in pipelines and underground applications, have proved them as maintenance free materials with low life cycle costs.
This report presents results of analyses on mechanical behavior of FRP culverts and their viability from LCC point of view. The results show that FRP could be a suitable alternative from both strength and durability point of view. A FRP culvert structure could be up to 30% cheaper than an equivalent steel culvert with regard to initial price and 19% cheaper considering the total price. However, to fully develop the concept, further studies on creep, fatigue and connections need to be performed.
Fiber reinforced polymer