Enhancements to the Bond Between Advanced Composite Materials and Steel for Bridge Rehabilitation

It is not secret that our nation's infrastructure is in need of repair. Many of the highways and bridges that serve our major cities were built during the 1950's and 1960's as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways. In much of the northeast, portions of the infrastructure significantly pre-date this network of roadways with ages of up to 100 years or more. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of such structures is only on the order of 50 years. Outmoded, outdated, inadequate, and even inferior design has limited a structure's usefulness and reduced this life expectancy; it is not uncommon to see bridges "posted" as a result of these design issues. Additionally, the increase in the volume, frequency, and weight of traffic beyond design assumptions has accelerated the effects of fatigue and aged the structures prematurely. Combining these factors with our reliance on motor vehicles for personal transportation, transport of goods, and the execution of commerce, that situation will get worse before it can improve. Of these highway bridges, a majority was constructed using concrete bridge decks atop steel girders. over the course of their lives, steel bridges require a minimum level of maintenance, including regular painting, to ensure their function for years to come. In many cases painting proves costly in materials and manpower therefore it is commonly not performed frequently enough or it is even neglected altogether. This improper maintenance introduces another enemy to the infrastructure in the form of corrosion that further weakens the already taxed structures. The purpose of this study was to build upon previously developed techniques for the rehabilitation of steel bridge girders. The application of an advanced composite material to steel bridge girders through the use of adhesives has been explored as a rehabilitation option. The particular technique investigated in this work has been proven to restore lost stiffness and load capacity to weakened steel members as well as reduce the rate of fatigue crack propagation in laboratory samples. However, there are many areas that need to be addressed before the rehabilitation process can be deployed in the field.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Delaware Department of Transportation

      P.O. Box 778
      Dover, DE  United States  19901
    • Performing Organizations:

      Delaware Center for Transportation

      University of Delaware
      Newark, DE  United States  19716
    • Principal Investigators:


    • Start Date: 20010701
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20021231
    • Source Data: RiP Project 19259

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01459782
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Delaware Department of Transportation
    • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 1:12PM