• Experimental investigation of fiber-reininforced polymer composite bridge deck panel in cold regions

      Choppali, Usha (2005-08)
      To build highway bridges in cold regions like Alaska, cast-in-place concrete has been found to be difficult and expensive, especially in winter seasons. Decked Bulb-Tee bridge members can be heavy and the deck cannot be replaced. On the other hand, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) composite materials offer a great opportunity in this area. The primary technical barrier to the use of composite materials in infrastructure applications is lack of data on environmental durability. The present study presents experimental load and strain results of a FRP composite panel that was subjected to cold temperatures. The FRP panel consists of an upper and a bottom laminate tied by a honeycomb core, which was produced by sequentially bonding a flat sheet to a corrugated sheet. Specifically, the objective of this research was to understand the effects of low temperature and low-temperature thermal cycling on the performance of FRP composite bridge deck panels in cold regions. This was achieved by analyzing static tests and results for a FRP deck panel. The research results reported herein showed an increase in stiffness as temperature was lowered up to a certain point, and a reverse trend at a further lower temperature.