Fiberglass Composite Bridge Design

Fiberglass Composite Bridge Design

Design Analysis

This 100% fiberglass bridge, installed in Butler County, Ohio is a 30 ft. span bridge designed for two lane loading of HS20 trucks.  In conjunction with Martin Marietta Materials, SC Solutions engineers were selected to perform the design analysis on this new bridge.  SC Solutions’ responsibilities as part of the analysis team included: 

  • Development of a global analytical model, consisting of orthotropic layered shells representing the support beams, and layered shells in a sandwich structure around an equivalent core representing the deck,
  • Evaluated local stresses using detailed models of the deck,
  • Analyzed stresses and deformations due to dead load, live load, thermal gradients, and guard rail loads (accident impact),
  • Examined shear buckling of the support beams and the stresses in all bond lines (factory and field joints).

The entire bridge was fabricated in Hayward, California and transported to the site on a single truck.  Installation was accomplished in a few hours.  Extensive testing of the bridge was conducted after installation, using overloaded trucks and measuring deflections and strains in the material.  All results were within a few percent of the analytical predictions.

After successful completion of the new bridge, the concrete deck of another existing bridge was replaced with a new fiberglass deck, using the existing steel support beams, with standard studs providing the shear connection.  The studs protruded from the beams through pre-drilled holes in the deck. SC Solutions was asked to analyze the necessity of reinforcing the pre-drilled holes with fiberglass inserts and grout.  Through analysis, SC Solutions was able to clearly show that the joint and the stud would fail without the fiberglass insert.

SC Solutions has
contributed to
advancing science,
knowledge and
technology in
these industries:

  • Energy
  • Oil & Gas
  • Nuclear
  • Transportation
  • Health Monitoring
  • Bridges
  • Tunnels
  • Railways
  • Ports & Marine Terminals