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WISCONSIN STRUCTURES & MATERIALS TESTING LABORATORY (WSMTL)

Photo 1:  End View of 3-D FRP Grid SIP system
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Experimental and Analytical Optimization of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Grid-Reinforced Concrete Bridge Decking
Research by
Tom Ringelstetter/
Prof. Lawrence Bank, Prof. Michael Oliva
& Prof. Jeff Russell
Dept of Civil & Environmental Engineering


The purpose of this research is to investigate the optimization of three-dimensional fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcing grids and integrated stay-in-place (SIP) formwork for reinforcing and forming highway bridge decks. The use of FRP as a reinforcing material in concrete has the benefits of modular construction of the reinforcing system and corrosion resistance. The modular nature of the system creates the potential for shortened construction time for replacement of a bridge deck structure. Resistance to corrosion gives the deck structure a longer service life than conventional steel decks. Previous research has implemented two different FRP reinforcing systems in bridges on Highway 151 in Wisconsin.

This research is a continuation of the previous research, developing a more efficient and cost effective three-dimensional FRP grid and SIP system. The integration of stay-in-place formwork will greatly reduce the amount of formwork required to be installed in the field, subsequently reducing the construction time of a deck replacement project. Additionally, a design basis for determining the amount of FRP reinforcing will be developed. The research includes full-scale test of FRP SIP grid panels in the Wisconsin Structures and Materials Laboratory.

Photo 2:  Concrete Placement for Test PanelTwo different grid constructions will be fabricated and tested. Both specimens include a stay-in-place forming system. Testing of the specimens involves applying a simulated design vehicle wheel load onto the specimens. Loading of the specimens in the elastic range will allow the width of deck that the wheel load is distributed over to be determined. Inelastic loading of the panels will allow the ultimate capacity of the system, as well as the mode of failure of the system to be determined. With the ultimate capacity of the system known, the factor of safety of the system can then be ascertained. Comparisons to the previous research by Dieter, 2002, and Jacobson, 2004, will be made to evaluate the performance of these two grid constructions. The research is funded by the FHWA Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) Program.


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