Fibre Reinforced Polymer Footbridges Spanning 300m

Medium: conference paper
Language(s): en 
Conference: Footbridge 2014 - Past, Present & Future, London, 16-18 July 2014
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Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites have been used in the design of 3 long-span footbridge concepts with single clear spans of 300m. These long spans have been achieved without the need for masts and cable supports, made possible by the use of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre composites dramatically cutting the dead load on the structure and improving dynamic performance.

The feasibility of the proposed structures is demonstrated through static and dynamic finite element analysis. Three different geometric designs are presented and it is shown that through geometric development and optimisation the structural efficiency of the bridge can be improved, increasing stiffness and dynamic properties with the same material content and overall weight.

It is envisaged that such concepts will bring significant advantages and be cost-effective in certain locations where it is impractical or expensive to provide intermediate supports. This could include river crossings, where piers in the river are very expensive and time-consuming to construct or over infrastructure, for example over major railways or roads, where finding space on the ground for intermediate supports is impractical or disruptive. Modular, off-site construction will also bring advantages in time and construction costs, minimising the amount of work carried out on site.

The use of FRP composites opens up new and exciting aesthetic possibilities, which have yet to be fully explored.

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