The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 051 [Completed (IDEA)]

Application of Advanced Composites to Steel Bridge Retrofitting
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This follow-on project to a previous IDEA project (NCHRP-10) demonstrated the field use of advanced composites to strengthen and stiffen highway steel bridges (Figure 1). An in-service steel bridge was identified for retrofitting and field evaluation in collaboration with the Delaware DOT. Two full-scale steel bridge girders were rehabilitated in the laboratory by bonding carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite to the top and bottom of the tension flange of the girders. The girders were fatigued and subjected to static tests. Both test data and inspection showed no changes in the overall stiffness or bond integrity after 10 million fatigue cycles. The same girders were also subjected to a sustained load, and strain gauges and load cells were implemented to record any changes over time. After successfully addressing the issues of force transfer, fatigue resistance, and durability, a full-scale rehabilitation of a steel bridge on I-95S over Christina Creek near Newark, Delaware, was carried out using two types of structural adhesives to bond CFRP to steel. Monitoring of the bridge for performance and durability of the CFRP-steel bond will continue for several years.  The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2002-103162).

The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

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