Assessment of Load Transfer and Load Distribution for Bridges Utilizing FRP Panels


A primary means of demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite bridge materials is via in situ bridge load testing. For this study, the prescribed or assumed design factors for each of the study bridges were compared to those exhibited by the performance of the bridge. Specifically, the wheel load distribution factors and impact factors as defined by AASHTO were considered in order to assess the load transfer and distribution in structures utilizing FRP panels. The in situ testing configurations for the study bridges are outlined, including the truck and instrumentation placement to obtain the desired information. Furthermore, comparisons were drawn between the design values for deflection and those experienced by the structures during testing. It was found that although the deflections exhibited by the bridges were well within the design limits, further research is needed to be able to prescribe bridge design factors for FRP panels.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bridges; Design Values; Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP); Impact Loads; in Situ Tests; Load Distribution; Load Transfer; Panels; Composite

Document Type

Article - Journal

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