Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Bridge decking; Experimental testing; Fiber reinforced polymer; Polyurethane foam


"Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) decking is a concept that has been explored in recent decades as one solution to the performance issues of conventional concrete bridge decking. Many sandwich panel designs made of glass reinforced polyester or vinyl ester resin have been well developed, and manufactured using filament winding, hand lay-up, and extrusion methods. The major benefits of these panels was their light weight, corrosion resistance, fatigue performance, and potential for rapid field assembly. However, high initial costs coupled with small state budgets have kept them from main stream adoption. A viable alternative, is a foam/reinforced foam core sandwich panel made of polyurethane materials and glass fibers that is manufactured using the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process. These type of panels could potentially decrease initial expenses, manufacturing difficulties, and possibly reduce weight further while retaining the benefits provided by previously explored FRP panels. The primary objective of this thesis is to evaluate three potential core alternatives. Type 1 consisted of a rigid polyurethane core, Type 2 consisted of a flexible polyurethane foam core reinforced by a grid work of resin infused glass fibers, and the Type 3 core consisted of trapezoidal blocks of flexible polyurethane foam reinforced with resin infused glass fiber shear layers. Four types of small scale experimental testing were conducted in this research; flatwise compression and tension testing, three point flexural testing, and four point flexural testing. The results showed that both the Type 1 and 2 cores were very weak and flexible making their implementation in bridge deck panels less practical. The Type 3 core was the stiffest and strongest core configuration making in the most practical for implementation in bridge deck panels"--Abstract, page iii.


Volz, Jeffery S.

Committee Member(s)

Chandrashekhara, K.
Birman, V. (Victor)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Civil Engineering


Missouri. Department of Transportation
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2014


xv, 275 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-274).

Geographic Coverage



© 2014 Matthew Scott Hopkins, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Reinforced concrete -- Testing
Reinforced concrete -- Corrosion
Reinforced concrete -- Fatigue
Bridges -- Missouri -- Evaluation

Thesis Number

T 10583

Electronic OCLC #