A Load-Deflection Study of Fiber-Reinforced Plastics as Reinforcement in Concrete Bridge Decks


Curtis Barton Boyd

Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Civil Engineering


Dr. Richard M. Barker

May 5, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


Approximately fifty percent of the bridges in the United States are considered deficient. The deterioration of the concrete components is a leading cause of the problem. The deterioration of concrete bridge decks is due primarily to corrosion of the reinforcing steel in the concrete. A promising solution to the problem is the use of fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) as a replacement for reinforcing steel. The use of FRP as reinforcement has the following advantages of lightweight, high tensile strength, corrosion resistance, flexibility, and electromagnetic resistance. This paper looks at the use of FRP as reinforcement in concrete beams and compares the information from deflection measurements of different configurations. Also, a material cost comparison is made to determine the cost of using the FRP reinforcement over standard steel reinforcement. Concrete bridge deck systems are designed using steel and fiber-reinforced plastics and allowable stress and load resistance factor methods. Recommendations for further study and uses of FRP are made.

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