Experimental Bridge Girder of Reinforced Plastic

by Fred C. McCormick, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.; and Faculty Research Engr., Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council, Charlottesville, Va.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 47-63

Document Type: Journal Paper


A girder composed entirely of glass-reinforced polyester resin was designed, fabricated, and tested to failure under short-term static loads. The girder was designed with a solid flange and open web by classical procedures based on a pinned-end truss configuration. Resonably close agreement was achieved between theoretical and experimental measurements. Test specimens had open triangular shaped cross sections. The web and lower chord elements were fabricated by winding continuous glass roving impregnated with polyester around preformed web stiffeners. Measured strains and deflections varied linearly with load. Structural failures usually occured in joints formed with adhesives. An ultimate live load of 93 times the dead weight of the member was achieved for one of the specimens.

Subject Headings: Girder bridges | Webs (structure) | Plastics | Failure loads | Live loads | Girders | Fabrication | Failure analysis

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