Composite Sketch

by Paul Tarricone, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 5, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


Composite materials from the aerospace and military sectors are showing promise in highway, bridge and transportation applications. Some of the current and potential applications of composites are in fiber wraps (or jackets) around bridge columns for seismic retrofit and/or concrete repair; as a patching material in steel and concrete bridge components; and as a lightweight element in bridge decks to speed construction, lower dead loads and raise live-load ratings. On a grander scale, all-composite pedestrian bridges are becomingly increasingly common in the U.S. and researchers at the University of California, San Diego are planning an all-composite vehicular bridge. Federal and state transportation agencies have shown interest in composite materials, as have a number of universities. But ironically, just as these materials appear to be catching on, several federally funded technology programs supporting their application are in danger of being abolished during current budget negotiations.

Subject Headings: Composite materials | Bridge components | Steel bridges | Infrastructure construction | Concrete bridges | Bridge decks | Maintenance and operation

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