A Composite Sketch

by David Bodamer, Contributing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 1, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


Engineers are using the lightweight advantages of fiber reinforced polymers to build short span vehicular bridges and pedestrian bridges, particularly in remote areas, such as national parks. While use is still far from widespread�fewer than 70 bridges worldwide contain composite components�composite materials are showing up in bridge decks, reinforcing bars, tendons, cables, beams, columns and paneling. Composites are expensive, but they do not rot, corrode or spall, and they weigh less and are stronger than steel or concrete. However, because composites are less rigid, short spans are required.

Subject Headings: Bridge components | Composite materials | Composite bridges | Cable stayed bridges | Bridge decks | Span bridges | Foot bridges

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