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mainedot transportation research
Composite Bridge Drains
Conventional steel drainage systems used in concrete bridge decks are typically corroded by deicing chemicals and clogged by debris. Looking to lower maintenance costs, the University of Maine in collaboration with Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) and Kenway Corporation designed, prototyped and tested a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite drain, grating and downspout system to replace the corroded steel ones in bridges.
Three identical prototypes were fabricated, embedded in concrete slabs, and submitted to a series of laboratory tests to ensure structural integrity and to optimize the design for long-term durability. The tests included an ice formation study, compression loading tests based on the AASHTO HS25 wheel load specification, 100,000 cycle fatigue tests, ultimate compression tests, and reverse push-out tests. The prototype proved to be acceptable for highway bridges. The prototype design was improved and approved as a safe, functional, and durable drain system by Maine DOT. Maine DOT ordered six FRP composite drains to begin replacing damaged steel ones in concrete bridge decks. The FRP drains were fabricated and installed in three highway bridge concrete decks in the state of Maine. The long-term durability of the new down spouts should make them a more cost effective solution. The new drains are being monitored in the field and the maintenance required to provide constant and sufficient water drainage will be compared to that of the steel drains.
Note: This is the Abstract from “Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composite Drain for Highway Concrete Bridge Decks”, Authored by Roberto Lopez-Anido.
Photos of Composite Bridge Drains
This page last updated on 8/11/10
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