Study of a Trussed Girder Composed of a Reinforced Plastic

Report No: 75-R6

Published in 1974

About the report:

The structural behavior of a series of laboratory test specimens was investigated to determine the ultimate strength, the deformation characteristics, and the mode of failure of a trussed girder composed of glass fiber reinforced polyester resin. Computations based on classical theories of elasticity were made for comparison with experimental results. Reasonably good agreement was noted between the theoretical calculations and the experimental observations. Efforts to eliminate adhesive failures at the joints appeared to be successful in the last specimen fabricated and tested. A maximum live-load to dead-load ratio of 93 to 1 was achieved in the series of load tests. A study of the weathering characteristics of reinforced plastics indicated that rapid degradation of mechanical properties may occur under normal outdoor exposure conditions. There are no completely reliable means available at this time to accurately predict the service life of a given structure composed of reinforced plastics, but considerable effort and progress are continuing in several sectors to improve both materials and performance predictability.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Fred C. McCormick

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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