State of the Art of Advanced Materials in Transportation Structures

Report No: 97-R8

Published in 1996

About the report:

Ever so slowly, advanced composite materials are entering the field of traditional civil engineering. This report surveys the current practice and ongoing research into their use in transportation structures. There is a broad spectrum of proposed and applied uses for reinforced plastics, ranging from complete structural systems to the replacement of conventional steel reinforcing or the strengthening and retrofitting of existing superstructures. The impediments to general acceptance of advanced composites include the lack of design standards, the reliance on initial costs in the traditional cost assessment of alternatives, and a lack of awareness that these versatile components and systems can be fabricated and used in construction. Future work at the Virginia Transportation Research Council will include an investigation of the replacement of top reinforcing in bridge decks with reinforced plastics, the use of composites to replace conventional steel stay-in-place forms, and the use of composites in end diaphragms and cross-bracing for bridge framing.

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

Jose P. Gomez, Ph.D., P.E., Kevin K. McGhee, P.E.

Last updated: December 16, 2023

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