In addition to the analysis of the case study bridge, the researchers of the Pisa University simulated, using complex finite element models, the behavior of prototype beams to be tested in the laboratory to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique. In addition, software has been developed to allow professional engineers to quickly assess the bearing capacity of reinforced bridges.
Last September, the University of Pisa hosted a plenary meeting of all the partners involved in the project. On the occasion, the first results of the research were presented as part of a public seminar entitled “An innovative use of composite materials for the sustainable recovery of existing road bridges”, held at the School of Engineering.
Below is a detailed report of the seminar.
SEMINAR “THE EUROPEAN SUREBRIDGE PROJECT – An innovative use of composite materials for the sustainable recovery of existing road bridges” UNIVERSITY OF PISA – SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
A public seminar on the European research project SUREBridge took place on Friday 22 September 2017 at the School of Engineering of the University of Pisa. The goal of the day was to introduce the project to Italian professionals and students, who in particular work and study in Tuscany.
About 70 people attended the seminar, including 12 Consortium members. The audience was made up half of professional engineers, representatives of local administrations and public bodies (ANAS, RFI, etc.) and the other half of students, scholarship holders and PhD students from the Universities of Pisa and Florence.
The seminar was opened by the Dean of the School of Engineering Prof. Alberto Landi and the Director of the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering Prof. Leonardo Tognotti, who welcomed the participants and highlighted the relevance of international research projects, in particular concerning the theme of sustainability.
Prof. Reza Haghani, coordinator of the consortium, presented the SUREBridge project, discussing the need for an innovative, sustainable and effective solution for the refurbishment of existing bridges in order to address the increasing traffic demand across Europe.
The advantages of using fiber-reinforced composite materials (FRP) were presented, including durability, high mechanical properties, and low specific weight.
n addition, a novel pre-stressing technique for carbon fiber reinforced composite (CFRP) laminates developed at Chalmers University of Technology was illustrated. This method, which delays the delamination of CFRP from the concrete substrate, plays a key role within the SUREBridge technique, as it allows better exploitation of the material compared to the application of non-pre-stressed laminates.
The general overview of the SUREBridge project was completed by Dr. Martijn Veltkamp, who introduced InfraCore Inside®, an innovative sandwich panel made of fiberglass reinforced composite material (GFRP), manufactured by FiberCore Europe.
The focus was on the technique used for the production of these panels, patented by FiberCore, which avoids the delamination problems that usually afflict GFRP sandwich panels subjected to high concentrated loads, such as those produced by road vehicles. Subsequently, he illustrated several examples of road and pedestrian bridges made with structural elements of GFRP.
The experimental results of laboratory tests, performed to study the FRP-concrete and FRP-FRP connection, as well as tests on full-size beams, were presented by Dr. Jincheng Yang, of Chalmers University of Technology. The advantage of using pre-stressed laminates has been demonstrated with bending tests on four points on prototype rectangular and T-shaped cross-section beams. SUREBridge.