Techno Press

Steel and Composite Structures   Volume 29, Number 4, November25 2018, pages 527-543
Structural evaluation of all-GFRP cable-stayed footbridge after 20 years of service life
Piotr Górski, Beata Stankiewicz and Marcin Tatara

Abstract     [Full Text]
    The paper presents the study on a change in modal parameters and structural stiffness of cable-stayed Fiberline Bridge made entirely of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) composite used for 20 years in the fjord area of Kolding, Denmark. Due to this specific location the bridge structure was subjected to natural aging in harsh environmental conditions. The flexural properties of the pultruded GFRP profiles acquired from the analyzed footbridge in 1997 and 2012 were determined through three-point bending tests. It was found that the Young's modulus increased by approximately 9%. Moreover, the influence of the temperature on the storage and loss modulus of GFRP material acquired from the Fiberline Bridge was studied by the dynamic mechanical analysis. The good thermal stability in potential real temperatures was found. The natural vibration frequencies and mode shapes of the bridge for its original state were evaluated through the application of the Finite Element (FE) method. The initial FE model was created using the real geometrical and material data obtained from both the design data and flexural test results performed in 1997 for the intact composite GFRP material. Full scale experimental investigations of the free-decay response under human jumping for the experimental state were carried out applying accelerometers. Seven natural frequencies, corresponding mode shapes and damping ratios were identified. The numerical and experimental results were compared. Based on the difference in the fundamental natural frequency it was again confirmed that the structural stiffness of the bridge increased by about 9% after 20 years of service life. Data collected from this study were used to validate the assumed FE model. It can be concluded that the updated FE model accurately reproduces the dynamic behavior of the bridge and can be used as a proper baseline model for the long-term monitoring to evaluate the overall structural response under service loads. The obtained results provided a relevant data for the structural health monitoring of all-GFRP bridge.
Key Words
    GFRP bridge structure; finite element analysis; free-decay vibration; dynamic characteristics; dynamic mechanical analysis; structural stiffness
Department of Roads and Bridges, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Opole University of Technology, 45-061 Opole, Katowicka 48 Street, Poland.

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