Behavior of rigidified composite arch bridges
Publication Name: Proceedings of American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) Composites & Polycon 2009
Researchers at the University of Maine have developed a novel system for short span arch bridge construction that utilizes tubular fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite arches that act as both formwork and structural reinforcement for concrete. The inflatable rigidified composite arch (IRCA) system is designed for field rigidification allowing for tailorable arch geometry as well as rapid field construction. The system is being ex- plored for military applications where construction time, component weight, and equipment requirements are of great importance.
Arches have been manufacture and subjected to load tests at the AEWC Centers structural testing laboratory. The IRCA system exhibits a nonlinear response due to both the stress-strain relationship of confined concrete in compression and progressive cracking of concrete in tension. A finite element model was developed to predict the ultimate capacity and load-deflection response of the IRCA specimens. The structural model predictions correlated well with the experimental results.