Last week, we hosted a webinar on one of the fender protection systems where FRP products are the optimum solution. These are fender systems required to absorb the energy from high impact events like large barges, ferries, and ocean-going cargo ships. The high strength, low-stiffness structural behavior of FRP ensures a system that bends but does not break (either the fender and the vessel.)
The webinar discussed FRP pipe piles, properties, and most importantly, how to design these fenders using FRP piles including the latest product evolution, high-stiffness FRP wales. During the webinar, there were a number of questions with their answers below.
For near-surface hard soil stratigraphy, is there a concern of ovaling of the fiberglass pile?
This is not something that has been an issue with the driving of about 5,000 piles. In general, FRP is not ductile and will not oval since it is linear elastic to failure (no yield point).
Is freight transportation an issue for these long piles?
We routinely ship piles that are up to 110' long. A large advantage of FRP piles is that they are only 20% of the density of steel piles. This makes them much more economical to ship.
What is the minimum standoff distance from the pier that is needed to use these fender systems?
This is totally a function of the energy absorption that is required. Please contact Corey Sechler with your project details and we can run an analysis for your project.
How much longer do you recommend ordering the piles based on damage during installation?
We suggest ordering the SuperPile ~ 6" to 12" longer than required and the FiberPiles ~ 2' longer than required.
Very informative session Sir. Which manufacturing method you use for making FiberPiles?
The FiberPILES are manufactured with vacuum infusion and the SuperPILES are manufactured with pultrusion.
The deflected shape you show in the model graphics of the 9 pile system indicates the wales are monolithic. What happens when you install in segments? Can the wales really be installed in one piece to achieve that?
For FiberWALE (FRP) and the reinforced plastic wales, they are typically done up to about 80-90' in a monolithic fashion. Beyond that, they are coupled with a moment continuity splice to make the final installed product monolithic. This is the typical way they are designed.
I have a 2015 Fiberpile catalog that shows 60” diameter piles – are those still available?
We can manufacture piles up to 96" diameter. From a design perspective, it probably does not make sense to design an energy-absorbing fender beyond 72" diameter. So yes we can easily manufacture 60" FiberPILES.
If you would like to request to listen to the webinar, please request it here.