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    What are the size and shape restrictions of FRP panels?

    The only limitation is being able to ship the panels to your site.  There are no shape limitations.  We do both straight and curved bridges, as well as crowns. Bridge decks panels are up to 50 ft by 12 ft.  Pilings are 100 ft long.

    What design features can be incorporated into the design of an FRP deck?

    FRP Decks can be manufactured with:

    • Cross Slope
    • Curbs
    • Drainage scuppers
    • Rail posts connection points
    • Non-slip overlay

    How are FRP panels connected to the superstructure?

    Decks are typically connected to the superstructure supports using mechanically fastened clips that capture the underside of the beam flange. This connection restrains the deck for vertical loads (live, uplift) while allowing for construction tolerances and thermal expansion differences. The clips are sized for compaction against the beam flange. At the clip locations, steel plates are embedded in the deck.  Holes are drilled and tapped to provide for easy installation on the bridge. Other methods of connection are available as for bridges with unique requirements.

    What is the Thermal Expansion of FRP Panels?

    FRP decking can be engineered for desired properties such as stiffness, strength and coefficient of thermal expansion.  The range of CTE values for FRP decking is 6.5 to 10.5 x 10^-6 in/in/ᵒF.  The critical direction is usually the longitudinal bridge direction with FRP decking on steel stringers.  The FRP typically has a CTE of 7.5 x 10^-6 in/in/ᵒF in this direction and is connected to the steel with a CTE of 6 x 10^-6 in/in/ᵒF. 

    What are typical FRP deck bridge capacities?

    FRP bridge decks are designed to the same AASHTO requirements as traditional material decks. 

    For pedestrian decks, this is 90 psf uniform live load and an H-5 vehicle load (10,000 lb.) for decks up to 10 ft wide; and an H-10 vehicle load of 20,000 lb for decks wider than 10 ft.

    For vehicles decks, the fully load semi-tractor trailer requirement of HL-93 or HS-25 is handled.

    Special load requirements (such as live load plus snow of 150 psf) can be met since FRP has much design flexibility.

    What are panel-to-panel joints made of?

    There are two options for panel-to-panel joints:

    1. A foam backing seal with a high elongation sealant on top. The sealant allows for many color options and can match the overlay of the deck.
    2. The second option is pre-compressed foam and silicone strip that is bonded to the panel edge. This is a product used in parking garages and is long lasting. However, the silicone cap only comes in black. 

    CA includes the required panel-to-panel joint gap size during installation to ensure there is adequate sealant width to handle the thermal movement. The recommended gap is typically 3/8” for pedestrian decks and rail platforms.

    How are expansion joints constructed?

    Expansion joints are necessary at bridge span ends where there are higher amounts of movement (ranging from 1” to 4”). There are two options for expansion joints:

    1. A bonded foam strip which may or may not be covered with an expansion cover plate. 
    2. A set of steel rails with a neoprene gland. The rail is bolted to one deck panel and slides over the adjacent panel. The thickness of both panels is stepped down in the cover plate area.

    What does the non-slip deck overlay consist of?

    For safety, a non-slip wear surface overlay is applied in the shop to the top surface of pedestrian decks. The pedestrian version uses a quartz aggregate in a methyl methacrylate polymer.  The quartz aggregate comes in a variety of colors and is unaffected by UV radiation and will not fade. Vehicle bridges use an aluminum oxide coating. This is affected by steel snow plow blades. Trail bridges with low traffic use an epoxy grit overlay.

    What is the life of the overlay on an FRP deck?

    The oldest FRP pedestrian deck with a non-slip coating is a bike path in Ohio which was installed in 1998. It is exposed to snow and ice and has not required any repair. Quartz aggregate wear surfaces last 25-50 years depending on the amount and type of traffic they are exposed to. Recoating is generally a cosmetic issue; even if the wear surface is scratched or gouged, there is no structural degradation.

    What grit options are available for the wear surface?

    The non-slip overlay is available in different grit sizes ranging from light grit for bare foot traffic to coarse grit for vehicle traffic.

    What is the repair procedure for wear surfaces?

    If scratched or chipped, the wear surface can be filled with new material. 

    Clean the damaged area by grinding away jagged edges. Wipe with a solvent cleaner to remove dust and oil. Mix the estimated amount of the two-part wear surface. Ensure the correct ratio of part A and part B is used. Trowel the new wear surface on the damaged area.  Use a 3/8” nap paint roller to create an even, textured wear surface. Roll over the new wear surface only one or two times. Additional rolling will start pulling the new wear surface off as the material sticks to the roller. 

    The temperature must be above 60°F to apply the wear surface. The wear surface requires time at temperature without rain to correctly set up. It takes one day at temperatures above 80°F. It takes three days at a temperature of 70°F. It takes five days at a temperature of 60°F.

    Still have questions? Contact us!