Smart FRP composite Sandwich Bridge Decks in Cold Regions

AUTC project number: 107018


Pizhong Qiao (WSU)

  • US Department of Transportation (RITA)
  • Washington State University
  • Start Date: Aug 3, 2007
  • End Date: Dec 31, 2010

Project Summary

What if every time a bridge on a lonely road got icy, it automatically notified the local DOT to begin ice-control safety measures? What if a bridge could tell someone every time an overloaded truck hit the decking, or when the trusses under it began to weaken? This project, a partnership of Washington State University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Kansas Structural Composites, Inc. takes the first steps to develop, manufacture, test, and implement Smart Honeycomb Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (S-FRP) sandwich materials for transportation projects. This material integrates advanced composite materials with sensors and actuators. So far, researchers have tested an S-FRP sandwich deck panel, evaluated several S-FRP sandwich beams in cold temperatures, and developed effective structural-health monitoring strategies. Dynamic tests of the S-FRP sandwich deck panel with and without damage continue, and structural-health monitoring strategies for cold temperature exposures will be developed. A combined experimental, theoretical, and numerical approach will result in new techniques for structural-health monitoring and damage identification of thick sandwich deck panels. It is anticipated that, with wireless communication technologies, the developed structural-health monitoring strategies will be capable of remotely monitoring and assessing the structural integrity of sandwich bridge decks in cold regions.