Within the UK the projected growth in the use of FRP composites for structural applications in the construction sector suggests high levels of growth with the UK Composites Strategy 2016 (Composite Leadership Forum, 2016) estimating significant growth. In addition to this, there are numerous technological advancements (eg nanotechnology/fibre innovations) that will make FRP composites a much more attractive solution.
At present, there are minimal resources for the bridge engineer to refer to, with no recognised design standards to follow. However, structural Eurocodes are in development and there are a number of guides from materials manufacturers. The guide aims to help bridge engineers to understand FRP materials and how they can use them effectively in modern bridge construction.
Within the new guide, the history of FRP bridges in the UK is discussed, together with some of the key learning points relating to FRP materials, the manufacturing process and the relevant design criteria. Sustainability is also an area identified, with recommendations made.