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Development of the Carbon Shell System Construction Concept for New Bridge Structures
Author(s) and Affiliation(s):
Frieder Seible, Rigoberto Burgueño, and Andrew Davol Division of Structural Engineering University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Principal Investigator:
Frieder Seible
Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Federal Highway Administration
Research Start Date:
January 1995
Expected Completion Date:
June 1996
Research Objectives:
Advanced composite materials have become of great interest for civil engineering design and construction because of their outstanding mechanical and chemical characteristics. Cost-effective use of these new materials can best be achieved by taking advantage of automated manufacturing and their integration with conventional civil-structural materials such as concrete and steel. The research program aims to develop the basis for modular bridge systems made of premanufactured advanced composite carbon tubes filled on-site fully or partially with concrete. Cost-effectiveness of this new system is achieved by the dual function of the carbon shell as stay-in-place formwork and reinforcement, the easy handling characteristics of the lightweight carbon tubes, and the lower expected life-cycle costs. The proposed research is expected to lead to an alternate, cost-effective, structural framing system for new bridge structures.
Expected Products or Deliverables:
It is envisaged that complete bridge systems can be composed of linear segments of carbon shell tubes connected together by means of longitudinal and off-angle joints with appropriate mechanisms depending on the response requirements for the structural component. With the development of appropriate analytical models and proper design details, the concrete-filled carbon shell system can provide a viable design alternative for new bridge structures.

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