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The World’s First Thermoplastic Bridges made of Recycled Plastics

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Presentation on theme: "The World’s First Thermoplastic Bridges made of Recycled Plastics"— Presentation transcript:

1 The World’s First Thermoplastic Bridges made of Recycled Plastics
John S. Kim, PhD, PE, Senior Professional Associate, Parsons Brinckerhoff October 10, 2013

2 U.S. Highway Bridges 600,000 highway bridges in U.S.
One third of them built immediately after World War II The use of deicing material Increased traffic volume and weight Structurally deficient or functionally obsolete

3 Bridges in Trouble $229 billion bridge issue
When people in ties and suites frequently appear under the bridges, it means a serious business! 60 percent of 600,000 US highway bridges are short-span bridges.

4 Why Recycled Plastic? Plastic waste: global issue
100 million tons each year worldwide Hard to degrade Recycled plastics are hardly reused. Enhanced properties from constant R&D Collective efforts for green solutions Governments’ incentives on the use of green products

5 From Wasteful to Useful

6 Thermoplastic Composite
Recycled Plastic Immiscible Polymer Blend High Density Polyethylene with Polystyrene or Polypropylene coated glass fibers 6

7 Product Advantages Green Product (Recycled Plastic)
No Corrosion, Rotting or Insect Infestation Reduced Landfill Dumping Good Toughness Characteristics No Chemical Additives Green House Gas Savings Reduced Maintenance Sustainable & Durable Cost Competitive: Initial and Life Cycle 7

8 Thermoplastic Properties
Weight: 55pcf (Wood: 60pcf; Concrete: 150pcf; Steel: 490pcf) Specific Gravity: – 0.90 Elastic Modulus: 350,000 psi Allowable Flexural Stress: 600 psi (Ult. = 3,000 psi) Allowable Compressive Stress: 600 psi (Ult. = 2,500 to 4,300 psi) Allowable Shear Stress: psi (Ult. = 1,500 psi) Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: in/in/deg F

9 Typical Stress/Strain Curve

10 Design Considerations
Ultraviolet Degradation: Less than inches/year (in full sun exposure) Moisture Absorption: Virtually impervious, retains properties in humid and wet environments Thermal Resistance: Heat deflection temperature is 125 deg C and material viable to -125 deg C Environmental Resistance: Resistant to attack by marine borers, insects, rot and corrosion Acid Resistance: Resistant to most acids and salts

11 Design Considerations (Cont’d)
Creep: High Factor of Safety with respect to Ultimate Stress lowers creep considerably Abrasion: Highly Resistant to salts and sand occurring in Marine environments Skid Resistance: Coefficient of Friction = 0.5 with Tire (can be improved with surface texturing) Abutment Backfill: Prefer light weight material Color: Basic color is Graphite but can be produced in Gray, Beige, etc.

12 Fire Retardant Testing

13 Bridge Applications

14 Fort Leonard Wood, MO 1998 W = 26 ft; L = 24 ft Max Load = 25,000 lbs.

15 Wharton State Forest, NJ
* Length - 56 feet * Live Load - HS 20 5 large I-beams rest on piles 6 small I-beams lock into place perpendicular to the large I-beams The top surface of the large I-beams serves as decking along with tongue and groove decking laid down parallel to the large I-beams 2002 15

16 Fort Bragg, NC 2009 Load Bearing Capability
M1 Abrams Tank on the Bridge 2009 16

17 Fort Bragg Construction
Pile Cap Installation Driving RSPC piles 17

18 World’s First Railroad Bridges
Fort Eustis, Virginia 2010 Bridge No. 3 Bridge No. 7

19 World’s First Railroad Bridges
Fort Eustis, Virginia Bridges No. 3 and No. 7 Live Load: Cooper E60 and 260 Kip alternate loading with 20% impact Deflection: L/600 Length of Piles: about 45 feet Capacity of piles: 17 – 20 tons in end bearing per Pile Abutments: Existing timber abutments retained RSPC Elements: Railroad ties, curbs, girders, shear blocks, pier caps, piles and transverse connectors

20 Fort Eustis, VA Typical Section

21 Fort Eustis Construction
Splicing Driving RSPC Piles Pile Cap Installation

22 Fort Eustis Construction
Transportation Storage Installation

23 Fort Eustis, VA Competed Bridge No. 3

24 Fort Eustis, VA Completed Bridge No. 7

25 Live Load Testing 25

26 Fort Eustis, VA Deflections Bridge No. 3 Bridge No. 7
Estimated Deflection = 0.25” Measured Deflection = 0.21” Bridge No. 3 Estimated Deflection = 0.32” Measured Deflection = 0.29” Bridge No. 7

27 Scotland Highway Bridges

28 Scotland Highway Bridges

29 Scotland Highway Bridges

30 Scotland Highway Bridges

31 Maine Highway Bridge 2011

32 Maine Highway Bridge Before - 3 ft Culvert After - 13 ft Bridge

33 Maine Highway Bridge Abutment Backfilling Piles and Pier Cap

34 Exiting Bridge-Deteriorated Superstructure
Ohio Highway Bridge Exiting Bridge-Deteriorated Superstructure

35 Ohio Highway Bridge New Bridge-Plan View

36 Ohio Highway Bridge New Bridge - Elevation

37 Ohio Highway Bridge Typical Section

38 Ohio Highway Bridge Pile Driving

39 Ohio Highway Bridge Beam Installation

40 Ohio Highway Bridge Deck Installation

41 Ohio Highway Bridge Opened in December 2012

42 Other Applications

43 Railroad Ties and Switch Set

44 Retaining Walls

45 Sound Walls

46 More Applications Marinas Fenders Jetties and Piers
Platforms and Boardwalks Temporary Reusable Bridges Culverts

47 Acknowledgement Producer: Axion International, Inc.
Designer: Parsons Brinckerhoff Inventor: Rutgers University

48 Conclusions Green, Sustainable and Durable Environmentally Beneficial
Vast Areas of Application Accelerated Construction Minimal Maintenance Cost Competitive 48

49 Questions?

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