Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Lighter Bridge Stretches its Wings

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Comment | More

A new UK bridge boasts the same advanced composite materials as those used in aircraft, allowing the structure to resist weather and last longer without maintenance coating.

The new span, which crosses the River Frome in Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire, is one of the first in the UK made from layers of glass and carbon fibers bound together with a tough resin—a process more commonly seen in advanced passenger aircraft manufacturing.

The materials are more corrosion resistant and much lighter than conventional materials, so the bridge can be installed in about half the time.

Bridge Delivery

After being assembled at the National Composites Centre, the bridge deck was transported in one piece on a truck to the river, where a crane dropped it in place early Sunday (Aug. 24) morning.

River Frome Bridge
Photos: Facebook / South Gloucestershire Council

The new bridge is one of the first in the UK made from layers of glass and carbon fibers bound together with a tough resin—a process more commonly seen in advanced aircraft manufacturing.

"The Frampton Cotterell bridge project has provided the opportunity to broaden our understanding of the construction industry needs and the potential for utilizing advanced composites materials in that sector," saidTom Hitchings, Business Development Director at the National Composites Centre.

The center, launched as part of the UK Composites Strategy, is "an independent, open-access national centre that delivers world-class innovation in the design and rapid manufacture of composites and facilitates their widespread industrial exploitation."

The center is currently doubling its size and expanding facilities, Hitchings said.

'Complex and Innovative'

Brian Allinson, chair of South Gloucestershire Council's Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee, said, "This is a complex and innovative project, and the council's StreetCare team and the manufacturers, using the NCC's specialized facilities, have been working hard to make sure that it's delivered on time and within budget."

The council worked with Atkins, an international design, engineering and project management consultancy; CTS Bridges, a specialist bridge designer and manufacturer; and Sinclair Knight Merz, a projects firm.

Minimizing the road closure during installation was a top priority, said Allinson. "That's one of the reasons we chose this advanced technology, because by manufacturing the bridge off site, we have been able to speed up the whole installation process."

"We will also benefit in the long term from the materials used in the new bridge, which are more resistant to decay and corrosion than other materials and will require less maintenance, delivering excellent value for money," Allinson said.

According to the council, the materials are resistant to frost, extreme temperatures and de-icing salts. Additionally, they require no painting or waterproofing.

National Composites Centre

"The Frampton Cotterell bridge project has provided the opportunity to broaden our understanding of the construction industry needs and the potential for utilizing advanced composites materials in that sector," said Tom Hitchings, Business Development Director at the NCC.

The materials are estimated to reduce the bridge's maintenance costs by up to 35 percent over its 120-year life span.

Added Benefits

"The new bridge at Frampton Cotterell is at the forefront of an exciting new development in civil engineering techniques," said James Henderson, senior consultant at Atkins. "The strength and lightweight nature of composites have allowed commercial aircraft to fly further, faster and more economically."

He added: "There are other added benefits too, such as the ease of creating bridges with more interesting designs, the ability to create longer spans between legs or other supporting structures, and the fact that they will last longer before needing replacement."

The bridge will reopen under traffic light control in early September and will be fully open by November.

A timelapse video of the bridge's construction can be viewed here.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Building materials; Europe; Maintenance coating work; Program/Project Management; Technology

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.


Advertisements
 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

 
DeFelsko Corporation

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

 
Strategic Materials Inc.

 
Sauereisen, Inc.

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us