Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

P.V. Vijay

Committee Member

Radhey S. Sharma

Committee Member

Gloria Oporto


Traditional materials such as steel, timber, and concrete have continued to dominate their usage in civil infrastructure. They offer great advantages like strength and stiffness but at the same time they pose major issues in terms of durability and maintenance. Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) exhibits outstanding properties like lightness, excellent corrosion and wear resistance along with superior thermo-mechanical properties. Glass FRPs (GFRPs) have emerged as one of the best alternatives in the field of civil infrastructure. It has been more than four decades since fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites have gained notable applications in civil infrastructure industry. However, FRPs have found limited applications in bridges, rehabilitation of old structures, complex designs with connections and hybrid structures. Apart from some of the present applications in the civil infrastructure, GFRPs can be extensively used as construction materials for pedestrian bridges due to their high strength to weight ratio, excellent structural behavior under cyclic loading and easy installation. These properties make them even more attractive for various connectivity applications in non-uniform topography where traditional materials may not provide optimum solutions.

In this research, the structural behavior of GFRP decks with different depths are investigated under static and fatigue loads. The suitability of these GFRP decks for mass transit and rapid installation including Pedestrian bridge structures are evaluated. Full-scale GFRP decks with different (a/d) ratios were subjected to static and fatigue loads to determine their overall structural stiffness, strains (stresses) and deformation behavior under cyclic loading. Both 3-point and 4-point bending tests were conducted for different span lengths. The experimental results show that the decks provide a superior structural performance in terms of the load carrying capacity with minimal or no change in the global stiffness over a million cycles of fatigue loading for different strain ranges. Theoretical predictions on structural deformations correlate well with the experimental results. The research further focused on the field implementation and testing of interlocked GFRP decks as a modular system. Both lab and field evaluations showed similar performance results. Results and field evaluation of the FRP pedestrian bridge decks prove their potential and suitability for new construction or replacement of other structural systems such as subway platforms, patios, and docks.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending