The World’s First Thermoplastic Bridges made of Recycled Plastics John S. Kim, PhD, PE, Senior Professional Associate, Parsons Brinckerhoff October 10, 2013 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 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 shortspan bridges. 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 From Wasteful to Useful Thermoplastic Composite Recycled Plastic Immiscible Polymer Blend High Density Polyethylene with Polystyrene or Polypropylene coated glass fibers 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 Thermoplastic Properties Weight: 55pcf (Wood: 60pcf; Concrete: 150pcf; Steel: 490pcf) Specific Gravity: 0.85 – 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: 350 psi (Ult. = 1,500 psi) Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: 0.0000282 in/in/deg F Typical Stress/Strain Curve Design Considerations Ultraviolet Degradation: Less than 0.003 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 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. Fire Retardant Testing Bridge Applications Fort Leonard Wood, MO W = 26 ft; L = 24 ft Max Load = 25,000 lbs. 1998 Wharton State Forest, NJ * Length - 56 feet * Live Load - HS 20 2002 Fort Bragg, NC Load Bearing Capability M1 Abrams Tank on the Bridge 2009 Fort Bragg Construction Driving RSPC piles Pile Cap Installation World’s First Railroad Bridges Fort Eustis, Virginia 2010 Bridge No. 3 Bridge No. 7 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 Fort Eustis, VA Typical Section Fort Eustis Construction Splicing Driving RSPC Piles Pile Cap Installation Fort Eustis Construction Storage Transportation Installation Fort Eustis, VA Competed Bridge No. 3 Fort Eustis, VA Completed Bridge No. 7 Live Load Testing Fort Eustis, VA Deflections Estimated Deflection = 0.25” Measured Deflection = 0.21” Bridge No. 3 Estimated Deflection = 0.32” Measured Deflection = 0.29” Bridge No. 7 Scotland Highway Bridges 2011 Scotland Highway Bridges Scotland Highway Bridges Scotland Highway Bridges Maine Highway Bridge 2011 Maine Highway Bridge Before - 3 ft Culvert After - 13 ft Bridge Maine Highway Bridge Abutment Backfilling Piles and Pier Cap Ohio Highway Bridge Exiting Bridge-Deteriorated Superstructure Ohio Highway Bridge New Bridge-Plan View Ohio Highway Bridge New Bridge - Elevation Ohio Highway Bridge Typical Section Ohio Highway Bridge Pile Driving Ohio Highway Bridge Beam Installation Ohio Highway Bridge Deck Installation Ohio Highway Bridge Opened in December 2012 Other Applications Railroad Ties and Switch Set Retaining Walls Sound Walls More Applications Marinas Fenders Jetties and Piers Platforms and Boardwalks Temporary Reusable Bridges Culverts Acknowledgement Producer: Designer: Inventor: Axion International, Inc. Parsons Brinckerhoff Rutgers University Conclusions Green, Sustainable and Durable Environmentally Beneficial Vast Areas of Application Accelerated Construction Minimal Maintenance Cost Competitive Questions?