Basalt fiber reinforced composite bridge wins two awards

Basalt fiber reinforced composite bridge wins two awards
Credit: umcoe.miami.edu

The team that designed basalt fiber reinforced concrete bridge on the University of Miami campus was awarded in two nominations.

The team of the University of Miami (Florida, US) headed by Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering received the Engineering Excellence Award and Grand Conceptor Award from the Florida Engineering Society (FES) and American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL).

The projects submitted to the competition were evaluated by a professional jury representing government, media, transportation, education, environmental / water resources, public works, geotechnical and electrical design. Jurors rated the projects on the basis of the following:

  • uniqueness and innovative applications;
  • uture value to the engineering profession;
  • perception by the public;
  • social, economic and sustainable design considerations;
  • complexity;
  • successful fulfillment of client/owners’ needs, including schedule and budget.

The University team was recognized for designing and construction of the first concrete bridge on the University of Miami campus entirely reinforced with composite materials instead of steel. The main reinforcing elements were made of RockRebar® basalt polymer rebar and plastic reinforced with other fiber types.

The bridge is almost 70 ft long (21.4 meters) and joins Coral Gables campus with athletic fields. The University began construction in November 2015 and completed in May 2016. It resulted in strong, lightweight, cost-effective and, which is particularly important, non-corrosive structure that does not require expensive maintenance.

Currently, the basalt fiber composite bridge serves as a “living lab” for engineering students and faculty members, who monitor the bridge and use it as a teaching tool for others. Its estimated life service is 75 years so it is enough for more than one generation.

In the Netherlands, they went further by building a completely recyclable bridge from a basalt composite based on bio-resin and wooden elements.

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