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Challenges, potential flaws and resolutions in implementing FRP in UK Rail infrastructure

Shah, RK and Walsh, S and Ross, A (2013) Challenges, potential flaws and resolutions in implementing FRP in UK Rail infrastructure. In: Proceedings of the 29th Annual ARCOM Conference . pp. 123-134. (29th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2nd - 4th September 2013, Reading, UK).

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Abstract

The first Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) implemented to a UK Railway Bridge was in 2001, since then a number of key railway bridge projects involving FRP have seen completion; six being fully FRP bridges. Although the potential use of FRP on the infrastructure was found in 1998 due to high strength to weight ratio, stiffness and good chemical resistance, the implementation of FRP to small scale rail bridges was found to have several challenges which are faced by industry. Past research studies have predominantly focused on providing further examples of the successful usage of FRP in bridges, the benefits to whole life cycle cost in comparison to steel/timber but fail to address the challenges. In that context, the study is aimed to identify the key challenges for managing the usage of FRP in large scale in UK rail sector and provide possible solution to overcome such challenges so that dependency on traditional materials on railways bridge can be reduced and improve material sustainability aspects. This paper explores the past research and takes a view from the project delivery level. A qualitative approach was adopted to collect the views from professionals associated with clients (Network Rail), designers and contractors using questionnaire. A total of 14 professional’s views were collected through questionnaire and findings outlined. From the analysis, it was found that the lack of standard design codes for FRP, basic understanding of benefits, right price and reliability are key challenges for the management of FRP use in the UK rail sector. The paper concludes that the use of FRP will be an alternate solution in UK rail sector from the material sustainability aspects if confidence of stakeholders can be improved about reliability and the practical benefits of FRP

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
T Technology > TG Bridge engineering
Divisions: Built Environment
Publisher: Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 12:39
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2015 12:39
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/738

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