Long-term durability of composites in secondary infrastructure applications

Kin Liao*, Robert I. Altkorn, Scott M. Milkovich, Jose Gomez, Carl R. Schultheisz, L. Catherine Brinson, John M. Fildes, Bruce Brailsford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pultruded glass-fiber-reinforced composite coupons and I-beams were subjected to four-point-bend environmental fatigue, freezing and thawing, and salt spraying in the laboratory to study their long-term durability for infrastructure applications. Specimens have survived to over five million cycles under four-point bend fatigue at 30% of the flexural strength in air without showing signs of degradation. However, preliminary results suggested that water is detrimental to the life of the material during long-term fatigue. Freezing and thawing in 2% (by weight) NaCl solution resulted in a decrease in dynamic modulus, flexural modulus, flexural strength, and toughness of the composite. Spraying of composite I-beams and hybrid I-beams with carbon fiber outer layers with salt solution for nearly 1,300 hours at 19 °C does not seem to change their flexural moduli. Two composite structures are monitored in addition to laboratory testing. Field data collected from an all-composite pedestrian bridge for over 7 months does not suggest any change in its flexural modulus, and two composite walkway sections on a steel lift bridge have performed well in corrosion resistance since they were installed in November, 1995.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 28th International SAMPE Technical Conference - Seattle, WA, USA
Duration: Nov 4 1996Nov 7 1996


OtherProceedings of the 1996 28th International SAMPE Technical Conference
CitySeattle, WA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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