Structural Qualification of a Developed GFRP-Reinforced PL-3 Concrete Bridge Barrier Using Vehicle Crash Testing

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International Journal of Crashworthiness






Corrosion of steel reinforcement due to environmental effects is a major cause of deterioration problems in bridge barriers. Glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars, not only addresses this durability problem but also provides exceptionally high tensile strength. A recent design work conducted at Ryerson University on a test level 5 (TL-5) bridge barrier considered the use of 16 and 12-mm diameter GFRP bars as vertical reinforcement in the barrier front and back faces, respectively, with 16-mm diameter GFRP bars as horizontal reinforcement in the barrier wall, all at 300 mm spacing. The connection between the deck slab and the barrier wall utilised the GFRP headed end bars for proper anchorage. This paper summarises the procedure and the results of a recent vehicle crash test conducted on the developed barrier. The crash test involved the 36 000 V tractor trailer impacting the barrier at a nominal speed and angle of 80 km/h and 15°, respectively. Crash test results satisfied crash test evaluation requirements including structural adequancy, occupant risk and vehicle trajectory after collision. Estimates of the equivalent impact force and associated energy absorbed by the barrier wall due to vehicle impact were deduced.