Biocomposite Bridge

David Malschaert



Biocomposite materials are becoming more interesting to use in infrastructural projects due to their biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and sustainable properties. With a relatively low density, it is an interesting building material regarding a bridge deck. When designing with biocomposite the following factors are important to consider: material design, fibre treatment, coating and manufacturing technique. A PLA-Bamboo biocomposite was applied to an existing design of a bridge deck made out of synthetic composite. Due to its randomly oriented fibres and its equally designed lamellae, the cross section was considered homogeneous and the stresses were calculated according to ‘Hooke’s law’. The unity checks were performed according to ‘CUR 96’ with an own devised material factor of 5,69. This factor was calculated in this study for biocomposites with untreated fibres. The calculations showed that the original material (synthetic composite) was not directly replaceable by the PLA-Bamboo biocomposite. An alternative design of the deck (deck height of 1 meter and doubled thicknesses of the skins and web plates, 40- and 10 mm) showed better results. This design complied for the unity checks for strength.

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