About this Research Topic
Ensuring adequate structural and seismic reliability levels for existing bridges is a key issue for owners of bridge portfolios. In particular, such structures deteriorate during their life-cycle due to environmental agents, as a consequence of e.g. carbonation, chlorides or free/thaw exposure, and eventually they may suffer relevant damage in case of a seismic event. Among the available techniques, composite materials are gaining increasing popularity for designing repair and strengthening intervention. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) or Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Matrix (FRCM) composites may provide a competitive solution that will prolong the usable life of bridge structures through an externally-bonded application; additionally, advanced composite materials can be effectively used to replace damaged bridge elements, tailoring their characteristics to provide the required structural performance.
The fundamental goal of this Research Topic is to elaborate on the research area of composites application for strengthening existing bridges, bringing together the results of studies in various areas, i.e. those on material science, structural analysis, bridge engineering and seismic risk assessment. Accordingly, the goal of this issue is to obtain an overview of the latest scientific advancements and professional activities in vulnerability assessment, advanced materials, composites durability, deterioration modeling, strengthening and rehabilitation strategies aimed towards safe and sustainable bridges, structures, and infrastructure.
This Research Topic addresses all the aspects of theoretical and experimental studies on composites application to retrofit existing bridges, in the form of original research, review, mini-review, or case-study, on the following areas:
· Experimental, analytical, and numerical studies on composites for structural retrofit;
· Behavior of composites under prolonged loading;
· Structural application of FRP/FRCM strengthened elements;
· Durability of FRP/FRCM composites;
· Probabilistic risk analysis and decision making;
· Structural and seismic reliability of strengthened bridges;
· Resilience of ageing bridge stocks and retrofitting planning.
Keywords: Bridges, damage, deterioration, durability, earthquake, engineering, fibers, composites
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