Dynamic and fatigue performances of a large-scale space frame assembled using pultruded GFRP composites

Xiao Yang, Y. Bai, Fu Jia Luo, Xiao-Ling Zhao, Fa-xing Ding

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29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the dynamic and fatigue performances of a large-scale space frame assembled using pultruded glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites, with reference to pedestrian bridge application. The experimental structure was assembled by circular hollow section (CHS) GFRP members with the assistance of a novel steel connection system. The results from free vibration tests were analyzed using peak-picking (PP) and stochastic subspace identification (SSI) methods to extract modal parameters, i.e. natural frequencies, damping ratios, and mode shapes. From both experimental and validated FE analysis results, the proposed space frame structure satisfied the standard requirements for pedestrian bridge application in terms of natural frequency. The torsion mode as the first order mode shape can be avoided when the contribution of a bridge deck is considered. Furthermore, the structure was examined with 2.1 million fatigue load cycles and then statically loaded up to failure. The failure load showed no decrease when compared with that of a space frame without fatigue. The structural stiffness and strain of critical compressive members measured at 0.3 million fatigue loading intervals showed no significant variations, indicating that the applied fatigue did not degrade structural components and connections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • FRP
  • Pultrusion
  • Space frames
  • Dynamic characteristics
  • Fatigue
  • Modal analysis

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