Pultruded FRP composites for modular structural assembly: Applications to space frame structures and built-up composite beam systems

Y. Bai, Sindu Satasivam, X. Yang, C. Caprani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP) exhibit many advantageous properties such as high strength, low thermal conductivity and lightness in weight, and have shown potential for use in civil structural applications. Pultruded FRP made with Glass Fibres (GFRP) are economical and provide excellent environmental properties such as low energy consumption and low carbon dioxide emissions compared to steel or concrete. However, the low material stiffness of FRP means that design is usually governed by serviceability limit state criteria. Material orthotropy and low shear strengths render connection design a particular challenge, especially at joints connecting FRP members in spaceframe structures. Furthermore, FRP is brittle and hence catastrophic failure can occur suddenly without warning. Ductile failure modes, such as those seen in steel structures through yielding, are preferred in civil design as warning can be provided prior to catastrophic failure through the development of large deformations while maintaining load-carrying capacity. Recent developments in FRP composites for structural construction can address these challenges via innovative structural design such as sandwich construction to improve structural stiffness or innovative space frame or truss structures to provide large nonlinear deformations. Such developments presented in this paper include an all-composite 9 m-spanning FRP composite beam system with a built-up sandwich deck, and space-frame structures made of tubular FRP members with innovative connection design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInsights and Innovations in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation (SEMC 2016)
EditorsAlphose Zingoni
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781315641645
ISBN (Print)9781138029279
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference On Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation 2016 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 5 Sept 20167 Sept 2016
Conference number: 6th


ConferenceInternational Conference On Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation 2016
Abbreviated titleSEMC 2016
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town

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