Aerospace technology for strengthening of bridges

James Giancaspro, Christos Papakonstantinou, Mohamed Nazier, P. Balaguru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite jacket was applied to the reinforced concrete pier caps of the Silver Spring Cove Bridge in Rhode Island. Since this highway overpass bordered a nearby marina, the corrosive environment of the Atlantic Ocean played a major role in the degradation of the concrete and reinforcing steel. The pier caps exhibited severe spalling and cracking and were considered for strengthening using FRP technology. An innovative technique known a vacuum-assisted impregnation was utilized to apply the composite to the structure. Commonly referred to as "vacuum bagging" in the aerospace industry, this method is an efficient way of fabricating high quality FRP laminate composite plates. Rarely seen in infrastructure applications, vacuum bagging uses atmospheric pressure to remove air voids within the composite during lay-up and develops a strong bond between FRP layers. As discussed in this paper, this technique was successfully implemented to place an FRP composite jacket on the reinforced concrete pier caps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-757
Number of pages10
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Bridges
  • Composite jacket
  • Corrosion
  • Glass
  • Infrastructure
  • Laminate
  • Pier cap
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Vacuum impregnation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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