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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H042628/1
Title: Connections and Joints for Buildings and Bridges of Fibre Reinforced Polymer
Principal Investigator: Mottram, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Access Design and Engineering Mott Macdonald
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2010 Ends: 31 March 2014 Value (£): 445,030
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Apr 2010 Process Environment & Sustainability Panel Announced
10 Feb 2010 Process Environment and Sustainability (PES) Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
For economic impact and sustainable construction the aim of this project is to conduct a programme of underpinning applied research on connections and joints that shall lead to the safe and reliable design of new-build structures of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs). Work packages one to three are for studies of conventional bolted connections for frames executed of pultruded FRP shapes that shall be fit for purpose when subjected to actions over the working life. Characterisation will therefore be required for both short and long-term (creep) loadings, which for building structures will be static. In work package one a comprehensive series of targeted physical tests will be conducted to characterise pin-bearing strengths; one objective being to find a test method that can be a standard for the determination of this key strength property. New test results will allow us to understand how this material design property changes with: the bolt diameter to material thickness ratio; the clearance hole size (including tolerance for hole drilling); the position of the pin relative to the centreline of the hole; the presence of bolt thread; hot/wet environmental conditioning. The physical tests in the second package will be to understand the behaviour of plate-to-plate bolted connections, corresponding to both those found in practice and permitted in universal design standards, such as in preparation. Specific questions to be addressed shall include the following. What is the strength reduction factor for the single-lap plate-to-plate configuration? What is the open hole stress concentration factor for by-pass load? What is the distribution of force between bolts in a multi-row connection? Can we have a design formula for the staggered bolt arrangement? By how much does viscoelasticity affect how the load is transferred between components and the connection fails? Many aspects of this structural engineering research are novel, and in work package three there are to be new studies for stiffnesses and strengths of bracing joints with eccentrically loaded members, and for frame joints subjected to tension action (for disproportionate collapse). For serviceability and ultimate designs, additional novel tests will be completed for the determination of the moment-rotation curves of beam-to-column, splice and column-to-base connections. The programme of research is planned to address the many gaps in knowledge that impede the opportunities for engineers to specify these eco-friendly, durable building components in projects for refurbishment and/or sustainable construction. The results will be evaluated and findings will be used to revise and/or modify the design guidance, which, in a code of practice, shall encourage wealth creation and innovation. Conventional bolted connection details for buildings are not always suitable for bridge engineering as the latter need to be slip (and fatigue) resistant. The fourth work package will be for a study to find and characterise a new method of connection that will give a structural performance (slip resistant) similar to what riveting offered the Victorian/Edwardian engineers in their execution of steel structures. The results of this study could, after follow-on development research, give us a transformative step-change leading to the execution of longer span structures with FRP components. Dissemination of the results and findings from an evaluation of the test series will have a major impact on structural engineering research and will assist a growing industry by way of the preparation of recognised design rules, such as to be found in the new-build parts to the future structural Eurocode for fibre reinforced polymer materials. Design standardisation for the structural material of FRP will provide the confidence for wealth creation and future innovation towards buildings and bridges that have an overall performance to satisfy the drivers for sustainability and a Green Economy.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk