Hybrid Bridge Systems

Pipex px® has been known for decades as an innovator of FRP composites’ design and fabrication. Headquartered in Plymouth, UK,  the company also shares its address with the Resin Infusion Center of Excellence (R.I.C.E.). The center has one of the largest five-axis CNC machines in the country today.

Hybrid Bridge Systems with FRP Structures

Hybrid Bridge Systems with FRP Structures

Recently, Pipex px® solutions designed and produced three staircases, four landings, and two fiber reinforced polymer composites pedestrian footbridges in order to replace a metallic bridge that had been destroyed after a severe storm at the Dover Sea Wall rail line in Kent, the UK.

Hybrid Bridge Systems with FRP Structures

These components, unlike most pedestrian footbridges, were designed as a hybrid systems, where pultruded components were installed with resin infused components, uniting aesthetics and strength. The anti-slip phenolic wear plates, bridge decks, and top cords were infused; the parapet panels, landings, stairwells, and truss members were made with Strongwell FRP pultruded EXTREN® sections and plates.

Pipex px® manufactured and painted the bridge with a custom color in its modern facility, where the CNC technology was used to create tooling and blot hole patterns. Once the manufacturing process was completed, both water fill and lateral wind load tests were carried out in-house to support the FEA analysis.

FEA of hybrid bridge section

FEA of bridge section

The weight of each footbridge span was 9,000 lbs., which is about one-third the weight of a similarly designed metallic version. At completion, the footbridge spans approximately 102 feet, with an over 11-foot height and almost 8-foot width.

After the installation, Pipex px®, together with Warwick University, outfitted the structure’s soffit with more than 40 pressure sensors in order to measure train buffeting. The data will be gathered and analyzed against several FRP structures around the county.

The life expectancy of this design is projected to be over 100 years.

Technical Data

Product: Hybrid Pedestrian Footbridge
Process: Pultrusion
Materials & Sizes: EXTREN® Structural Shapes & Plate
For: Pipex px®
User: Network Rail



This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Strongwell Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Strongwell Corporation.


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