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Use of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites for Bridge Repairs in Montana

Project #: 4WA192
Start Date: 01/01/2023
End Date: 03/31/2026
Status: Current

The use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for repair has gained popularity over the last decade as these methods are affordable, effective, and easy to implement. FRPs in general offer several key advantages over conventional building materials. Specifically, they have high strength to weight ratios, have increased durability and corrosion resistance, and are generally “greener” than conventional materials in terms of embodied energy.

The use of FRPs as a repair method for bridges has been investigated in recent years. For example, FRPs have been used to restore the original flexural strength of damaged reinforced concrete bridge girders, strengthen simple span reinforced concrete slab bridges, and seismically retrofit bridge columns. Previous research conducted at Montana State University (MSU) has focused on using externally bonded FRP to strengthen reinforced concrete beams and evaluate their performance at cold temperatures. The results from this work were promising, indicating that externally bonded FRPs are suitable for repairs in cold environments, thus supporting the rationale for their use in repair/strengthening projects in the state.


This project will investigating the various fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) repair/strengthening techniques, determining the methods most suitable for use on Montana bridges, filling any research gaps that may impede their use in Montana’s unique climate, and helping implement and monitor the chosen application and methodology on a bridge project in the state.


  • Kirsten Matteson
    Kirsten Matteson