Repair of damaged aluminum truss joints of highway overhead sign structures using FRP

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An innovative repair technique is introduced for aluminum truss-type highway overhead sign structures, using fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) sheets. The welded k-joints are typically subjected to excessive fatigue-induced cracking under the effects of wind and moving traffic. The repair technique proposed in this paper utilizes longitudinal FRP layers bonded to the diagonals and wrapped around the main chord to form alternating v-patterns, followed by additional circumferential layers for anchorage. Eight tests were conducted on four full-scale specimens. Weld lines at the junction between diagonals and main chord were ground to simulate a 90% loss of joint strength. After repair, diagonals were loaded to failure in tension. The study showed that full strength of the welded joints was restored using carbon-FRP sheets. Only 70% of joint strength was restored when using glass-FRP. The strengthening technique is particularly sensitive to quality control during installation. A field application using the proposed technique was successfully completed by the New York State Department of Transportation for a cracked aluminum truss over Route 88 in NY State. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Fam, A., Witt, S., & Rizkalla, S. (2006). Repair of damaged aluminum truss joints of highway overhead sign structures using FRP. Construction and Building Materials, 20(10), 948–956.

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