Cost-Effective Methods to Retrofit Metal Culverts Using Composites

Mahmoud Reda Taha, University of New Mexico
Susan Bogus Halter, University of New Mexico

Tran-SET Project 17STUNM03


One of the current pressing problems for all DOTs is the corrosion-oriented deterioration of existing metal culverts. These metal culverts typically are designed for a life of 50 years. However, corrosion is making them last no longer than 30 years. A Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymers (GFRP) pipe section has been evaluated as a fit-in GFRP profile liner for complete repair and rehabilitation of the corroded metal culvert with an expected life of 75 years. This is mainly because of the corrosion free nature of the GFRP material. A comprehensive rehabilitation methodology and laboratory scale three-point bending test was conducted to test the composite action of the steel-GFRP section. A finite element model was developed to provide inference on the mechanics of the GFRP-CMP section and the effect of corrosion on the mechanics of the retrofitted pipe. The FE model was verified with experimental observations and will be used to design GFRP section for retrofitting an existing culvert in the field. A Life Cycle Cost Analysis model was developed to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed retrofitting technique and compare it with other existing technologies.