The Virginia Department of Transportation has invested in Composite Advantage's fibre reinforced polymer FiberPILE system for the ferry terminal facility. The agency cited greater cost efficiencies due to FRP's longer life cycle, reduced service interruptions and safer operation.
"We fabricated the 100ft long FRP monopiles with multiaxial E-glass reinforcement," explained Scott Reeve, Composite Advantage's president.
"Fifty-nine per cent of the glass fibres used in the lower 80 per cent of the pile were orientated at 0 degrees [parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pile]. Eight per cent of the glass fibers were given a 90-degree orientation with the remaining fibres oriented at ±45 degrees. Glass fibres for the top 15ft of the pile [focused on the hoop direction] were manufactured with eight percent at an orientation of 0-degree, [parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pile], 59 per cent at an orientation of 90 degrees and the rest of the fibres were given an orientation of ±45 degrees. Wood has a 42ft-kip energy absorption. This combination gives our monopiles an energy absorption of 585ft-kip energy absorption."
Hollow construction, lightweight and low driving friction also make FiberPILE attractive to contractors. Following setup which took a day, contractors were able to drive a 100ft monopile 25ft into the river bottom in approximately 20 minutes with minimal disruption. Eight FRP monopiles replaced 37 wood piles.