Custom pultruded profiles for bridge

Fibrolux, which makes pultruded composites, has supplied more than 16km of a large-scale custom glass fiber pultrusion for what it says is its largest civil engineering project to date.

The materials were supplied as part of an update of the Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Bridge in Torun, Poland with double width pedestrian and cycling walkways. Originally constructed in Münsterwalde, Germany in 1909 as a road and railway crossing, the main bridge structure was disassembled and moved to Torun in north-central Poland in 1934.

The bridge concept features an interlocking walkway deck panel formed from eight 500mm x 150mm triple cavity pultruded profiles. According to Fibrolux, this allowed the walkways on each side of the bridge to be expanded from 2m to 4.5m in width, creating a safer space for cyclists. Because the existing bridge structure was unable to support the weight of wider steel walkways, the lightweight glass fibre composite structure delivered the required capacity upgrade.

Fibrolux created a custom die for the bridge profile in 2020, before launching production of the 16km of profiles using a combination of assembled rovings and mats. The pultruded sections were delivered to site cut to length, assembled using custom stainless-steel fasteners, and then coated with an anti-slip coating, creating panels approximately 4m x 10m that could be lifted into position using a small crane due to the low weight of the pultruded sections.

Fibrolux will also supply a range of standard glass fiber pultruded sections that will directly fasten to the composite walkway slabs and will be used to support the rainwater drainage system for the refurbished bridge.

“The Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Bridge project is a fantastic showcase for pultruded composites in civil engineering,” said Izabela Reich, Fibrolux sales manager. “Longer than nine football pitches, the new walkways highlight not only the weight saving and durability benefits of composites, but also the cost and time on site advantages of a large scale Fibrolux custom profile design.”