NC State researchers use carbon-fiber technology to make bridges stronger

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – N.C. State researchers are working with NCDOT to use carbon-fiber technology to make bridges across the state stronger.

Dr. Rudi Seracino and Ph.D. candidate Army Lt. Col. Brad McCoy are part of the team using fiber-reinforced polymers to help extend the life of aging bridges, N.C. State said.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation gave the team a total of 12 beams from two bridges to help test the new technology. Six of the beams came from the old bridge in Oak Island.

The researchers are working to find a practical way to repair bridges so vehicle weight limits will not be placed on the structure and to avoid costly bridge replacements.

The new technology would help maintain the bridge 3-5 years, providing NCDOT time to schedule for the bridge to be rebuilt, while eliminating potential detours.

“The solution will be provided to DOT. The next step we’d like to do with DOT is install this repair techique onto a bridge in service,” McCoy said. 

N.C. State said a goal is to allow a crew to retrofit a bridge within a day.

On Monday, beams were put to the test at the Constructed Facilities Lab on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus.

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