Repair of Timber Piles, Columns and Utility Poles with FRP

Timber Bridge Pile Repair with FRP.jpeg Repair of Timber Piles

There is a large inventory of timber bridges worldwide. Many of these timber bridges are old and require repair and strengthening. The historic Powder Point Bridge in Duxbury, MA is the longest timber bridge in the U.S. with a length of approximately 2000 feet (610 m). Some 300 timber piles on this bridge were repaired with PileMedic® jackets in 2013-2014.

Timber Bridge Pile Repair with FRP.jpeg

Thanks to EPA's success in cleaning the waterways, marine borers and ship worms are coming back and literally eating away timber piles. PileMedic® jackets can be wrapped around a deteriorated timber bridge pile to create an impervious layer of high confining pressure. Then the annular space is filled with our low viscosity resin. This resin will penetrate all voids and cracks in the timber pile. The result is a much stronger timber pile which is resistant to shop worms and marine borers.

In a recently completed research project funded by Nebraska Department of Roads, five timber bridge piles were repaired with PileMedic® jackets and tested. The results of this study entitled "Assessment and Evaluation of Timber Piles Used in Nebraska for Retrofit and Rating" were published in 2014 and are available in pdf format by clicking here.

Timber Utility Pole Repair with FRP Repair of Timber Utility Poles

Timber utility poles often break during storms or when they are hit with a vehicle traveling at a high speed. There are also many cases where additional loads induced by newly installed power lines call for strengthening of timber utility poles. In collaboration with Tucson Electric Power (TEP) we are developing and testing a new FRP system to strengthen timber utility poles. These tests have shown how we can strengthen a broken timber pole to become stronger than a new steel pole! The short video here shows some of our early tests on strengthening of timber utility poles using PileMedic® FRP jackets. Please click here to watch the video. You can also read a brief description of tests of timber utility poles repaired with PileMedic® by clicking on this link.