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IND U S T IR A L HP D 29 External carbon fibre pre-tensioning system applied to concrete beams. Carbon fibre breathing new life into old bridges In the course of his studies, former Industrial PhD candidate now associate professor at DTU Civil Engineering, Jacob Wittrup Schmidt discovered a way to use carbon fibre to reinforce old, worn-out bridges. Bridges all over the world are groaning under the weight of more and heavier traffic. In Denmark, old bridges are often demolished and replaced with new ones. However, this approach is expensive for society and inconvenient for motorists. In collaboration with the Danish consultancy company COWI, a DTU researcher has now developed a new type of anchoring involving carbon fibre reinforcement, which has the potential to give a new lease of life to old bridges. Carbon fibre instead of steel Steel is the material most commonly used to increase the load-bearing capacity of bridges. However, carbon fibre features a number of properties that make it very interesting to work with: “Carbon fibre is around five times lighter than steel so it is easier to work with when reinforcing the bridge. In addition, carbon fibre does not rust and it performs well when subjected to vibrations. Moreover, its tensile strength is 4–5 times greater than that of construction steel. This means that you need less material to achieve the desired increase in the load-bearing Photo Jacob Witt rup Schmidt >> DTU in profile 2013


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