Carbon Fibre Strengthening

thumb_Picture1Constructed in 1810 and believed to be the oldest working cast iron bridge in the world, the historic Tickford Bridge at Newport Pagnell had shown signs of weakness and weight restrictions had been imposed. For historic and aesthetic reasons, conventional repair techniques were not considered suitable. Milton Keynes Council were therefore looking for a form of repair which was unobtrusive but which would guarantee the working life of the bridge into the new Millennium.

For over two years, Topbond had been looking at the application of carbon fibre technology in the construction industry and this project seemed an ideal candidate. They had discussions with the Sumitomo Corporation of Japan and were approved applicators of the Replark system - a flexible form of carbon fibre fabric which can be wrapped around contours, making it suitable for the spandrel rings and arches. Working in close cooperation with Milton Keynes Council, their consultants Maunsells and Sumitomo, Topbond devised a method of lining the cast iron surfaces of the bridge with Replark, constantly sampling materials to ensure their performance.

When the carbon fibre application was complete, the bridge was re-painted, ready to be re-opened to traffic. Final tests confirmed that the strengthening had been successful and will upgrade the capacity of the bridge to 40 tonne vehicles.