American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

FRP Structures


This special issue is devoted to the integrated study of thin-walled composite profiles made of fiber-reinforced polymers and will be published to give researchers appreciation of where the discipline has come from. We aim to provide an advanced forum for studies related to the proposed fields with all topics below. The objective of this special issue is to present recent advances and emerging cross-disciplinary in the field of thin-walled composite profiles made of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP). The use of thin-walled composite profiles made of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) has been spreading over many engineering applications, especially where characteristics of lightness and durability are of primary importance. In fact, with respect to traditional materials, FRP components may offer significant advantages in assembling, transporting and launching large parts of structures. Moreover the strong resistance to chemical attacks makes them particularly suitable for use in aggressive environments. These advantages may sometimes result in significant cost reductions in comparison with other construction materials, and make all-FRP structures really sustainable.

That said, in the field of structural applications several well-established structural design criteria are to be reconsidered when dealing with Pultruded-FRP (PFRP) profiles. In fact, these profiles exhibit a complex behavior basically ruled by orthotropy, buckling phenomena, lightness, and short- and long-term (creep) deformability. In particular, the high ratio between longitudinal and transverse shear elastic moduli typically yields a strong influence of shear deformations; has effect on local buckling and global flexural and flexural-torsional buckling; and may involve interaction between local and global buckling modes. In addition, for plane or space FRP frames, due to the noteworthy material lightness, even small added masses may give rise to a significant reduction of the natural frequencies, resulting in a completely different dynamic behavior with respect to the case of the self weight considered alone. Sometimes, this frequency change is also associated with a change in the vibration mode shape. Finally, the serviceability limit state may be particularly severe because of the relatively high deformability of FRP structures, and imposes to limit the dead loads in design.

In addition to the profile behavior, the role of connections is to be emphasized. In the nineties, extended research programs were aimed at understanding the behaviour of connections between pultruded PFRP members. As is the case of steel frames, joint flexibility may have a very significant influence on the global behaviour of beam assemblages, and structural design accounting for semi-rigid end connections often turns out to be more economical than traditional approaches. Usually, bolted joints are preferred to adhesive bonding, due to speed of assembly, the option to disassemble and re-assemble parts of the structures, and for ease of periodical inspection. However, it was clearly shown that standard (steel-type) connections are disadvantageous, due to the very low resistance offered by the web-to-flange junction of pultruded angle cleats. Therefore, new proposals of effective joint technologies still are needed.

The special issue will focus on the most important features of FRP construction, starting from numerical modeling of the structural systems, and in particular of vibration and buckling phenomena, up to the design approaches to be used for the various structural elements. The main objective will be to shed light on the relevant differences with respect to the consolidated design rules for traditional-material structural members. An equilibrium between experimental papers (possibly showing failure modes of profiles and connections under different loading configurations) and numerical/analytical papers (possibly developing new analysis techniques specifically suited for FRP orthotropic structures) will be welcome.

All accepted papers of this special issue will be published free of charge.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  1. Pultruded FRP Structures
  2. Sustainable Construction
  3. Modeling Issues and Design Criteria for Thin-Walled
  4. FRP Profiles and Connections
  5. System Ductility and Redundancy of FRP Structures
  6. Advanced FRP for Flooring in Buildings
  7. Composites for Construction
  8. Thin-walled Composites

Guest Editors

Fabio MinghiniAssistant Professor, University of Ferrara, Italy
Francesco AscioneProfessor, University of Salerno, Italy
Chiara BedonAssistant Professor, University of Trieste, Italy
John Kaiser CalautitResearch Associate, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom