Over the next years, major investments will be made to upgrade existing road networks in Norway. Bridges are in focus, with the demand for sustainable, cost effective and durable solutions. The use of aluminium is deemed a viable solution towards sustainable infrastructure like bridges. Today, aluminium is used in only a marginal number of bridges in Norway and abroad due to the lack of rational design criteria, efficient production methods and reliable durability assessment methods. In contradiction, it becomes clear that aluminium-based bridges can offer large advantages for the Norwegian society for several reasons. Done in the right way, the use of aluminium reduces costs for construction and maintenance due to aluminium's low weight and corrosion resistance. Further, the new market of aluminium bridges will grow important parts of the Norwegian industry, creating jobs. Finally, use of aluminium can reduce the carbon footprint as compared to bridges made of traditional materials, concrete or steel. The limited number of aluminium bridges is said to be due to traditional bridge design methods being linked to use steel and concrete as materials, not evaluating correctly the effect of alternative materials as aluminium. The lack of knowledge to produce and install aluminium bridges cost effective is also indicated as a reason. The latter is related to production methods and knowledge gaps of the response in aluminium components under relevant load scenarios, which gives overly conservative design codes. The underlying idea of the AluBridge project is to develop a robust, cost efficient and sustainable aluminium bridges. The innovations in this project include: 1) develop efficient production method 2) develop accurate fatigue assessment method and 3) develop surrogate models for global stability design optimization. The innovations of this project will be demonstrated and verified through the design of a set of generic aluminium bridge girder profiles.
Project leader: Erik Bråtveit Holm
Institution: Norsk Hydro ASA