Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite piles used on pier rehabilitation, Little Diamond Island, Casco Bay, Portland, Maine.
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Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite piles used on pier rehabilitation, Little Diamond Island, Casco Bay, Portland, Maine.

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      Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite piles were used on a pier rehabilitation project at Little Diamond Island in Casco Bay near Portland Maine. The project was the replacement of an aging wooden pier at the ferry berthing terminal. The FRP piles were installed as fender piles, designed to absorb the kinetic energy of vessels docking at the pier, to prevent damage to vessels and to provide an abrasion resistant surface. The FRP piles were 11.25 inch diameter, 5 ply, hollow piles, having similar properties to wooden piles. The piles also have a heavy duty abrasion resistant sleeve, 0.75 inch thick. There were no significant problems during construction of this project. Using the FRP composite piles required a re-design of the bolting configuration, due in part to the fact that counter-sinking for bolt heads is limited on the hollow FRP composite piles. Despite the increased cost of this installation, the project furthered the Department’s understanding of the requirements of using composite piles. In addition, the project will provide an opportunity to observe the performance of composite piles compared to wooden piles.
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