Co-Patch Project

The technical objectives

Main objectives are to demonstrate to all stakeholders that composite patch repairs or reinforcements can be environmentally stable and therefore, that they can be used as permanent repair measures on steel marine structures and steel civil engineering infrastructure applications. This objective will be achieved by:

  • Studying and demonstrating through theoretical analyses, numerical simulations and experimental testing that the use of fibre reinforced composite patch repairs leads to the reinforcement of a steel structural member, either by increasing its load carrying capacity, or, in the case of a defected structural member (e.g. cracked, buckled or corroded), by reinstating its structural integrity.
  • Establishing a stakeholders forum to discuss and agree the business and regulatory implications of introducing composite patch repairs.
  • Determining, evaluating and quantifying the efficiency of composite patch reinforcements in the marine/bridge environment, in both the short and long term, via an understanding of material degradation modes and their impact on mechanical properties and structural integrity of the steel-to-composite system.
  • Developing proper numerical modelling procedures for modelling a composite patch reinforced structure and by drawing out general guidelines for performing such numerical simulations.
  • Developing a generalized procedure for the design of composite patch reinforcements in steel marine and civil engineering infrastructure applications, leading to the selection of the proper surface preparation techniques, adhesives, reinforcing composite material, configuration (number of layers, stacking sequence), geometry of the reinforcement, etc.
  • Evaluating existing or developing new, practically applicable and sensor based monitoring techniques of the initial quality and the final through-life structural integrity of the patch.
  • Providing pre-designed, ready-made composite patch solutions for repairing or reinforcing standard problematic cases of a steel marine or civil engineering structure.
  • Developing best-practice generalized procedures for the application of composite patch repairs, which could be followed in-situ by properly trained personnel and which will finally lead to the classification of composite patches as permanent repairs.
  • Demonstrating the effectiveness of the developed design tools and procedures through full-scale tests of patch repaired structures.
  • Disseminating the results of the project to the corresponding administrative bodies (i.e. maritime authorities, railways or highways authorities, port authorities, etc.) to secure their acceptance of the composite patches as permanent repair solution.
  • Developing an internationally recognised training programme for personnel, which includes examination and certification.

bridgeThe proposed composite patch repair technology is an innovative and highly competitive product that caters to the needs of marine vessels and civil engineering infrastructures, the latter in the form of steel bridges. It reduces quite significantly the maintenance costs of many large steel structures, and in the case of metallic bridges it prolongs their design life. The proposed technology creates a new market and it gives the partners the capability of providing high technology and high added value services worldwide, thus improving Europe's competitiveness in specialized and advanced repair works.