The New Materials Business (NMB) installed a bridge made of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) at the Golmuri Golf Course in December 2019. With technology from the US, perfected by the NMB Bridge team and the manufacturing partner, this unique ‘First to India’ FRP bridge was given handcrafted finish to give the bridge a heritage look to complement the ambience of the Golf Course.

Dr. Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology and New Materials Business of Tata Steel inaugurated this unique bridge in the presence of Mr R N Murthy, Chairman, Golmuri Golf Course, and Mr T.V. Srinivas Shenoy, Chief, New Materials Business of Tata Steel on 24 December 2019.

The FRP bridge comprises filament wound FRP girders, deck and handrail posts, and pultruded handrails, bottom rails and intermediate posts. With a total length of 15.5 metres and a width of 2.1 metres, the bridge is designed for pedestrians and a standard electric golf cart.

FRP bridges, foot over bridges and crossovers are lightweight and quick to install with minimum disruption. The installation process of factory made pre-fabricated bridges could be very fast with minimum requirement of cranes. Worldwide there are instances when FRP bridges were installed over road and railways overnight. Being corrosion resistant, these bridges offer a long maintenance free life and outlast bridges of other materials by decades.

Aside new FRP bridges, FRP can be used for deck replacement for deteriorated decks and widening of decks of existing steel or concrete bridges. FRP can also be used for retrofitting of heritage bridges. FRP also find use in manufacture of decks of bascule bridges. FRP being lightweight, very simple and light counterweights can be used for bascule bridges with FRP decks, and shorter opening/closing time for bascule bridges lead to less disruption to traffic.

Having successfully completed three FRP bridge projects, Tata Steel’s New Materials Business is well positioned to offer customized bridges to a number of sectors including roadways, waterways, rail, golf courses and theme parks, defence and disaster management with a span length of 7.5 metres.