Welcome to the FRP Bridge decking website from krafton®

What makes a sustainable bridge sustainable is the energy-efficient production method, and the materials that are used. In addition, minimal transportation, easy assembly methods, a long service life, low-maintenance materials and the option to recycle are important elements that count towards the degree of sustainability of a bridge.

Sustainable bridges have a long service life compared with steel and concrete bridges, and are produced in an environmentally friendly manner. For example, sustainable bridges are energy-efficient or even self-sufficient during production, and produce relatively few harmful emissions. Circumstances other than production also contribute to the bridge’s high level of sustainability. For example, our general company and production areas are lit by LED lighting, (production) waste is recycled and transport movements and additional harmful emissions are minimal.

The raw materials and other materials required to produce sustainable bridges must also be manufactured in a sustainable manner. Another characteristic of these materials is that they can be recycled at the end of their service life regardless of their structure or shape. A sustainable bridge should, in fact, be given a second or even third life after its long service life

Sustainable bridge and FRP Bridge deck

An FRP Bridge Deck is a fine example of a sustainable bridge. In fact, a glass fibre-reinforced plastic bridge deck offers all the properties of a sustainable bridge. For example, the production energy of glass fibre is 75% lower than that of steel, hardly any harmful substances are released during production, it is recyclable, and transportation and assembly are more environmentally friendly than is the case with other types of bridge structures. We have listed 11 reasons below why an FRP Bridge Deck can be considered a sustainable bridge.

11 reasons why an FRP Bridge Deck is sustainable


1 – A sustainable FRP Bridge Deck is 100% recyclable

A sustainable FRP Bridge Deck is fully recyclable. The recycled FRP material is incorporated into new glass fibre-reinforced bridge decks, and also as additional reinforcement in other structures.

2 – The production energy of glass fibre is 75% lower than that of steel

Just like with steel production, the curing process of glass fibre is exothermic. Simply put, the materials develop their own heat. In this process, the bonds contain more energy than the newly formed bonds. The resulting excess leads to a spontaneous reaction in the form of energy and heat. Although production of steel and glass fibre involves exothermic curing, melting iron ore (steel) requires more energy than melting glass fibre. The lower melting point combined with the exothermic curing process makes sand, the raw material used for glass fibre, quicker to use in the right structure. As a result, the energy consumption per unit is extremely low.

3 – FRP Bridge Decking is 75% lighter than steel bridge decking

FRP Bridge Decking structures are 75% lighter than those for steel bridges. Producing a sustainable bridge requires less, and lighter material, thus keeping the FRP Bridge Deck lightweight without compromising on strength. In fact, the opposite is true. In addition, drawbridges with an FRP Bridge Deck naturally consume less energy during raising and lowering of the bridge section.

4 – 50% less energy in transport and assembly of an FRP Bridge Deck

The transportation of a sustainable FRP Bridge Deck requires 50% less energy compared with transportation and assembly of concrete and steel bridges. The combination of the lightweight material and the possibility to transport in bulk ensure minimal emissions during traffic movements. After all, due to their weight and shape, a larger volume of FRP Bridge Decking Planks can be fitted in a single transport. Moreover, assembly requires relatively little energy. As we have mentioned, moving and raising FRP Bridge Decking Planks is easy. For example, raising a steel bridge emits 33% more carbon dioxide than raising an FRP Bridge Deck. Small FRP Bridge Decking Elements, on the other hand, can even be moved manually.

5 – Construction of a concrete bridge results in 100% more carbon dioxide emissions compared with construction of a sustainable FRP Bridge Deck

Concrete bridges are largely made of cement, since cement acts as a binding agent in concrete structures. However, cement is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. As an example, in 2020, the cement industry was one of the biggest polluters worldwide, after the steel industry. The industry was, in fact, responsible for some 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The largest emissions occur during the process of splitting limestone into lime and CO2. Few of these emissions are currently captured and reused, however. Compared with the construction of a steel bridge, emissions resulting from the construction of an FRP Bridge Deck are about one-third.

6 – Minimal emissions of harmful by-products during production of FRP Bridge Decking

Producing an FRP Bridge Deck releases hardly any harmful by-products, thanks to the protected process of pultrusion. Pultrusion, also known as profile drawing, is a continuous production process for manufacturing FRP profiles. This process involves drawing glass fibre filaments through a heated die through an impregnation bath and feed plates, before being shaped into profiles. In this process, evaporation of harmful substances happens in a protected manner.

7 – Production of raw materials of FRP Bridge Deck has minimal negative impact 

Producing raw materials, such as fibre rovings and base resins, is more sustainable than producing steel or aluminium. In other words, in addition to being longer lasting, stronger and easier to transport, production of fibre rovings is also more sustainable. Resins are not produced separately, since they are derived from a petroleum by-product. As such, there is no need for a separate harmful process to produce this raw material.

8 – No harmful preservatives or thermal processes in sustainable FRP Bridge Decking

In wooden bridges, harmful preservatives are used to extend the service life, and steel bridges often need thermal galvanising and painting processes. None of these are required to extend the service life of glass fibre-reinforced bridges bridge decking planks used in FRP Bridge Decking. FRP Bridge Decking thus emerges yet again as a sustainable bridge due to the lack of emissions during production and application of these agents.

9 – FRP waste can be used as high-grade fuel and raw material in the cement industry

FRP waste from plants that produce glass fibre-reinforced plastics can be used as high-grade fuel or mineral raw materials for factories in the cement industry. In other words, not only is the manufacturing process of FRP virtually circular, indeed, krafton® also contributes to the sustainability of environmentally polluting sectors. So, in addition to energy recovery, the remaining ashes after combustion can also be used as filling in cement.

10 – A sustainable bridge has a long service life

An FRP Bridge Deck has a minimum service life of 50 years, and in some cases even more than 100 years, thanks to the material strength. Due to the long service life, fewer production or repair processes are required to keep the application usable. The absence of harmful emissions is an immediate result of the long, low-maintenance life of the durable bridges. In addition to the strong properties of FRP materials, the wear-resistant surfaces also contribute to the long service life of our sustainable bridges.

11 – A sustainable FRP Bridge deck is low maintenance

FRP Bridge Decking is very low maintenance because of the FRP materials used. In fact, the glass fibre-reinforced plastic bridge deck is resistant to corrosion, UV radiation and chemicals including salts and acids. Energy consumption for maintenance purposes is very low due to these properties and is only necessary in case of extreme damage such as vandalism.

Sustainable and/or Circular

Sustainability and circularity are strongly interconnected. Apart from that, there are, in fact, significant differences between the two terms. 

Sustainability refers to environmental conservation and minimal depletion of natural resources, for the benefit of present and future generations. Sustainability is often about the impact (and consequences of the production) of a product, people and the economy on the climate. Resources that promote sustainability come in many shapes and sizes, including reducing harmful emissions, heat-resistant cities and recycling household waste, or using environmentally friendly raw materials to manufacture new products. In all cases, sustainability involves the reduction of the negative impacts humans have on the environment.

Circularity can be a part of sustainable behaviour. The circular economy is based on the idea that all materials, raw materials and resources should be reused within a closed loop. In a circular economy, no new boosts of limited resources are used to keep the cycle going. Simply put, surpluses, emissions and waste serve as raw materials for production and are supported by green energy.

krafton® has set up a guaranteed return policy in order to ensure the circularity of our FRP Bridge Decks. This policy means we take the glass fibre-reinforced bridge decking planks back at our factory for reuse, or recycling. Thanks to the recycling of FRP Bridge Decking Planks, the glass fibre can be incorporated into new sustainable bridges. As the market leader in the Netherlands, we also encourage other forms of recycling of polyester plastics. For example, we are developing processes for recycling discarded polyester wind turbine blades from wind farms and boats and incorporating them into our sustainable bridges.

Sustainable projects – examples

There are numerous examples of our sustainable projects. For example, we regularly supply our FRP Bridge Decking Planks for projects where wood and steel bridge decks are in dire need of replacement. And equally often for sustainable projects involving the construction of an entirely new FRP pedestrian bridge, FRP cycle bridge, or FRP jetty/decking. In addition to helping to make assets more sustainable, we also ensure safe and long-lasting use with our FRP Bridge Decking Planks.

A sustainable FRP bridge, tailor-made

Regardless of the location, weather conditions, surface or type of use, with krafton® you choose a sustainable FRP Bridge Deck that is tailored to your needs. If necessary, we will create a unique profile that fully meets your wishes and requirements. Thanks to our wide range, available stock and easy-to-process FRP materials, we can deliver a sustainable tailor-made FRP bridge within a reasonable timeframe. 

More about FRP Bridge Decking Planks and FRP Bridge Decking Elements

Each of our FRP Bridge Decking Planks features a TÜV-tested non-slip wear layer. We guarantee that our FRP Bridge Decking Planks can be safely taken into use immediately. In addition to the R12 and R13 evaluation groups of slip resistance, FRP planks also meet Class E of fire resistance (according to EN13501-1:2007+A1:2009 and ISO11925-2:2010).

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