2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Behaviour of Pultruded Glass Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Utility Poles under Lateral Loads

Dr. Omar Abdelkarim, University of Sherbrooke / GPG Corp. (Presenter)
Mr. Jose Guerrero
Dr. Brahim Benmokrane, Universite de Sherbrooke

Behaviour of Pultruded Glass Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Utility Poles under Lateral Loads

Omar I. Abdelkarim1*, Jose M. Guerrero1, Hamdy M. Mohamed2, Brahim Benmokrane2

 1 Global PoleTrusion Group Corporation, Longueuil, QC, Canada J4N 1R2

2 University of Sherbrooke, Department of Civil Engineering, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1K 2R1

*Corresponding author: Omar.Abdelkarim@mst.edu


This paper discusses experimentally and numerically the behaviour of pultruded Glass Fibre-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) utility poles under lateral loads. Electrical and telecommunication utility infrastructures, including poles, H-frames, and towers, are typically made of wood, concrete, or steel. Each of these materials has several shortcomings due to their performances under the environmental conditions and the difficulty of transportation in rough terrain. In addition, a significant number of the utility infrastructures in North America needs renewal in the coming few years because of their environmental deterioration. Currently, the governments tend to build new sustainable and cost-effective utility infrastructures. GFRP composites represent a viable alternative to the traditional materials (i.e., wood and steel) for the utility infrastructures. However, the lack in the theoretical and experimental data on the GFRP composite utility infrastructures delays their implementation. In this study, a full-scale GFRP distribution pole was tested under lateral load until failure. Then, using a finite element (FE) parametric study, the pole diameter, length, and wall thickness were investigated. The tested pole had a height of 7.925 m, a diameter of 254 mm, a wall thickness of 6.35 mm, and a fibre volume ratio of 0.40. The developed FE model was validated with the experimental results of the tested pole which showed a good agreement with an accuracy > 95%. The FE parametric study included pole lengths ranged from 6 m to 16 m, diameters ranged from 203.2 mm to 457.2 mm, and wall thicknesses ranged from 5.08 mm to 12.70 mm. The FE analyses showed that the moment capacity of the GFRP poles increased almost nonlinearly with increasing the diameter and wall thickness and decreased nonlinearly with increasing the pole height. It was revealed, also, that the local buckling significantly affects the behaviour of the GFRP poles and their failure.