Mouchel has been heavily involved with the development of CFRP plate bonding in the UK. The company led the consortium that carried out the 0.9M Robust project on strengthening of bridges using polymeric composite materials. This started in May 1994 and finished in July 1997 and formed part of the Department of Trade & Industrys Link structural composites research programme. Research focused on CFRP plate bonding to strengthen concrete bridge beams (NCE 17 October 1996).
The technique is not however limited to concrete and is suitable for timber, cast iron, wrought iron and steel structures, by varying the adhesive used.
Robust allowed draft design guidelines and specification to be prepared so that the method could be used commercially, even though there are currently no official guidelines in the UK. Fashole-Luke, who is responsible for the work at Haversham, claims this is set to change, with discussions well advanced with the Highways Agency.
Approval, he says, should increase the use of CFRP bonding in the UK as it has done in Switzerland and Germany.