The intent of this paper is to share information on how pultruded fiberglass members can fail or be structurally compromised. Failed or cracked fiberglass columns were found in five towers during construction or after 18 months of operation. The failed or cracked columns were attributed to misuse of fiberglass bearing pads or poor construction procedures. Several failed columns and horizontal members were also damaged from ice. Surface blisters were noticed in two of the new towers after 2 to 18 months of operation. A summary of these events will be discussed in this paper along with the probable reasons and actions AEP is taking to prevent a reoccurrence.

14-27: AEP’s Experience with Failure Modes in FRP Cooling Towers

  • Bob Cashner, American Electric Power; Hota GangaRao, West Virginia University