A Greenstick ‘Pier Diver’ can offer an innovative solution to ice field damage. Since the embankment slope of a Greenstick wall is made from FRP, it will be unaffected by icy conditions. In the case of ice drifts, the ice fields will glide over the surface of the FRP wall without destroying it. FRP sheets are as strong and durable as steel; they are widely used in construction as walls for buildings, for roofing, bridges and road surfaces. A pier built using Greensticks would enable the structure to ‘dive’ under the water and lie on the sea or river bed, thereby allowing ice fields to float over the top and avoid damage to the structure. When the ice has melted, the pier can be returned to it’s upright position.
In the United States and Europe, FRP panels are used as the span beams for railway bridges, quay and hydropower installations. A prime example of the use of FRP panels in construction is in Russia where a fibreglass seawall was successfully built and used for a number of years along the stretch of coast between Adler and Tuapse. FRP structures are commonplace in the Baltic States. Fig 1 & 2 below show a pier consisting of 4 x 24 metre FRP sections at a cost of around €60,000.