Although the potential of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) was realized more than five decades ago, hurdles such as high initial costs, limited practical data, and vulnerability to static fatigue, etc., continued to limit their use as a sustainable construction material. The construction industry, however, has adopted advanced composite materials to resolve some of its major problems such as corrosion, premature concrete deterioration, and expensive maintenance. Over the last two decades, extensive research has led to a better understanding of the FRPs under different environments.
It is very important to put together the various aspects of composite materials, including their stability and structural characteristics, in order to clearly define the rehabilitation and new applications of FRP composites in civil engineering. Given their advantageous characteristics, FRP is already being used as corrosion free, high strength concrete reinforcement. The electromagnetic neutrality of FRP makes them ideal for MRI units, research laboratories, and educational institutes.
The modern engineering takes sustainability and environment seriously. We can find a number of case studies presenting the rehabilitation and design of new concrete members with FRP. According to most of the studies, the main advantage of FRP materials, in comparison with traditional competitors, is the long service life without maintenance. On top of that, composite materials are environment-friendly. The properties of composite materials, such as GFRP fiberglass rebar, can be customized depending on the requirements of a project.
The retrofitting and rehabilitation of prestressed and reinforced concrete structures using fiber reinforced polymers are now well-established techniques. The strength of externally bonded FRP composites have demonstrated many advantages including the strength-to-weight ratio and ease of installation. Moreover, the ease of transportation and installation without heavy equipment makes FRP a promising material for bridge rehabilitation and construction.
The fabrication technologies for the production of advanced composites have been revolutionized by new, sophisticated manufacturing techniques. These methods have enabled manufacturers to produce good quality laminates with accurate fiber alignment and minimal voids.
Since the Second World War, the construction industry has suffered from a lack of research and investment. The early 1990s witnessed a serious decline in the industry in North America. The construction industry was considered as a low technology and labor intensive as compared with other industries. However, things have changed significantly over the last two decades. Innovative materials and construction techniques have played a great role in transforming the construction into a technology-driven industry. If you are searching out for innovative construction materials for your next project, you must explore and implement FRP technologies to achieve sustainable results.