FRP Concrete Strengthening – Strength and Corrosion Resistance
For the past 25 years or so, Fiber Reinforced Polymers (or fiber-reinforced plastics) have been gaining in usage in the U.S. for the purpose of adding considerable strength to structures made of concrete, wood, masonry, and steel. Since it was discovered that FRP concrete strengthening was at least eight times more effective than steel-reinforced structures, the process has surged into popularity in this country. In essence, high-strength fibers such as steel, glass, or carbon are combined with a polymer matrix, which protects the fibers and binds them together, thus creating a super-strong reinforcing substance.
How FRP mixtures are used to strengthen and protect
First of all, an adhesive is used to help bond the FRP to the target substrate by penetrating right into it, while a special epoxy putty fills in any small gaps or holes in the surface, so that it can be as smooth as possible to promote bonding. Then some kind of saturating resin is used to make the actual bond with the substrate, and a protective coating is applied to the whole structure so as to reduce or eliminate any possible harm which might be caused to the FRP. This coating will often be comprised of acrylics which can prevent ultraviolet damage to the structure, and which provides additional strength.
Applications for FRP
FRP composites are frequently used on both interior and exterior structural components because they have strong resistance to rust and corrosion, and are also used in situations where either flexural strengthening, shear strengthening, or ductility improvement are called for. They are also used in cases where seismic upgrading is indicated, for instance in lap splice failures, shear failures of beams or columns, and to confine columns so as to resist buckling.
Using an FRP composite will always increase the performance and behavior of any concrete structure, and that is why it has so many different applications in construction and reinforcement projects today. FRP repairs can help prolong the life of a great many structures and objects, for instance fiberglass tank repairs, and literally give them new life and stronger resistance in the future.
Benefits of using FRP for Concrete Strengthening
The most obvious benefit of using an FRP composite in construction is to provide much greater strength to the target structure, but that is far from its only benefit. In addition, FRP composites are lightweight, dimensionally stable, and highly resistant to corrosion, all of which make them extremely desirable as a construction component.
Then too, FRP has low thermal conductivity and is otherwise non-conductive, which makes it effective as a flame retardant. It’s also electromagnetically transparent and is resistant to impacts, and that can provide additional protection to any substrate which it has been applied to. Finally, it has very low life cycle costs and that makes it a very affordable option for reinforcing and strengthening any kind of substrate which it is coupled with. You would be hard-pressed to find a stronger, more inexpensive method of reinforcing concrete than FRP.
Do you require the services of a professional company that can perform inspection and repairs for concrete structures, tanks, ducts, and more? Picon FRP, Inc. has been in the business for over 35 years in the Bay Area and Northern California. Our clients love us for our detailed reports, quality repair work and custom fabrication abilities. If you need help call us today at 510-232-0065 or contact us on our website.