The properties of FRP composites are widely considered superior to the properties of traditional steel and other reinforcement materials. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials have been in use since the 1940s. In the beginning, there were only a few industries that utilized advanced composites to build strong objects.
Superior corrosion resistance is one of the qualities of FRP composites that attracted many industries to explore new applications of these amazing materials.
FRP products are largely used in harsh environments such as sewage treatment plants, chemical processing plants, and power plants. Materials susceptible to corrosion cannot withstand harsh environments and this is the leading reason why industries such as civil engineering and construction want to explore the true potential of FRP composites.
Researchers have already created innovative FRP systems and components capable of withstanding corrosive agents and moisture levels in extreme climatic regions. Following are some of the characteristics of advanced composites
Fiberglass-reinforced composites or advanced composites are generally used in architectural applications where sustainability and strength are prime concerns or where other materials degrade rapidly. Composites play a crucial role in the storage and transportation of strong acids. Structural engineers use composite products to reinforce concrete members. Concrete structures reinforced with materials susceptible to corrosion can hardly achieve their expected service lives.
Thermoset and thermoplastic are two major types of composites that vary in terms of performance and properties. Large-scale structural applications such as bridges and public transportation infrastructure show that FRP composites are capable of handling heavy loads and corrosive environments for a prolonged period of time.
Masterfully designed and manufactured composites achieve long service life under cyclic loading conditions. Fiberglass rebar, boat hulls, aircraft structures, and automotive leaf springs are some examples of structures built with FRPs. GFRP is a well-known variant of FRP composite materials, mostly applied in civil engineering applications. GFRP rebar is an innovative construction material of the 21st Century.
Advanced composites have inherent characteristics that make them a preferred material for architects, builders, and product manufacturers. Such design experts are often interested in producing products and buildings with a reduced ecological footprint.
Enhanced durability, service life, and corrosion resistance are realized with advanced composites. Moreover, they have zero or low thermal conductivity, an ideal strength-to-weight ratio, and a smaller carbon footprint, compared to most traditional materials.
Being a structural engineer or builder, you should explore the true potential of FRP composites in various civil engineering applications. Advanced composites can really help us build sustainable and maintenance-free concrete infrastructure.