FRP Construction Products And Design Codes

Concrete infrastructure is of immense significance when it comes to the economic growth of a region. Civil structures should be designed and built with satisfactory materials and techniques so that they can stay in good shape for a longer life span without rehabilitation. Durable infrastructure systems such as bridges, highways, water systems, buildings play a vital role in building a healthy economy. The need for cost-effective and corrosion-free construction materials, therefore, has reached to an unprecedented level.

Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), also known to be composites, have been in use for so many years in various sensitive applications where harsh environment is a prime concern for structural engineers. Excellent results produced by FRP materials in civil infrastructure has resulted in a shift from traditional reinforcement to FRP in most of the developed countries. The ability to resist harsh environment and to protect reinforced concrete against corrosive agents is what makes fiberglass bars and other GFRP construction products the incredible alternative to conventional concrete reinforcement techniques.

Construction industry relies heavily on design codes, standards, and specification so that materials can be used accordingly. In past, FRP products were designed, fabricated, and manufactured using general codes and design manuals provided by the authorities concerned. The extensive academic and on-site research has resulted in the development of in-depth and specific FRP design codes and specifications, making it easy for the construction industry to adopt advanced composite materials as a permanent alternative to conventional and substandard materials.

“Pre-standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) of Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Structures” is a new design code developed by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). The development of such new codes would help structural engineers build durable and safe projects. In addition, the presence of design codes would pave the way for FRP composite materials to dominate the market.

Fiberglass rebar is probably the most significant FRP product that is widely used for concrete reinforcement. Rock bolts, lifting anchors, tendons, and form ties are some of the GFRP construction products. The development and distinctive properties of composite construction products have received a warm response from the civil engineering community. With the advent of new design codes and specifications, civil engineers have shown confidence in GFRP construction products.