Causes Of Corrosion In Steel And How To Avoid Them

Causes Of Corrosion In Steel And How To Avoid Them

Steel is a very strong and durable construction material. However, its solid properties and strength cannot save it from corrosion. The fact that steel corrodes with time, means there is a considerable breach in its strength and durability. If steel corrodes over time, the building or the structure it was used in gets potentially put at risk and loses its overall structure strength with time. It is, therefore, necessary to make sure that steel structures are checked for signs of corrosion and should be taken care of accordingly.

What is steel corrosion?

Civil engineers often define corrosion as the chemical or electrochemical reaction between a material, usually metal and its environment, which causes deterioration of the material and its properties over time.

For steel embedded in concrete, corrosion results in the formation of oxide that has 2 to 4 times the volume of the original steel and the loss of its optimal mechanical properties. Corrosion also produces peeling and voids in the surface of the reinforcing steel, reducing the resistant capacity as a result of the reduction of the cross-section.

Why is the corrosion of steel a concern?

Reinforced concrete uses steel to provide tensile strength properties that are necessary for structural concrete. This avoids the failure of concrete structures that are subject to pressure and bending stress due to traffic, winds, dead loads and thermal cycles.

However, when the reinforcement corrodes, rust formation leads to loss of adhesion between steel and concrete and subsequent delamination and exfoliation. If this has been left unchecked, the integrity of the structure may be affected. The reduction of the cross-sectional area of ​​the steel reduces its resistant capacity. This is especially harmful in the performance of high elastic limit cables in prestressed concrete.

Why does steel corrode in concrete?

Steel, when combined with concrete, is usually in a passive condition, not corroded. However, steel-reinforced concrete is frequently used in harsh environments where seawater or deicing salts are present. When the chlorides make their way inside the concrete, they cause the passive layer of protection of steel to rupture, causing it to rust and be flattened.

The carbonation of concrete is another cause of corrosion of steel. Under these conditions, the steel does not remain passive and rapid corrosion begins. The rate of corrosion due to the coating of carbonated concrete is slower than the corrosion induced by chlorides.

Occasionally, the lack of oxygen surrounding the steel bar will cause the metal to dissolve, leading to a low pH liquid property.

How to prevent corrosion?

Civil engineers around the world have created strict quality assurance standards to make sure the materials being used are of good quality. The mixture of materials is another way to keep them strong and retain their strength for a maximum period of time. It is part of the municipality department’s responsibility to make sure building are made within the set standards to keep the buildings safe for the citizens.

It is necessary to protect the concrete from damage by freezing and thawing cycles. Air also reduces exudation and is increased permeability due to exudation water channels. Peeling the concrete surface can accelerate the corrosion damage of embedded reinforcement bars.

A great solution to completely remove the chance of corrosion in building structures is the use of Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), otherwise known as fiberglass rebar. This is an alternate material used for steel in the construction industry. The qualities of GFRP range from being corrosion free, being lightweight, having a long product life and being stronger than steel itself. Tuf-Bar manufacturers GFRP Fiberglass rebar in Canada. If you’re interested in learning more about fiberglass rebar, please visit our website or contact us.

Strengthening Highway Infrastructure With Innovative Construction Materials

Strengthening Highway Infrastructure

The highway infrastructure in Canada and the United States has been deteriorating at a rapid pace for many years. The ongoing deterioration is a result of heavy loads, harsh environmental conditions, poor maintenance practices, and the corrosion of steel reinforcement.

Traditional concrete reinforcement which includes bare and epoxy coating steel rebar corrode in the face of tough conditions. Increasing traffic volume, low construction budgets, and the inability of traditional materials to meet public demands are also factors that contribute to deterioration of highway infrastructure.

Public need for safety, durability and rapid construction

Traditional materials have failed to meet the growing public demands for durable, safe and low-maintenance bridges and roads. Lightweight, long-lasting structural components, and well constructed facilities are essential to achieve economic development.

How GFRP composite materials can help build and strengthen highway infrastructure

Advanced composite materials such as GFRP rebar has been developed to address the shortcomings of traditional materials. Corrosion, lengthy construction process, and heavy maintenance are the major drawbacks of steel and other outdated construction materials. GFRP concrete reinforcement, on the other hand, is designed to help the construction industry build corrosion-free, long-lasting, and low maintenance concrete infrastructure.

GFRP composites offer high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent fatigue resistance, and additional protection against highway weather environments. While these innovative construction solutions can reduce the overall life-cycle costs, it’s now possible to accelerate the repair and construction processes with composites. As a builder, you can use GFRP construction materials to build cost-efficient structures with a lifespan of over 100 years.

Advanced composites can be tailored with the desired structural properties and geometry. Careful selection of resins, fibers, and additives can help you achieve properties that suit your unique construction requirements. Moreover, GFRP fiberglass rebar can be used for a number of highway applications.

Importance of sustainability

Needless to mention that sustainability is critical to human development, growth of a society, and well-being of our planet. Concrete is perhaps the most widely used construction material in North America and across the world. Developing and implementing materials like GFRP can help us build a better future for upcoming generations.

For future highway construction, it’s necessary to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly materials to ensure that the environmental impact of concrete is minimal. Concrete should be produced with little waste and must be made from some of the most plentiful resources on earth. On top of that, they should be reinforced with environment-friendly materials like GFRP fiberglass rebar.

About us

TUF-BAR is one of the most trusted manufacturers and sellers of GFRP rebar and other composite products in North America. Our objective is to produce environment-friendly construction products that can achieve a service life of over 100 years with minimal maintenance. Check out our innovative GFRP products designed for highway applications or contact us for more details!

Fiberglass Rebar – Building A Sustainable Future

Fiberglass Rebar - Building A Sustainable Future

Being at the pinnacle of human evolution, the way we construct and build structures proves that our existence has gained a new level of livelihood and we are still moving forward. This modernization of our development requires innovation as well. Innovation that will assure the safety, sustainability and the survival of our future generations. One particular feature of this evolution is the construction materials used in the infrastructure of the cities we live in. Perhaps, the most influential material of construction today is Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP).

Most developed countries around the world are now relying on sustainable construction methods to save resources and provide buildings with a long service life. The use of traditional materials is decreasing and the use of new materials that can be recycled, reused and reduced consumption are being increasingly introduced. The use of GFRP instead of traditional steel is being used evidently. Especially in large structures, bridges, and buildings which are intended to last for a very long time.

Features of GFRP Rebar:

GFRP Resists Corrosion

The reason why GFRP is being used more when it comes to sustainable construction is that it has corrosion free attributes. Steel on the other hand, no matter how strong it is or versatile it is, can easily corrode and lose basic strength-based properties that were necessary for building structures. In this aspect, the use of GFRP carries much more benefits than strength alone.

Being a polymer, GFRP is able to withstand the extreme weather conditions and continuous rain and water submerged conditions. The main causes of corrosion are the oxidation and chloride ion-based chemical attacks. GFRP has been made to withstand such corrosive agents allowing the structure to survive for very long periods of time.

As per the recent tests of GFRP based structures, there has been no loss of strength whereas steel and similar materials lose their strength-based attributes after a few decades.

GFRP Is Economic

Part of the cost of construction materials consists of transportation, weight and storage. Being lightweight and having fewer chances of corrosion, the storage and transportation cost of GFRP is much less than steel.

Some of the most useful aspects of GFRP are that its life expectancy and strength are greater than steel in all dimensions. Being a quarter of the weight of steel, the use of this material has been providing the construction industry the needed competitive edge in the market.

GFRP Is an Insulator

Steel is actually a conductor of heat and electricity; this can sometimes be a problem, depending on its application. A good example would be hospital rooms with x-ray equipment. These rooms usually require GFRP reinforcement, as steel would cause issues.

Similarly, in extreme weather, heat and cold are conducted by steel. GFRP in this sense again becomes a useful alternative as it cannot conduct electricity or heat and cold. This provides extra assurance as to why fiberglass rebar is an excellent alternative to steel rebar.

GFRP For The Future

The construction materials for the future need to be more cost-effective and should have qualities that easily surpass traditional raw materials used in construction. The economic activity that is generated by construction is actually a collaboration of various other industries, therefore, it is important that innovation and modernization are practiced in all industries.

The global warming issue is getting worse. Weather conditions are becoming more extreme, natural calamities like floods, tsunamis and tornadoes are becoming more ferocious every year. The cost of rehabilitation after natural disasters is worth trillions of dollars globally and billions of dollars in the US and Canada alone.

Sustainable Construction

The construction industry is also facing much-needed changes mainly due to the competition and the increasing cost of materials worldwide. In this sense, it will be a good approach to use materials that appreciate sustainable construction philosophy. The three Rs of construction Reduce, Recycle and Reuse are also part of the modern construction practices that save resources and minimizes the cost of construction.

Today, there is enough evidence that supports GFRP as being among one of the best construction materials that provides maximum utility to all the stakeholders in the construction industry.

When it comes to infrastructure, it’s important to plan strategically as well as for the future. This requires project managers to select the best construction materials for their needs. The main advantages of GFRP is that there are no risk factors involved when it comes to corrosion, strength and being economically friendly.

GFRP: An Emerging Material For Civil Infrastructure

GFRP: An Emerging Material For Civil Infrastructure

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) and other variants of composite materials are reshaping the dynamics of the construction industry worldwide. GFRP materials like fiberglass rebar are gaining increasing attention due to their superior corrosion resistance, excellent weight ratio and higher durability. This is why advanced composites are said to be the material of the future.

The application of fiberglass rebar for concrete reinforcement has been a hot topic in the civil engineering community for over two decades. Truly unique and flexible features of GFRP are opening new possibilities for the international construction industry to resolve longstanding structural issues such as corrosion and the need for heavy maintenance.

The use of metals in construction and other industries comes with corrosion and deterioration. Concrete structures reinforced with steel or other traditional materials eventually succumb to corrosion and make it financially difficult for structure owners to repair and maintain damaged concrete elements. Billions of dollars are spent each year just to maintain structurally deficient concrete infrastructure in North America. High maintenance costs justifies the need for innovative materials like GFRP which require minimal maintenance and can last longer in tough environments.

Studies have suggested that over 25% of construction failures happened due to corrosion of metal reinforcement. Non-corrosive and high-strength properties of GFRP adequately resolves problems associated with corrosion of steel reinforcement and lack of design flexibility. Lightweight GFRP rebar makes the transportation and application process more efficient and affordable as fiberglass materials can be installed without heavy machinery.

TUF-BAR fiberglass rebar is ¼ the weight of steel and provides 2x tensile strength. Taken into account these properties, GFRP concrete reinforcement has emerged as an excellent alternative to steel. While GFRP products have an extensive range of applications in construction, it’s ideal to use them in corrosive environments such as highways and wastewater facilities.

Remarkable benefits of GFRP materials lead to improved safety and performance of critical concrete structures: rail LRT, marine structures, bridges, roads, buildings, etc. Increased government spending on highways and bridges and the need for sustainability and safety encourages the construction industry to use GFRP as a leading material to reinforce concrete elements.

To build sustainable infrastructure, structural engineers have to surpass the limitations of traditional materials. If you’re looking to use a cost-effective and durable concrete reinforcement solution for your next project, feel free to explore and select GFRP fiberglass reinforcement.

While the advanced composite industry has successfully proven its worth, one of the challenges is to make these materials more cost-effective. The applications of advanced composites have witnessed steady growth over the last few years. Equipped with the most demanding properties, GFRP construction products can be used to build maintenance-free and durable structures. Browse through our website to learn more about GFRP products, their properties, and applications. Contact us for more information!

The Future Of Composites In The Construction Industry

The Future Of Composites In The Construction Industry

In both new and rehabilitation construction projects, design professionals need to explore the advantages of building environmentally-friendly infrastructure with highly durable and innovative composite materials. It is the need of the hour to develop and implement lightweight, corrosion-resistance, low maintenance, and high strength materials.

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is an example of how advanced composites can completely transform the public infrastructure and help structural engineers design more durable and cost-effective structures.

Advanced composites can be manufactured to provide specific performance properties. Fiber reinforced polymers typically comprises of two major constituents: matrix and reinforced fiber. The collective strength of a composite material is more than the strength of individual strength of constituents.

The manufacturing process, additives, and shape determine the overall properties of reinforcing fibers. Fillers and additives are usually used to adjust the property of composite product to meet design requirements. While composites are thermal and electrical insulators, additives can help achieve additional properties such as resistance to ultraviolet rays and fire.

Phenomenal development in concrete reinforcement technologies now offers exciting opportunities to achieve custom structural properties while resolving conventional problems associated with traditional reinforcement materials such as steel.

Click here to see the applications of GFRP materials in construction!

GFRP reinforcement

GFRP reinforcing materials have been tested and proven to be the ideal alternative to traditional steel. The deterioration of concrete is largely due to corrosion of steel reinforcement. The loss due to corrosion of reinforcement is heavy as governments and bridge owners have to spend billions of dollars every year to maintain structurally deficient structures.

This is where GFRP can provide a dependable solution and help the civil engineering community get rid of steel corrosion. Long-lasting durability in corrosive environments is one of the prime features of GFRP rebar and other composite products like rock bolts, dowels, lifting anchors, and form ties.

TUF-BAR GFRP Rebar

Our premium quality reinforcing bars enable builders and contractors to substitute traditional reinforcing bars with non-corrosive and non-metallic fiberglass rebar which can be used or customized for new construction projects.

Our concrete reinforcement solutions provide high tensile performance while ensuring corrosion resistance and ease of application. This is why TUF-BAR has become a reference in GFRP rebar manufacturing in North America. Read these case studies which provide a quick overview of successful applications of our GFRP products.

Our fiberglass rebar is available in various sizes, shapes and grades: bent bars, straight bars, columns, piling cages, spiral, rectangular, etc. Custom bars can be manufactured to meet your unique requirements. For more information, please contact us!

GFRP Rebar: An Ideal Solution for Marine Structures

GFRP Rebar: An Ideal Solution for Marine Structures

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement for civil engineering applications is gaining wide acceptance as a sustainable and long-term alternative to traditional reinforcement materials. One of the distinguishing properties is that they don’t corrode and hence they withstand corrosive environments where steel has a much shorter life span.

Concrete jetties, wharves, bridges, and seawalls are examples of marine structures subjected to environmental elements such as chlorides and weathering. GFRP reinforcement should be used for enhanced durability and longer service life. Design codes have been developed to make GFRP materials more suitable for use in waterside and other critical concrete structures. These composite materials also provide dependable reinforcement solutions to marine concrete rehabilitation projects.

Marine structures play a pivotal role in marine resource exploitation and economic development. Short life span and heavy maintenance are two major concerns that make it difficult for governments to make the most of these structures.

Corrosion and its impact

Corrosion is a natural phenomenon where metals deteriorate rapidly when exposed to moisture and other elements. Steel corrodes rapidly in the marine environment. The construction industry spends heavily on slowing down the deterioration process and repairing the damaged components. Here are some of the factors that cause and accelerate the corrosion process:

  • Chloride-containing elements
  • De-icing salts
  • Sea water
  • Airborne chlorides
  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Sea dredged aggregates

Fiber-reinforced polymers are inherently corrosion-resistance and electromagnetically neutral. These properties strengthen RC structures and help them fight corrosive environments for a long period. The expected lifespan of GFRP rebar is more than 100 years.

Marine construction projects where GFRP rebar is an ideal option:

  • Sewage treatment facilities
  • Retaining walls, seawalls
  • Floating structures
  • Decks, quays, and piles
  • Boat ramps, jetties, and bulkheads
  • Roads, bridges, and pools

Without correct mixing, design, placement, and curing, the durability of concrete can be impaired. The best construction practices and high-quality materials can play a serious role in minimizing the direct maintenance cost and increasing the life cycle of sensitive concrete structures.

Why choose GFRP rebar?

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement offers promising mechanical and physical properties which make it highly attractive for marine structures operating in aggressive environments such as coastal regions, public infrastructure, and buildings that host sensitive equipment.

Here are some of the GFRP reinforcement products available at TUF-BAR:

  • Rebar 45 GPa Straight Bars
  • Rebar 60 GPa Straight Bars
  • Rebar 45 GPa Bent Bars
  • Rebar 50 GPa Bent Bars

Fiberglass product shapes include:

  • Continuous spiral-shaped stirrup
  • Continuous square or rectangular shape stirrup
  • Fiberglass rebar columns and piling cages
  • U Shape Bend
  • Single spiral-shaped stirrup

Marine GFRP-reinforced structures are invulnerable to moisture and strong chlorides. When bonded with concrete, fiberglass rebar doesn’t react to salts, moisture ingression, and other chemicals.

About TUF-BAR

At TUF-BAR, we manufacture and sell the highest-quality GFRP products which are suitable for both marine construction and rehabilitation applications. We also allow other companies in North America to obtain exclusive rights to produce and sell our products through our licensing program. Contact us should you have any questions!