Chloride-Induced Corrosion Of Steel Reinforcement: An Overview

Chloride-Induced Corrosion Of Steel Reinforcement

The corrosion of reinforcing steel has received considerable attention over the last few years. The high cost of repairing rapidly deteriorating concrete structures and the worldwide impact of corrosion on concrete infrastructure are some of the main reasons why corrosion of metals is gaining increasing attention. The corrosion of steel reinforcement was first observed in chemical manufacturing plants and marine structures. Waterside structures are subject to harsh environments where it becomes difficult to slow down the corrosion process.

Most structurally deficient parking structures and bridge decks are common examples of how chloride-induced corrosion can seriously damage the integrity of a structure and shorten the lifespan. Researchers have put extensive efforts into understanding the mechanics of steel corrosion. While many techniques have been introduced to control steel corrosion, there is a dire need for sustainable structures that can achieve a lifespan of more than 100 years without requiring expensive maintenance and rehabilitation.

What is chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion?

Chloride ions can be originated from the surrounding environment or from the use of contaminated mix constituents. Chlorides enter the pore system through the concrete surface. Chloride ions are common in nature; concrete materials normally contain a very small amount of chloride ions.

Dissolved chloride ions can penetrate concrete in structures exposed to deicing salts or waterside environments. How fast the corrosion of steel reinforcement embedded in concrete damages a structure depends on various environmental factors.

Economic impact of corrosion

A large number of reinforced concrete (RC) structures have been built with concrete and steel over the last several decades. The deterioration of RC structures directly impacts everyday life in terms of sustainability, safety, and economy. Heavy resources are allocated every year in Canada and across North America just to repair or rehabilitate the existing structures rather than constructing new ones. This is leading to an increasing burden on taxpayers.

Chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion is a major durability problem in North America as a large number of RC structures have been affected by reinforcement corrosion, especially marine structures such as sea walls, water treatment facilities, and bridges. Chloride-induced corrosion is one of the prominent features of waterside environments. Construction materials with strong corrosion-resistance properties are needed to encounter the initiation and propagation of reinforcement corrosion that results in spalling, cracking, and loss of load-bearing capacity.

How to deal with the corrosion of concrete reinforcement

It’s critical for us to implement long-lasting and cost-effective construction solutions to effectively address corrosion and other structural challenges. Glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) construction materials are inherently corrosion-free, lightweight, and superior in strength. Composite materials like GFRP fiberglass rebar adequately address corrosion-related problems in concrete infrastructure.

If you want your next project to be completely corrosion-free and durable, use GFRP reinforcement. TUF-BAR manufactures world-class GFRP construction products such as fiberglass rebar, fencing panels, dowels, rock bolts, form ties, and more. Visit our website or contact us for more information!

GFRP Materials For Strengthening Applications

GFRP Materials For Strengthening Applications

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites for the rehabilitation of deteriorated bridges and buildings is increasingly becoming a strong alternative to steel and other traditional materials. The drawbacks with traditional materials are their inability to resist corrosion and ensure ease of installation. GFRP materials have successfully overcome these drawbacks and offer the construction industry an economically viable, lightweight, corrosion-free, and high strength concrete reinforcement solution that can help build structures which can achieve a service life of more than 100 years.

When the civil engineering community started using composite materials in the 1980s, the lack of knowledge of durability behavior and long-term performance of composites in harsh environments was a critical issue. On top of that, economic and practical constraints were confining these innovative materials to an academic argument. However, the extensive research, improved manufacturing technology, and design codes now ensure the safe and advantageous implementation of GFRP composites in a broad range of applications from bridges and rail LRT to mining and tunneling.

GFRP composites are lighter and stronger than steel

Different physical and mechanical properties of GFRP reinforcement such as impeccable resistance against corrosion, high tensile strength, and shear stiffness make fiberglass rebar a stronger and lighter alternative to traditional steel. With tailored anisotropy and geometry able to satisfy complex requirements, different structures can be created from composites.

Rehabilitating and strengthening of reinforced concrete structures and components is critical as inadequate strength properties, ongoing deterioration, steel corrosion, and earthquakes make it difficult for a concrete structure to reach its expected service life without maintenance. This is why the use of advanced composites such as GFRP reinforcement has become widespread in strengthening applications.

The durability of GFRP in harsh environment

Composite materials like GFRP are commonly defined as a combination of two or more constituents that differ in chemical combination and form. The objective of combining two completely different elements, resin and glass fibers, is to create something stronger than individual constituents. When it comes to harsh environments, GFRP is considered an ideal choice because of its property to resist highly corrosive elements such as salts and chemicals.

Why concrete structures require strengthening

There are many reasons why reinforced concrete structures require maintenance and strengthening. For example, it’s important to repair a bridge component which has been deteriorated due to corrosion of reinforcement. Here are some of the factors that make strengthening inevitable:

  • Poor workmanship
  • Use of inefficient and low-quality materials
  • Changes in design parameters
  • Corrosion of reinforcement
  • Growing traffic loads
  • Damaged concrete cover

GFRP and other composite materials are ideal to strengthen existing concrete structures such as bridges and buildings. They are being used worldwide as sustainable construction solutions that adequately address growing structural challenges.

If you want to learn more about GFRP reinforcement or want to use durable, cost-effective, and maintenance-free construction products for your next project, contact TUF-BAR or visit our website for more information!

Importance Of Concrete In Modern Life: Challenges And Solutions

Importance Of Concrete In Modern Life: Challenges And Solutions

The cost of repairing, replacing and rehabilitating deteriorated highway bridges in North America and across the world is becoming a major concern. The dire need to upgrade the structural capacity of existing bridges and aging infrastructure with modern and advanced building materials has been growing in popularity over the years.

Corrosion of reinforcement in concrete structures is a serious diffused deterioration phenomena. Chloride attacking the carbonation of the concrete exterior is what leads to rebar corrosion and heavy maintenance requirements.

Importance of concrete in modern life

Concrete infrastructure is an inseparable part of modern civilization. It provides support for housing, highway infrastructure, medical centers, hospitals, buildings and roadways. So far as the growth and survival of human societies are concerned, concrete is an essential component. As a foundation and building block of long lasting and reliable infrastructure, concrete has remarkable performance across social, economic, and environmental aspects.

It would become difficult to provide economical, low maintenance, and efficient infrastructure to service large cities. On top of that, concrete is robust, affordable, and abundantly available. Concrete can be formed into any shape to develop creative and innovative structures. While infrastructure is imperative to develop modern societies, concrete is the best building material from which sustainable infrastructure is built. Undoubtedly, concrete is the ideal choice to build sustainable cities.

Common concrete problems

Concrete is a relatively convenient material to manage. However, the construction industry has been dealing with a number of structural issues associated with concrete and concrete reinforcement. The rapid deterioration of concrete infrastructures in Canada and across North America is making it difficult for the government to maintain or upgrade existing structures as it cost billions of dollars every year. Cracking, disintegration, spalling, discoloration, scaling, curling, and crazing are some of the common concrete problems.

Why do concrete structures such as bridges and buildings fail or become structurally deficient? Deterioration of public structures is a huge challenge for structure owners. The construction industry has been struggling to effectively address the corrosion of reinforcement which is the biggest reason why concrete deteriorates. When traditional reinforcement material such as steel corrodes, the process ultimately leads to concrete problems.

Solution: GFRP reinforcement

The construction industry has developed many techniques and materials to encounter steel corrosion. Unfortunately, none of the techniques were effective enough to address the problem. These short term solutions only slow down the corrosion process. This is where GFRP concrete reinforcement offers the civil engineering community an innovative and reliable way to effectively encounter steel corrosion.

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is inherently corrosion-resistant and lightweight material which offers many advantageous structural properties ranging from ease of construction and low maintenance to electromagnetic neutrality and 2x tensile strength.

About TUF-BAR

TUF-BAR manufacturers and sells GFRP construction products ideal for applications: rail LRT, bridge overpasses, medical and IT facilities, sea walls, buildings, mining and tunneling, bus stops and runways. Visit our website to learn more about GFRP rebar and other composite construction products or contact us for more information!

Use Of Composite Materials In Concrete Structures

Use Of Composite Materials In Concrete Structures

The construction industry is gradually becoming one of the leading consumers of composite technology. While the industry started using composite materials in the 1980s, the civil engineering community now shows a high level of confidence in composite technologies for structural applications.

In the past, scientific and logistical issues hindered the widespread adoption of GFRP and other composite solutions. However, extensive research, development of design codes and improved manufacturing technology have made it easy for GFRP manufacturers to produce sustainable concrete reinforcement that meets modern-day requirements.

Why composite technology is imperative to sustainability

Corrosion of steel reinforcement costs billions of dollars every year making it financially difficult for the construction industry to maintain structurally deficient concrete structures such as bridges, roads, waterside structures, water treatment facilities, etc. Corrosion of reinforcement is typically defined as the deterioration of the material when it reacts with its surroundings. GFRP rebar and other fiberglass products are inherently corrosion-resistant adequately solving structural issues associated with corrosion and premature structures.

Impact of corrosion

Corrosion is a natural process that takes place when processed metals start returning to their natural state. It leads to the disintegration of engineered materials into their constituents atoms. The presence of water and oxygen facilitate the electrochemical oxidation of metals, turning steel and other traditional materials into corrosion. Governments should take advantage of corrosion-free GFRP reinforcement to develop or rehabilitate concrete structures and remove the problem of metal corrosion permanently.

Waterside concrete structures are subject to harsh environmental conditions. The abundance of corrosive elements makes it difficult for steel and other traditional materials to reach their expected lifespan. When compared to traditional materials like iron or steel, GFRP rebar demonstrates promising results when exposed to tough natural conditions.

GFRP concrete reinforcement is the solution

Developed countries such as Canada and the United States have already been working on replacing outdated and expensive materials with innovative, maintenance-free, and long lasting composites. Concrete members reinforced with composites can withstand an environment where salts, high acidity, moisture, and other elements are in high concentration. Replacing traditional materials with advanced composites is the only way the construction industry can build structures that can achieve 100 years of lifespan without being heavily maintained.

GFRP construction products such as rebar, rock bolts, dowels, fencing panels, form ties, and lifting anchors are ideal for applications where corrosion and maintenance are prime concerns. Experts from academia and related research industries fully endorse the use of composite materials in both new and rehabilitation applications.

Advanced composites have been developed into environment-friendly construction solutions enabling nations to reduce the carbon footprint. The civil engineering community should put special emphasis on using composite materials to resolve expensive structural problems such as rapid bridge deterioration and premature failure.

From strengthening applications to new construction, GFRP reinforcement is the ideal alternative to steel and other conventional materials. If you are looking for premium quality GFRP fiberglass rebar for your next project, contact TUF-BAR, a leading manufacturer and seller of construction composite materials in North America and throughout the globe.

Widespread Use of GFRP Composites in Bridges

Widespread Use of GFRP Composites in Bridges

The composite construction materials industry has been changing rapidly in order to meet all the requirements for bridge production. The bridge construction industry is now realizing the need for long-lasting materials. A bridge design needs to meet the public demands whether it is built using modern composites or traditional steel.

When it comes to exploring strong and economically viable construction materials, glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) materials offer the solution. Composite materials have the potential to build maintenance-free and cost-effective bridge infrastructure. Low lifecycle costs, corrosion resistance, and high strength of GFRP-reinforced concrete members are some of the characteristics that make these materials unique and promising.

Various industries consider composite materials as designer materials, capable of being tailored to any need. Based on the requirements, the manufacturer can customize the constituents of GFRP reinforcement: fibers, resins, and the architecture of the composite, as well as the lay-up and fiber orientation.

Widespread application of GFRP

For the widespread application of GFRP composites in bridge infrastructure, it’s important to improve the viability of composites. For a successful widespread implementation of GFRP reinforcement and other materials, bridges reinforced with fiberglass must meet the following expectations:

  • Economy
  • Serviceability
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics
  • Constructability

Safety

Safety is one of the prime responsibilities in relation to bridge construction. Catastrophic incidents such as bridge collapses and highway accidents are unacceptable. Billions of dollars are allocated every year to improve the safety of concrete infrastructure in North America and across the globe. Moreover, safety has been the subject of academic research focusing on exploring new possibilities to eliminate the element of risk.

Durability

It is important to recognize the importance of deterioration of concrete members in the long-term performance of the bridge. Concrete structures reinforced with steel can’t meet the durability criteria because of the inherent property of steel to corrode. The durability tests are largely focused on studying the potential exposures of the highway bridge environment. GFRP-reinforced bridges after being in practice for a considerable period of time have shown adequate durability.

Economy

Considering the low construction and rehabilitation funds, it’s critical to adopt economically viable solutions. However, other requirements can’t be undermined while dealing with the economy. It is excessively difficult for the construction industry to build durable structures with limited budgets.

The initial cost of composites might be higher than that of traditional materials. However, the growing price of steel will pave the way for the rapid growth of composites. Considering the lifecycle costs and promising properties, GFRP reinforcement will gain unprecedented popularity in the future.

Factors that can offset the high initial cost of GFRP rebar include lower lifecycle costs, ease of installation, and high tensile strength. Unique characteristics of GFRP rebar will help the construction industry build long-lasting structures in extremely corrosive environments.

About TUF-BAR

When it comes to composite construction materials in Canada and across North America, nothing can match the strength and reliability of TUF-BAR GFRP rebar. Visit our website for more information!

The Economic Impact Of Sustainable Bridge Infrastructure

The Economic Impact Of Sustainable Bridge Infrastructure

Durable bridge infrastructure is imperative when it comes to economic development. It brings communities together and facilitates all kinds of business and trade activities. The economic impact the bridge infrastructure can have on an economy is certainly profound. Over the last few years, economists have identified how bridges positively influence various economic activities.

While nations can’t achieve sustainable growth without road and bridge infrastructure, it requires a massive amount of resources annually to maintain old and deteriorated bridges, especially ones reinforced with traditional materials like steel rebar. The American Society of Civil Engineers releases reports highlighting the performance capabilities and current condition of bridges across the United States.

Recent reports identified some longstanding issues related to structural deficiencies. The report released in 2017 grade all types of infrastructure as low D+ which means there is a dire need of repair or replacement of rapidly deteriorating concrete infrastructure. A nation’s bridges are probably more important than other municipal buildings as they are a critical part of local and national economies.

Local and federal governments in Canada and the United States should make it a priority to rehabilitate structurally deficient bridges using innovative and corrosion-free materials like GFRP reinforcement and other fiberglass products. Bridge users are probably not aware of the fact that structurally deficient bridges reaching the end of its service life can be closed at any time. Closing bridges stalls economic activities and makes it difficult to move goods from one city to another. Therefore, it is important not only to rehabilitate deteriorating bridges but also to implement sustainable construction technologies and products.

Using rust-free and high-strength materials like fiberglass rebar will help governments avoid premature structural failure and heavy maintenance costs. In 2016, over 9% of all of the bridges in the United States were found to be structurally deficient. An increasing number of public concrete structures are reaching their expected service life. It is estimated that more than $100 billion is required to get these structures back into shape.

Structural deficiency is also a major problem in Canada. Communities have lacked infrastructure investments for the last decade. There is a growing need to eliminate the infrastructure deficit which is negatively impacting the country’s economic growth. A long-term vision and planning are absolutely critical when it comes to repairing or building concrete infrastructure for the future.

Smart use of construction products, data, and technology can help nations optimize their existing infrastructure. For example, data reveals that steel reinforcement isn’t a good choice in corrosive environments. Bridges reinforced with steel deteriorates fast and leads to costly maintenance. GFRP materials are an excellent alternative to steel and other traditional materials. Replacing steel with GFRP will help us build sustainable bridge infrastructure for the future.

About TUF-BAR

TUF-BAR is one of the largest manufacturers of GFRP construction products in North America. If you want to know more about composite construction products and their application in bridge construction or other civil engineering projects, feel free to contact us.