The Best Concrete Reinforcement Solution for Marine Structures

Marine structures, such as seawalls, submarine tunnels, piers, and groins, are engineering facilities which are constructed as a source of development and marine resource exploitation. Rock, sand, concrete, and steel are some of the conventional materials used in marine applications. Marine concrete structures have to withstand the extreme environmental pressure. They are subject to corrosive agents which can corrode the reinforcing steel causing spalling, rusting, and shortening the service life of the structure.


Corrosion and marine environment

Corrosion can simply be described as the deterioration of a metal by an electrochemical reaction. The pH of the concrete can fall when it became carbonated, causing the loss of passivity. The passivation layer is broken when chlorides reach the steel. Some of the common causes of corrosion are:

  • Chloride-containing admixtures
  • Sea water
  • Airborne chlorides
  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • Sea dredged aggregates

Corrosion process forms rust, causing a seven times increase in the volume of reinforcement bars. The dramatic change in volume causes spalling of the concrete surface making it even more vulnerable to aggressive environment. The abundance of moisture and chlorides make the environment extremely harsh for marine construction projects. Some of the structure that are build in or close proximity to oceans are:

  • Retaining walls, seawalls
  • Floating structures
  • Decks, quays, and piles
  • Boat ramps, jetties, and bulkheads
  • Roads, buildings, and aquariums

How to control corrosion

So far as marine structures are concerned, reinforcement concrete needs to be a highly durable and corrosion-free structural material demanding little or no maintenance. Without correct mixing, design, placement, and curing, the durability of concrete can be impaired. Good practices and quality material can play a role in minimizing the direct maintenance cost and increasing the life cycle of a sensitive concrete structure.

GFRP reinforcement

Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement has compelling mechanical and physical properties that make GFRP particularly attractive for marine structures operating in aggressive environments such as coastal regions, public infrastructure, and buildings that host sensitive equipment. The property of being corrosion-free makes fiberglass rebar a perfect alternative to conventional steel bars which cannot resist rust. Pultrusion is the manufacturing process used to produce fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) bars.

fiberglass rebar alberta

Marine structures reinforced with fiberglass rebar are invulnerable to strong chlorides and moisture. When bonded in concrete, GFRP or fiberglass bars do not react to chemical products, salt, and alkali. Fiberglass rebar is not manufactured with steel or any other metal the pultrusion process helps produce fiberglass rebar that is twice the tensile strength of steel bars. Furthermore, GFRP bars do not interfere with the sensitive electronic equipment.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use Fiberglass Rebar In Your Project

The popularity of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is on the rise particularly in applications where corrosion-resistant is a major concern. We know that corrosion is a costly problem. Trillions of dollars are spent annually on resolving issues related to metallic corrosion. So far as facts are concerned, the annual direct cost of metallic corrosion is over 2.2 trillion US dollars. The United States alone spend 423 billion dollars as an annual cost of corrosion.

Steel corrosion is a natural and global phenomenon. You can understand now how much money we can save if we employ corrosion protection methods properly. Let’s talk about corrosion in detail before we can move on to how glass fiber reinforced polymer can save your projects from corrosive agents.

Definition and effects of corrosion

Steel and iron have that natural tendency to mix up with chemical elements so that they could return to their lowest energy states, similar to the tendency of water that flows to the lowest point. When iron and steel combine with water and oxygen, hydrated iron oxides, also called rust, is formed. Corrosion can simply be defined as a chemical reaction between a material and its environment. This chemical or electrochemical reaction causes deterioration of materials.

We are well aware of how corrosion has been effecting service lives of our possessions. Incidents such as collapsed bridges and damaged sections of highways are some of the common sights that directly linked to corrosion. Following are the reasons why you should use fiberglass rebar in order to dramatically increase the service life of your project.

fiberglass rebar

  1. Fiberglass Rebar is corrosion-resistant

    As it is mentioned in the start that glass fiber reinforced polymer has gained considerable space over steel in applications where corrosion is a big threat. Fiberglass rebar offers a comprehensive corrosion solution. A concrete structure reinforced with fiberglass rebar does not react to the chloride-rich environment.

  2. A perfect alternative to traditional concrete reinforcement

    Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar has turned out to be a perfect alternative to traditional reinforcement materials such as black rebar and epoxy coated rebar. Traditional reinforcement techniques have failed to develop a corrosion-free mechanism that can keep concrete structures in good shape.

  3. Long service life

    Glass fiber reinforced polymer, chemically inert reinforcement, is an economical way of achieving a long service life of your project. Old reinforcement materials might seem inexpensive, however, they can cost you a lot of money in the long-term. By applying fiberglass rebar, you can not only save money in long-term but also make your project completely rust free.

  4. A wide range of applications

    Fiberglass rebar can be used in a wide range of applications including marine structures, IT, and medical facilities. It is non-conductive and non-magnetic construction material ideal for medical and scientific facilities.

  5. Save time and money

    Maintenance cost multiplies the amount spent on inexpensive concrete reinforcement bars. Sustainability is one of the biggest concerns for the projects built with steel rebar. Fiberglass rebar provides sustainability by making concrete structures invulnerable to corrosive agents. Make sure you are using the right material for your construction projects that can save you money and time in the long-term.

One Incredible Alternative to Conventional Concrete Reinforcement Techniques

Reinforced concrete is a composite material in which reinforcement is included in order to address concrete’s low ductility and tensile strength. Rust remains one of the major problems associated with traditional reinforcement methods. There is no denying the fact that rust is cancer for concrete. The inability of steel reinforced bars to fight harsh environment demands costly repair and maintenance in the long-term.

Last four decades have witnessed a great deal of research to develop corrosion-free construction solutions capable of extending the service life of civil engineering structures, enhancing the performance of infrastructures under severe environmental and loading conditions. Extensive research has been carried out to develop modern construction materials with improved durability and environmental resistance.

Reinforced concrete experts have come up with Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) reinforcement as a durable and corrosion-free construction solution that has the power to extend the lifespan of a concrete structure up to 100 years. Glass, carbon, and aramid are frequently used fibers for FRP reinforcement. One of the most highlighted benefits of FRP is that it is not susceptible to chloride-initiated corrosion in concrete. This property of FRP reinforcement makes it an ideal choice for engineers to build concrete structures that can survive the severe environment for a long period of time.

Incredible Alternative

When it comes to the value of a composite material, durability is the defining feature. As a part of the evaluation process to determine the durability of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcement, a number of tests have been conducted to determine its strength against different stress levels and environmental conditions. This relatively new construction material has been accepted by a large section of the building industry in North America as well as in other parts of the world.

Distinctive features of GFRP reinforcement

How is GFRP reinforcement an incredible alternative to conventional and outdated reinforcement material? When GFRP composites are compared with traditional reinforcement materials, GFRP reinforcement outclasses traditional reinforcement in high strength-to-weight ratio, thermal and electric insulation, corrosion resistance, low maintenance cost, flexibility, and installation cost.

When we construct a project with materials that cannot withstand the harsh environment, plenty of resources are consumed to repair and maintain the integrity of a structure. What if we use quality building material at first place and avoid the direct outlay of maintenance funds. The prime objective of developing fiberglass reinforcement products was to construct concrete structures which can achieve long service life without receiving maintenance or repair.

As an initiative to make the production of fiberglass reinforcement more environment-friendly, TUF-BAR started manufacturing superior quality fiberglass rebar in 2000. Their fiberglass reinforcement rebar has been serving as a durable and lightweight alternative to traditional steel products.