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!

How GFRP Can Help Strengthen Canada’s Infrastructure

How GFRP Can Help Strengthen Canada’s Infrastructure

Over the last few years, investment in infrastructure in Canada has considerably increased. Municipalities, provinces, and territories own the majority of public infrastructure which includes bridges, roads, wastewater systems, sports areas, transit systems, and recreation infrastructure. According to Infrastructure Canada 2016, municipal governments own 59.8% while provinces and territories own 38% of public infrastructure.

The federal government has also increased its spending on core public infrastructure over the last decade. These investments are valuable when it comes to minimizing the infrastructure gap and addressing emerging challenges.

Despite the rise in investment in the public infrastructure sector, Canada still needs a long-term strategy to improve the quality, accessibility, and, most importantly, the sustainability of services Canadians use every day. Lack of innovation and willingness to implement new technologies make it difficult for governments to maintain and build long-lasting, maintenance-free structures. The significance of effective, well-designed, and durable infrastructure cannot be undermined.

One of the challenges for all orders of governments is to assess the extent of the infrastructure gap, and how much needs to be invested. The lack of innovation in infrastructure development and the precise data on state and performance of existing structures is hindering economic development. A major portion of funds is invested in the rehabilitation of deteriorated and inefficient structures. The heavy maintenance costs can be dramatically decreased if the construction industry starts implementing materials like GFRP reinforcement and other advanced composite materials.

Importance of concrete infrastructure

Infrastructure refers to the basic systems and facilities required for a nation to function and grow. The quality of infrastructure and how effectively it serves its users greatly impact the economic growth of communities. A country cannot achieve ultimate economic growth if the capacity of its public infrastructure is unable to deal with emerging economic and social challenges.

Railways and roads play a decisive role in accelerating activities and facilitating the flow of people and goods. From telecommunications to transportation, concrete infrastructure helps Canadians adequately accomplish their daily activities. Secure sewage treatment and water supply allow Canadians to enjoy a clean environment and drinking water.

How to strengthen and extend the lifespan of concrete infrastructure

Advanced composites such as GFRP rebar provide governments with a strong and promising alternative to traditional materials. To achieve sustainable concrete infrastructure, it’s inevitable to encourage the widespread use of advanced composites in civil engineering. GFRP reinforcement products can be used both in new and rehabilitation applications. Low maintenance, high tensile strength, lightweight, corrosion resistance, and ease of installation are some of the major characteristics of GFRP construction products.

About TUF-BAR

TUF-BAR manufactures and sells GFRP products in Canada and across North America. We produce the highest-quality concrete reinforcement products which effectively address the shortcomings of traditional steel. Visit our website for more information!

Canada’s Infrastructure: Opportunities And Challenges

Canada’s Infrastructure: Opportunities And Challenges

The Canadian government encourages and supports the maintenance and development of infrastructure to ensure the citizens have what they need to grow and flourish as a community. Structures like bridges, wastewater facilities and roads are absolutely essential to economic growth and human health. Communication and transportation networks can have a dramatic impact on the economic growth in the region.

However, the infrastructure gap and its impacts are strongly felt by Canadian communities as they put efforts to face economic, environmental, and societal challenges. These challenges are felt more by some segments of society than others. Extreme weather, climate change, and rapid deterioration of concrete threaten existing infrastructure across the country. These factors have an alarming impact on the lifespan, maintenance, cost, and rehabilitation of infrastructure.

In 2013, floods in Alberta destroyed approximately 1000 kilometer of roads and damaged hundreds of bridges. Coastal regions are more vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters, corrosive environment, and rising temperatures.

Economic growth depends on efficient infrastructure

The most critical challenges Canada and the United States face today is the steady deterioration of public infrastructure: sewers, bridges, roads, waterside structures, etc. Governments have to deal with the heavy annual maintenance costs annually just to maintain the existing structures. Bridge delays and thousands of Canadians stuck in their vehicles due to traffic congestion are the areas where innovation and investment can improve productivity and quality of life.

Need for sustainability and foresightedness

Canada needs a long-term and strategic infrastructure investment strategy to develop sustainable and economically viable infrastructure. Since efficient and long-lasting infrastructure is core to economic competitiveness, it’s impossible to achieve sustainable growth without investment and implementing innovative construction strategies.

Unfortunately, public investment in infrastructure couldn’t keep up with our economic and infrastructural needs. For instance, the transportation infrastructure in major Canadian cities can hardly meet pubic demands. The service life of highway structure is only four to five decades which is alarmingly low. A large percentage of public structures either require heavy maintenance or they need to be completely replaced. While the government has to spend billions of dollars in order to upgrade and maintain existing structures, lack of innovation and sustainable construction materials is contributing to this decay.

Opportunities

There is a dire need to develop and implement advanced construction materials to build concrete infrastructure that can last for at least a century with low maintenance. Advanced composite materials like glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) can help the government replace outdated traditional materials and resolve these longstanding structural issues. For example, GFRP fiberglass rebar is a promising alternative to traditional steel. The government should encourage the construction industry to adopt these advanced products and focus on long-term strategies.

About us

TUF-BAR works hard to develop and manufacture sustainable construction products while focusing on safety, durability, and the environment. Browse through our site to learn how our products can solve a number of complex and longstanding structural problems like deterioration, lack of strength, heavy maintenance costs and short life span!

Extending The Durability Of Reinforced Concrete In Harsh Environment

Extending The Durability Of Reinforced Concrete In Harsh Environment

Considering the current aging concrete infrastructure in North America, the concrete industry is dealing with two challenging tasks. First, how to design and build new reinforced concrete (RC) structures that will maintain their integrity and usefulness during their expected service life with minimum repair and maintenance. Second, how to restore or extend the useful life of existing structurally deficient structures. Deteriorated structures require heavy maintenance to continue to remain operational and safe.

The remaining useful life of a structure is calculated based on its current rate of distress or deterioration while assuming continued exposure. Chloride attack is one of the most prominent elements when it comes to investigating the durability of RC structures in marine and highways or other harsh environments. Chloride attacks cause and accelerate corrosion of steel reinforcing bars causing spalling and cracking or even complete structural failure.

It’s common in the construction industry to delay maintenance activities until the situation becomes worse. There are thousands of structurally deficient and unsafe bridges in the US and Canada waiting for rehabilitation. However, well-informed bridge owners understand the importance of sustainable and timely rehabilitation.

No matter how well-designed or constructed a concrete structure is, it requires regular maintenance. However, the latest concrete reinforcement technologies such as GFRP reinforcement decreases the need for perpetual maintenance and repair. Advanced composites like glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) are corrosion-resistant and they can provide concrete with protection against corrosion.

In North America, corrosion of embedded metal in concrete is the primary cause of deterioration in RC structures such as bridges and public structures. Most of the existing concrete structures in North America were reinforced with traditional materials like steel. These structures have to go through year-round exposure to de-icing salts, the corrosive impact of acid rain, and freeze-thaw cycles. Poor construction practices is also a major reason why the importance of rehabilitation has increased.

While marine structures are subject to constant exposure to chlorides, highway structures have to go through de-icing salts during the winter. It becomes critical to identify and treat low concrete cover in order to maintain the strength of a highway structure. The lack of protection or maintenance will lead to premature depassivation of the steel reinforcement. Inadequate concrete cover accelerates the impact of chlorides ingress.

Extending durability of RC structures with GFRP reinforcement

GFRP construction products are completely reshaping the way the civil engineering community designs and rehabilitates concrete structures. As a lightweight, corrosion-free, and high strength construction solution, GFRP enables the construction industry to build durable highway structures, rail LRT, medical and IT facilities, buildings and more.

TUF-BAR is one of the most trusted GFRP manufacturers and sellers in North America. Our objective is to help the construction industry permanently eliminate structural issues like steel corrosion, heavy maintenance, and labor-intensive construction processes. Browse through our site to learn more about our GFRP products and their specifications!

Chloride-Induced Steel Corrosion And Solutions

Chloride-Induced Steel Corrosion And Solutions

Sustainability is one of the prime focuses of attention in the concrete industry in North America. From creating concrete structures with a low environmental impact and adaptation of the building process to longer life of concrete structures, it’s important for the construction industry to build sustainable RC structures.

Regardless of the region or climate, reinforced concrete structures built with traditional materials deteriorates due to chloride attacks and other phenomena. The primary action of chlorides is to corrode steel reinforcement.

Corrosion is one of the major problems that affects the durability of reinforced concrete structures. Both chloride-induced and carbonation-induced corrosion are common phenomena in civil infrastructure across the globe. Billions of dollars are spent just to maintain steel-reinforced structures and to slow down the corrosion process. The spalling and cracking in concrete due to corrosion and the reduction in the cross-sectional area of reinforcing bars lead to structural deficiencies.

Chloride-induced corrosion of steel

Corrosion of steel reinforcement has been one the most pressing durability issues in RC design. Depassivation of the protective thin oxide film of the reinforcing bars and chloride ingression initiate corrosion. Corrosion of reinforcement not only degrades the appearance of a structure but also reduces its safety and strength. In waterside structures where concrete has to encounter a high concentration of chloride, it becomes critical to implement long-lasting materials. When it comes to environmental deterioration of RC structures, chloride-induced corrosion is a major concern.

RC is a widely used building material. It is cost-effective, versatile, and easily available. If designed and executed properly, concrete allows a variety of applications and forms. However, the penetration of chloride ions, carbon dioxide, or sulphate into RC leads to rapid degradation. As mentioned earlier, the corrosion of the embedded steel is the main reason why RC structures deteriorate.

The service life of RC structures can be divided into two parts: propagation and initiation. Initiation is described as the time until depassivation of steel is detected. It’s important to have knowledge of chloride ingress rate and the critical condition for depassivation design initiation phase. The propagation period requires knowledge of the corrosion rate in order to predict structural integrity.

GFRP fiberglass rebar: a reliable solution to chloride-induced corrosion

Advanced composite materials like glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) reinforcing bars are corrosion-free materials that provide a durable solution to chloride-induced and other forms of corrosion that rapidly degrade the strength of a concrete structure. As an inherently corrosion-resistant material, GFRP rebar makes it possible to build RC structures that can achieve a long service life while requiring very minimal maintenance.

In Canada and the United States, the construction industry is now realizing the need for GFRP and other composite materials that provide sustainable and cost-effective construction solutions. TUF-BAR is a leading fiberglass rebar manufacturer in Canada and across North America. We manufacture and sell a range of GFRP construction products including rock bolts, dowels, and fencing panels. Contact us to learn more about our products.

Reinforced Concrete (RC) Structures: How To Encounter Steel Corrosion

Reinforced Concrete (RC) Structures: How To Encounter Steel Corrosion

Reinforced concrete structures go through a number of changes and actions throughout their lifespan. These changes or actions can be the reason why concrete structures deteriorate. Higher traffic volumes, increased population growth, heavier vehicles, structural modifications, lack of maintenance and corrosion resistance strategies, and construction practices are some of the factors that lead to deterioration and premature failure of RC structures.

In order to increase structural capacity due to increased loads or to reinstate structural capacity as a result of deterioration, existing structures are rehabilitated. As the demand for safe, durable, maintenance-free, and strengthen concrete structures is on the rise, many innovative materials like glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) have been introduced. GFRP or other composite materials are an excellent alternative to traditional strengthening materials like steel, especially when it comes to rehabilitation or constructing concrete structures in harsh environments.

Reinforced concrete has been a major structural material for more than a century. It is still a very popular and widely used material for public structures all across the globe. When civil engineers started using reinforced concrete, it was believed that RC structures were durable enough to last or maintain their integrity and strength for decades. However, corrosion of steel reinforcement seriously damaged the durability and strength of concrete.

Corrosion of steel reinforcement

Researchers have developed a number of technologies to address the problem of steel corrosion; for example, stainless or galvanized steel. Cathodic protection is another technique where the structure is connected to a rust-inhibiting electric current.

Treating concrete with a rust-inhibiting compound is another technology that is supposed to eliminate corrosion. Unfortunately, none of these techniques can permanently resolve steel corrosion inside the concrete. This is the reason why thousands of concrete structures, especially bridges, in North America have become structurally deficient.

Development of non-corrosive construction materials

Taking into account the widespread corrosion of steel reinforcement and structural deficiency, serious efforts were made in the second half of the 20th Century to develop non corrosive and non-metallic reinforcement for civil engineering applications. Highly durable, lightweight, and corrosion-free GFRP fiberglass rebar was developed as an effort to get rid of the disadvantages associated with steel and other traditional materials.

The civil engineering community now acknowledges the many advantages of applying GFRP bars and other fiberglass products. Corrosion-resistance, lightweight, and electromagnetic neutrality are some of the notable features of fiberglass rebar.

In order for the construction industry to permanently resolve RC deterioration due to corrosion, they should replace traditional materials with GFRP. It’s time to build sustainable RC structures that can easily achieve a lifespan of 100 years without requiring heavy maintenance.

About TUF-BAR

TUF-BAR is a leading name in North America when it comes to GFRP fiberglass and advanced composites. We manufacture and sell the highest-quality GFRP rebar and other composite products to help nations build safe and sustainable concrete infrastructure. Visit our website for more information.