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.
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.