Construction material can be divided into three kinds depending on the way atoms and molecules are bonded together. One of them is the organic polymeric material which is made of nonmetallic elements bonded to macromolecular compounds. The quality of composite materials is gauged both from structural and functional perspective. There is a wide range of composite materials with varying properties. Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) is the most prominent form of FRP composites. Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) is the fastest growing construction material that offers highly specific strength and modulus coupled with superior environmental stability. Following are some of the construction parameters of FRP composites:
Civil engineers have to deal with a number of complexities when it comes to the installation of traditional construction materials and implementation of traditional construction techniques. One of the distinctive features of FRP composites is that they enable structural engineers to complete a project quickly without causing major inconvenience to road users. FRP composites are lightweight and can be manufactured offsite in facilities and be assembled on-site with the help of light equipment. This leads to costs reduction in terms of transportation and work. Moreover, lightweight composites make it convenient for civil engineers to work in inaccessible and environmentally restricted areas.
We can analyze the cost of constructing a structure with FRP composites from short-term and long-term perspective. In short-term cost, elements such as design, construction, and installation are discussed. While the long-term cost generally includes maintenance and modifications. If we compare FRP composites with traditional materials, the initial cost of FRP composites is relatively high. However, the price of FRP composites has fallen considerably over the past couple of decades. The price gap between traditional and composite materials has decreased mainly due to the development of modern manufacturing techniques and design codes.
FRP composites are highly cost effective when it comes to the long-term cost of a project. We understand how much it cost to maintain a concrete structure reinforced with substandard material. FRP composites have superior resistance towards corrosion and degradation which ultimately reduces the long-term maintenance cost.
Flexible design and ability to meet emerging needs and requirements are the key features of FRP composites; possibility to produce large and complex shapes demonstrates the flexibility in manufacturing custom products. As compared to conventional materials, FRP composites offer better aesthetics and geometric efficiency. If subjected to severe corrosive environment and stress, FRP composites maintain the dimensional stability more effectively than conventional materials.
With the growing problem of worldwide concrete degradation and high maintenance cost, FRP composites have emerged as the leading construction solution that can help build and maintain sustainable concrete structures. Taking into account the construction parameters and the properties of composite materials, it is highly recommended to utilize these innovative and durable materials in order to build long-lasting and cost-effective projects.