Glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar is made of continuous glass fibers embedded in a polymeric resin matrix and additives. Composite materials are developed for use in many structural applications with the major advantages of being a lightweight and corrosion-free alternative to steel reinforcement. Besides, GFRP rebar offers high tensile strength, stiffness-to-weight ratio, solid resistance to corrosive chemicals, electromagnetic neutrality, excellent fatigue properties, and control over thermal expansion.
GFRP construction materials were developed to address various concrete deterioration issues that traditional steel could not address. Because of the non-corrosive nature of fiberglass bars, they have been regarded by the civil engineering community as a promising alternative to steel reinforcement in concrete infrastructure. Traditional steel is not ideal for environments where chemical attacks and deterioration are major concerns.
Chloride-induced reinforcement corrosion has been the major cause of deterioration in concrete. When steel reinforcement corrodes, the rust starts occupying a greater volume than the reinforcement which ultimately leads to cracking, spalling, and delamination. Tensile stresses induce enough pressure to disrupt the cement paste. We understand how much we invest in repairing or maintaining structurally deficient structures.
Transportation agencies, for instance, have to deal with the challenge to keep bridge infrastructure in good shape despite limited funds. Bridge structures in Canada and the United States are deteriorating at an alarming rate, and rehabilitation costs are rising continuously. The retrofitting of existing concrete members to resolve deterioration related problems has traditionally been done using traditional techniques and materials. It is recommended that construction agencies should start exploring and using GFRP reinforcement in rehabilitation and new applications.
If we are truly determined to build sustainable concrete infrastructure, we need to address issues related to deterioration and corrosion in order to make concrete perform better. It might be not possible at the moment to completely eliminate concrete deterioration, but it is possible to significantly extend the service life of concrete structures with proven GFRP rebar which is available in North America and other parts of the world. The wider use of fiberglass rebar can really help construction agencies and governments dramatically minimize the maintenance costs and put less burden on taxpayers.
Researchers have been continuously working on finding the true potential of composites by testing the FRP-reinforced structures. The objective of ongoing research work is to provide the world with sustainable construction materials which can withstand harsh environments in a cost-effective manner.
The mechanical properties of GFRP fiberglass rebar differ from those of traditional reinforcement materials. To achieve better results, structural engineers should consult recommendations made in published construction and design guides prior to implementing fiberglass rebar in their project.
TUF-BAR is one of the leading producers and sellers of GFRP fiberglass rebar and accessories in North America. Our innovative construction materials are stronger and lighter alternative to steel bars. Our GFRP products are specified for use in concrete slabs, dams, marine structures, barrier walls, to name a few. Feel free to discuss your project with us!