Sustainability and taking care of ecology play a vital role in modern civil engineering. Remarkable progress in the field of engineering and material science allow the construction industry to take a new direction and replace the conventional building materials with glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) to meet the growing challenges.
More than 25% of composites produced globally are applied in the construction industry. GFRP construction materials are developed mainly for bridge infrastructure. So far as history is concerned, composite materials (FRPs) were first applied in strengthening and rehabilitation applications. The use of composite materials in civil engineering have been largely developed for bridge structures.
After the use of composites as effective rehabilitation materials, GFRP began to be used as a maintenance-free, environment-friendly, and cost-effective construction material for new projects. The construction industry has started realizing that GFRP is an economically viable substitution to steel. GFRP-reinforced bridges can withstand the aggressive marine environment without being heavily maintained. One of the examples of rehabilitation is the replacement of damaged or degraded decks in aging steel-reinforced concrete bridges.
Replacing degraded bridge decks with GFRP-reinforced decks can help engineers obtain less weight of a structure. The first composite pedestrian bridge was built in Tel Aviv in 1975.
GFRP reinforcement is being increasingly used in structural applications due to its unique properties such as high strength and stiffness, and low volume to weight ratio. Building sustainable highway infrastructure is of utmost importance and mechanical properties are not the only parameters of construction materials that play an important role in construction.
Environment-friendly construction solutions
It is important to study the viability of a material in terms of its potential impact on the environment. In order to thoroughly study the impact of composites on the environment, it is necessary to evaluate the entire life cycle of a structure. From production and application to the end of service life, there are various phases and activities that can create environmental concerns. Material transportation, traffic disruption, the manufacturing process, and construction activities are some of the factors that can determine the feasibility of structural materials.
GFRP composites, such as fiberglass rebar, are ideal materials when evaluated from an environmental perspective. Minimum traffic disruptions, ease of transportation and installation, and corrosion-resistance make GFRP a sound alternative to steel.
The civil engineering community must increasingly use GFRP as an advanced construction material for bridges in order to minimize maintenance costs and make bridges more ecological.
TUF-BAR has been manufacturing and selling the highest quality GFRP construction solutions which not only provide high strength and corrosion-resistance but also ensure environment-friendly construction processes. As a member of the Canada Green Building Council, we strive to help the construction industry in North America build sustainable concrete infrastructure. Browse through our site to learn more about our GFRP products and specifications!