There is no doubt about the fact that concrete itself a durable construction material which is used in many civil engineering applications. Nevertheless, concrete structures built in the last century are crumbling. Public infrastructure such as bridges, roads and buildings have been going through deterioration at an alarming pace. Many of the concrete structures developed in the first half of the 21st Century will go obsolete by the start of the next century.
Considering the extraordinary durability of some of the ancient structures like the Pyramid of Egypt and the Great Wall of China, it’s important to find out the reason behind the short service life of reinforced concrete. How come a structure built thousands of years ago is still standing firm and a bridge built with modern technology and materials is unable to survive even 50 years? There is something wrong with the modern concrete technology and it’s important to identify it in order to fix the problem.
Corrosion of concrete reinforcement
When it comes to identifying the potential factors which ruin the durability of concrete structures, the corrosion of steel reinforcement must be considered first. Steel is mainly made of iron and it’s inevitable to prevent the iron from rusting. When embedded steel reinforcement bars rust, this ultimately leads to concrete destruction which can be seen in the form of spalling and cracks.
The corrosion of steel reinforcement is hurting modern concrete infrastructure more than anything. Therefore, we need to permanently resolve the corrosion of reinforcement in order to build a sustainable future. Here are some of the notable reasons why concrete fails:
- Corrosion of steel reinforcement
- Improper design
- Traffic growth
- Extreme weather conditions
- Regular wear and tear
- Poor construction and maintenance practices
Various techniques have been developed to prevent steel from corroding. Stainless steel is an example of how steel can be empowered with some degree of corrosion-resistance. Unfortunately, these short-term solutions didn’t work out very well. The problem with steel is that we can slow down the corrosion process, but it’s not possible to make it completely corrosion-free. Therefore, it’s time to replace traditional concrete reinforcement materials with lighter, stronger, and corrosion-free materials. When it comes to properties like lightweight, corrosion-resistance, high strength, and electromagnetic neutrality, the best viable solution is composite materials, specifically GFRP reinforcement.
The growing and widespread use of GFRP is the only solution to permanently resolve long-standing problems such as steel corrosion and heavy maintenance costs.
TUF-BAR has been striving to help the construction industry resolve problems such as lack of strength, corrosion, costly transportation, extended installation process, and short-term rehabilitation. Read the specifications of our GFRP rebar to understand how our composite products resolve these problems. Contact us for more information!