Retrofitting Concrete Structures With Composite Materials

Retrofitting Concrete Structures With Composite Materials

The durability and performance of a concrete structure can be improved with the help of retrofitting. Failure of bonding, deteriorations, rust, and construction errors are some of the factors that make it necessary for structures to be retrofitted. The construction industry has been using traditional materials for hundreds of years to build and rehabilitate concrete structures. However, the introduction of composite materials (FRP) in civil engineering has completely reshaped the way the construction industry builds and upgrades concrete structures.

When it comes to retrofitting or rehabilitation, composite materials are superior to traditional materials both in terms of ductility and strength. Structural performance can be greatly improved with the help of GFRP and other composite materials available in the market. Bridge culverts, slabs, columns, and other structural components have been tested which reveals that retrofitting with composite materials offers numerous benefits and that composites are more effective and economically viable than traditional steel.

The use of fiber-reinforced materials for seismic retrofitting has gained considerable acceptance from the civil engineering community in the last decade. Restoration and preserving historical structures and structurally deficient concrete structures has become a worldwide concern. Billions of dollars are spent annually alone in North America to repair and strengthen existing concrete members. The construction sector can either repair and retrofit existing structures or rebuild them to avoid heavy maintenance cost.

GFRP reinforcement and retrofitting

Composite materials such as GFRP fiberglass rebar present durable retrofitting solutions. While traditional retrofitting methods don’t always provide reliable solutions. It is ideal to carry out retrofitting activities with composites as they provide technically superior and economical solutions for a wide range of rehabilitation applications.

It is now well-established that GFRP is a lightweight, corrosion-free and maintenance-free reinforcing material which results in less equipment-intensive retrofitting work and a less labor-intensive construction processes. These properties help the builder save both time and money. When it comes to the long-term durability of GFRP, it can survive aggressive environments with minimum maintenance while offering extended service life.

Unique properties of GFRP reinforcement ideal for retrofitting

The use of GFRP has turned out to be an attractive alternative over steel to retrofit or strengthen bridges and buildings. Here are some of the advantages and properties of GFRP:

  • High specific stiffness
  • High specific strength
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Ease of handling and installation
  • Resistance to high temperature
  • Resistance to extreme mechanical and environmental conditions


TUF-BAR develops composite materials as internal reinforcement for several civil engineering applications. As a well-established composite company in North America, we strive to produce the best quality GFRP construction products which includes fiberglass rebar, rock bolts, form ties, and anchors. Contact us for more information!