Retrofitting Of Concrete Structures With Composite Materials

Retrofitting Of Concrete Structures With Composite Materials

Reinforced cement concrete is used extensively for building various types of civil engineering structures. Throughout the 20th century, many concrete structures such as bridges, industrial structures, buildings, water facilities, and transportation structures were built using a huge investment into resources. It is critical to maintain and keep existing concrete infrastructure in good working condition. This is where structural rehabilitation comes into play. In order to deal with the deterioration of concrete, it is important to use the right rehabilitation materials and methods.

Rehabilitation of existing structures

With the growing demand and rapid development of modern industrial and public structures, the demand for sustainable retrofitting and strengthening solutions is increasing. Some of the situations where strengthening is required include:

Upgrading of structures, especially bridges, that yield forces beyond the existing capacity. For example, a dramatic increase in traffic volume leads to increased load levels. Also, there is a growing need for designing critical concrete structures that can resist earthquakes.

The effect of aggressive environments in the form of corrosion is probably one of the biggest reasons why concrete structures require rehabilitation in order to maintain their original strength and achieve their expected service life.

The construction industry often updates structures in terms of design to meet emerging needs. Changes in the structural system scheme such as new openings in walls or slabs or new position of columns are possible with various strengthening techniques instead of rebuilding a structure to facilitate intended changes.

Ideal rehabilitation material for concrete structures

Corrosion of steel reinforcement is one of the reasons why concrete structures need maintenance and rehabilitation. It is not an effective way to rehabilitate existing structures with traditional materials. Composite materials such as GFRP fiberglass rebar is one of the best materials to improve the strength and performance of structurally deficient structures. Stripes or plates made of composite materials bonded to the tensile face of the structure is one of the rehabilitation techniques. Here are some reasons why composite materials are ideal for retrofitting, strengthening, and repair:

Lightweight: Composite materials are easy to transport and install with less workmanship and equipment as compared to heavy steel. Ease of handling can save money and time. Corrosion resistance: Composite materials are inherently corrosion-resistance and durable. These properties are in high demand when it comes to building or retrofitting concrete structures.

Retrofitting during operation: It is possible to carry out a strengthening process while the structure is in use. For example, a bridge can be rehabilitated with composite materials while it is still operational. On the other hand, retrofitting with traditional materials is usually done when the structure is out of service.


TUF-BAR provides high quality GFRP fiberglass rebar which can be used for both new and rehabilitation applications. Visit our website to read more about the specifications of our composite construction products!