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Degradation of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Due to Environmental Effects


Table of Contents

Introduction Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Glass Fiber Reinforcement GFRP Composite vs. Steel Reinforced Concrete Deleterious effects of several environments on fibers and matrices Environmental Deformations of GREP bars - Degradation of tensile strength - Direct shear capacity - Predicted deflections due to creep - Bond behavior and development length - Effects of thermal expansion on cracking of FRP reinforced concrete


The use of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) composites is becoming increasingly common in construction, both in new construction and in the repair of deteriorated structures. Benefits of GFRPs are well-recognized: high strength-weight ratio, corrosion and fatigue resistance; ease of handling, and ease of fabrication. The mechanical properties of a hybrid material system may deteriorate much faster than that suggested by the property degradation rates of the individual components making up the hybrid system.

There is a need to make analysis on the mechanical properties of GFRP when exposed to environmental conditions

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite

A composite is a mixture of two or more phases (materials). FRP is a two phase composite constituting of matrix and reinforcement.

Matrix : It is the continuous phase and surrounds the reinforcements. It is made from polymer. Bind the reinforcements (fibers/particulates) together Transfer load to the reinforcements Protect the reinforcements from surface damage due to abrasion or chemical attacks. Reinforcement : The term reinforcement implies some property enhancement. It is the dispersed phase, which normally bears the majority of stress. Different types of Fibres or Filaments are continuous or discontinuous fibres .

Types of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite

Glass fiber-reinforced polymer composites (GFRPs)

Most common fiber used High strength Good water resistance Good electric insulating properties Low stiffness.

Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites (CFRPs)

Good modulus at high temperatures Excellent Siffness More Expensive than glass Brittle Low electric insulating properties

Aramid fiber-reinforced polymer composites (AFRPs)

Superior resistance to damage (energy absorber) Good in tension applications (cables, tendons) Moderate Stiffness More Expensive than glass

Properties Of Continuous and Aligned GFRP, CFRP, AFRP

1 psi = 6.895kPa

Glass Fiber Reinforcements

Glass fiber reinforcements are classified according to their properties. A-glass is a high-alkali glass containing 25% soda and lime, which

offers very good resistance to chemicals, but lower electrical properties. C-glass is chemical glass, a special mixture with extremely high chemical resistance. E-glass is electrical grade with low alkali content. It manifests better electrical insulation and strongly resists attack by water. More than 50% of the glass fibers used for reinforcement is E-glass. S-glass is a high-strength glass with a 33% higher tensile strength than E-glass. D-glass has a low dielectric constant with superior electrical properties. However, its mechanical properties are not so good as E-or S-glass. It is available in limited quantities.

GFRP vs. Steel Reinforced Concrete

Tensile Strength
GFRP bars have higher strength, than the specified yield strength fy of steel reinforcing bars.

Modulus of Elasticity
Glass Fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) bars have lower modulus of elasticity than steel bars . Hence limited tensile strength is used to control width of cracks in tension zone at service .

Creep and Shrinkage

Creep and shrinkage behavior in GFRP-reinforced members is similar to that in steel-reinforced members.

GFRP vs. Steel Reinforced Concrete

Water: Polymeric fibers and matrices absorb moisture. Moisture absorption softens the polymers Weak acids: Bridges in industrialized areas may be exposed to weak acids from acid rain and carbonization, with pH values between 4 and 7. Weak acids can attack glass fiber sand polyester matrices. Strong acids: Accidental spillage may cause strong acids to come in contact with bridge components. Strong acids can attack glass fibers, aramid fibers and polyester and epoxy matrices. Weak alkalis: Concrete containing pozzolanas can have pH values between 7 and 10. Weak alkalis can attack glass fibers and polyester matrices.

Environmental effects on properties of GFRP bars