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An Introduction to FRP Composites

for Construction
• To provide students with a general awareness of
FRP materials and their potential uses
• To provide information on some of the potential
uses of FRPs in civil engineering applications
• To provide guidance for students seeking
additional information on FRPs
Outline

Additional Info Introduction and Overview

Applications Fibre Reinforced


Polymers

Durability Mechanical Properties


Introduction and Overview

• Humankind has used many building materials


throughout history:
• Stone
• Timber Used for Millennia
• Steel
Past two-hundred years
• Concrete
• Modern urban landscape is now defined largely by
steel and concrete
• Roads, sewers, highways, buildings, bridges
• Complex infrastructure systems enabling health and prosperity
Introduction and Overview

• Our infrastructure systems are deficient


• Neglect, deterioration, overuse, upgrade

Global Infrastructure Crisis

 How can we prevent deterioration of infrastructure?


 How can we prolong the lives of existing structures?
Introduction and Overview

• A primary factor leading to extensive degradation…


Corrosion

Concrete

Reinforcing
Steel

Moisture, oxygen and Corrosion products form End result


chlorides penetrate Volume expansion occurs
Through concrete More cracking
Through cracks Corrosion propagation
Introduction and Overview

• Why build and repair with the same materials?


• Why repeat the cycle?

Lightweight High Strength


Easy to handle 5x steel

FRP Materials
Corrosion resistant Highly versatile
Durable structures Suit any project
FRP Materials
General

• Longstanding reputation in automotive and


aerospace industries
• Over the past 20 years have FRP materials been
increasingly considered for civil infrastructure
applications
FRP costs have decreased
New, innovative solutions needed!

FRPs now recognized as effective and efficient structural materials


FRP Materials
Pro/Con

Increased use of FRPs in infrastructure applications attributable to:

FRP advantages
Will not corrode electrochemically (durability)
High strength-to-weight ratio
Electromagnetically inert
Ease and speed of installation
Ability to tailor mechanical properties (versatility)
Low thermal conductivity
FRP Materials
Pro/Con

Potential FRP disadvantages


FRPs are linear elastic materials

Addressed through careful design procedures

High initial material cost


But not when “life-cycle” costs are considered
FRP Materials in Construction

• Thousands of field applications of FRPs in structures


around the world:

• FRP bars, rods, and prestressing tendons → reinforcement of


concrete
• FRP plates, sheets, and wraps → strengthening of reinforced
concrete, steel, aluminum, and timber structural members
• All-FRP structures
• FRP hybrid structures
Fibre Reinforced Polymers
General

• FRPs are composite materials:


• materials created by the combination of two or more materials, on a
macroscopic scale, to form a new and useful material with
enhanced properties that are superior to those of the individual
constituents alone

• More familiar composite materials


• Concrete → stone, sand, and cement paste
• Reinforced concrete → concrete and steel
• Wood → cellulose and lignin
• Bone → collagen and apatite
FRP Materials
Constituents

• What is FRP?
Fibres Matrix
Provide strength Protects and transfers load
and stiffness between fibres
Carbon, glass, aramid Epoxy, vinyl ester

Fibre Composite Matrix

Creates a material with attributes superior to either component alone!


Fibres and matrix both play critical roles in the composite material...
Matrix + Fibre = FRP
Constituents

Stress, σ

Fibre

FRP

Matrix

Strain, ε

Combing fibres and matrix gives a composite material with


superior properties
Polymer Matrix Component
FRP Materials

• Critical functions of the polymer matrix:

 Bind the fibres together


 Protect the fibres from environment and abrasion
 Separate and disperse the fibres throughout the composite
 Transfer force between the individual fibres
Polymers
FRP Materials

• Polymer:
• An organic compound comprised of long-chain
molecules consisting of smaller repeated units called
monomers

• Two types:
 Thermoplastics
→ polyethylene, nylon, polyamide

 Thermosetting polymers
→ polyester, vinylester, epoxy
Thermoplastics
Matrix Polymers

• Extremely strong bonds within chain molecules


• Chains held by weak Van der Waals Forces
→ Molecules can slide past one-another on heating
→ Polymer can be reversibly softened
• Not currently used for FRPs in civil engineering
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Thermosetting Polymers Section: 2
Matrix Polymers
• Molecular chains cross-linked through chemical bonds
→ Cannot be reversibly softened → cannot be bent on site!
→ deteriorate irreversibly at elevated temperature
• Commonly used in infrastructure FRPs
• Epoxies, vinylesters, polyesters
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Thermosets used in Civil Engineering Section: 2

• Polyesters
• Widely used for FRP components (not for rebars)
• Inexpensive, easy processing
• Vinylesters
• Used commonly in FRP rebars (alkali resistance)
• Reduced moisture absorption and shrinkage
• More expensive
• Epoxies
• Used in wet lay-up applications and laminate fabrication
• Outstanding adhesion and bonding characteristics
• Highest cost
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Fibre Component Section: 2
FRP Materials
• Fibres provide strength and stiffness

• Properties required of the fibres:

 high stiffness
 high ultimate strength
 low variation of strength between individual fibres
stability during handling
 uniform diameter
 extremely large length-to-diameter ratio
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Fibre Component Section: 2
FRP Materials

• 3 fibres commonly used in infrastructure applications


• Glass, carbon, aramid

• Factors influencing fibre suitability:


 Strength
 Stiffness
 Environment and durability
 Cost
 Availability
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Glass Fibres Section: 2
Fibres

• Inexpensive
• Most commonly used
• Several grades available:
• E-Glass
• R-Glass
• AR-Glass (alkali resistant)

• High strength, moderate modulus, medium density


• Used in non weight/modulus critical applications
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Carbon Fibres Section: 2
Fibres
• Significantly higher cost than glass
• Several grades available:
• Standard modulus → 250-300 GPa
• Intermediate → 300-350 GPa
• High → 350-550 GPa
• Ultra-high → 550-1000 GPa

• High strength, high modulus, low density


• Superior durability and fatigue characteristics
• Used in weight/modulus critical applications
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Aramid Fibres Section: 2
Fibres
• Moderate to high cost
• Two grades available
• 60 GPa elastic modulus
• 120 GPa elastic modulus

• High tensile strength, moderate modulus, low density


• Low compressive and shear strength
• Some durability concerns
• Potential UV degradation
• Potential moisture absorption and swelling
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Fibre Comparison: Stress-Strain Section: 2
Fibres

6000
E-Glass
5000 Aramid
Standard Carbon
High-Modulus Carbon
Stress (MPa)

4000 Ultra High-Modulus Carbon


Mild Steel • Fibres only!
3000
• No Matrix
2000
1000
0
0 1 2 3 4 5
Strain (%)
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP Section: 2

• Fibres + Matrix = FRP

• Overall FRP properties depend on:


• Mechanical properties of matrix
• Mechanical properties of fibres
• Fibre volume fraction
• Fibre cross sectional area
• Orientation of fibres within matrix Key Factor
• Interaction between fibres and matrix
• Method of manufacturing
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Influence of Fibre Orientation Section: 2
FRP Materials
• FRPs are Orthotropic materials
• Properties are directionally dependent

• Unidirectional FRPs
• Fibres in one direction only
• Aligned along longitudinal axis
• Stronger and stiffer in fibre direction

• Multidirectional FRPs (laminates)


• Fibres in various directions (fibre architecture)
• Properties can be tailored
• Behaviour can approach isotropy

• Unidirectional FRPs used in infrastructure applications


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Examples of FRPs Section: 2
FRP Materials

Unidirectional
Glass FRP
glass FRP bar
grid
Carbon FRP
prestressing Glass fibre
tendon roving

Carbon fibre
roving
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Manufacturing FRP Materials Section: 2

1. Pultrusion:
• FRP bars, structural sections, plates

Fibre strand …saturated …shaped in a …and the


pulled from in polymer heated die… finished product
creels… resin… is pulled through
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP Rebar Section: 2
Manufacturing

• To enhance an FRP bar’s mechanical bond


with concrete:

Incorporate sand on …or a fibre braid


the surface…
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Manufacturing FRP Materials Section: 2

2. Wet lay up
• FRP sheets for repair applications, laminates

Resin-saturated FRP
lamina (fabrics) are
placed over a mould or
an existing structural
member
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Manufacturing FRP Materials Section: 2

3. Filament winding:
• FRP tubes, poles, tanks, forms
Fibre Roving

Mobile Resin Bath

Motor
Rotating Mandrel
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Manufacturing FRP Materials Section: 2

Filament winding
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Mechanical Properties Section: 3

Type of fibre and matrix


FRP mechanical
properties are a Fibre volume content
function of: Orientation of fibres

Here we are concerned mainly


with unidirectional FRPs!
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP vs. Steel Section: 3
Mechanical Properties

• FRP properties
(in general versus steel):
2500
• Linear elastic behaviour
2000
to failure CFRP

Stress [MPa]
1500
GFRP
• No yielding 1000
Steel
• Higher ultimate strength 500

1 2 3

• Comparable modulus Strain [%]

(carbon FRP)
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Quantitative Comparison Section: 3
Typical Mechanical Properties*

Material Ultimate Strength Elastic Modulus Failure Strain

Glass FRP 517-1207 MPa 30-55 GPa 2-4.5 %

Carbon FRP 1200-2410 MPa 147-165 GPa 1-1.5 %

Aramid FRP 1200-2068 MPa 50-74 GPa 2-2.6 %

Steel 483-690 MPa 200 GPa >10 %

* Based on 2001 data for specific FRP rebar products


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Qualitative Comparison Section: 3
Typical Mechanical Properties

Fibre Type
Criterion
Carbon Aramid Glass
Tensile Strength Very Good Very Good Very Good
Modulus of Elasticity Very Good Good Adequate
Long Term Behaviour Very Good Good Adequate
Fatigue Behaviour Excellent Good Adequate
Bulk Density Good Excellent Adequate

Alkaline Resistance Very Good Good Adequate

Price Adequate Adequate Very Good


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Fatigue Section: 3
Mechanical Properties

• Fatigue: degradation or failure of a structural material or


element after repeated cycles of loading and unloading

• Carbon FRPs display outstanding fatigue behaviour

• Glass FRPs display intermediate/satisfactory fatigue


resistance

• Aramid FRPs are sensitive to fatigue


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Creep and Creep-Rupture Section: 3
Mechanical Properties

• Creep: a condition of increasing strain under a


sustained (constant) level of stress

• Fibres are relatively insensitive to creep


• Matrix polymers are visco-elastic and will creep

• For Unidirectional FRPs loaded in the fibre direction


• Creep not a significant concern if the sustained stresses are
limited, as follows:
• Glass FRP, 20%
• Aramid FRP, 30%
• Carbon FRP, 50%
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Environmental Durability Section: 4

Primary advantage of FRPs


Will not corrode electrochemically

Some durability concerns do exist...


Potentially damaging effects resulting from:
Temperature Alkalinity
Moisture Fire
UV Radiation
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Temperature Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• Elevated temperature causes deterioration of


mechanical and bond properties
 Due primarily to degradation of the polymer matrix

• Service temperatures must therefore be limited:


 Epoxy: 20˚C less than the glass transition temperature (GTT),
usually less than 100˚C
 Vinylester/polyester: 20˚C less than the heat distortion
temperature (HDT)

• Low temperatures are not generally a concern


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Temperature Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• Other temperature effects:

Temperature  = Creep 

Temperature  = Moisture or chemical ingress 


Potential for development of thermal stresses due to
differential thermal expansion

Potential for damage due to thermal cycling


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Moisture Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• Polymers absorb moisture to varying degrees


 continues until saturation point is reached
 depends on FRP composition and properties

• Unidirectional composites are relatively unaffected


by moisture uptake
 Properties depend on fibres rather than matrix

• Moisture-induced swelling is a concern for aramid


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Ultra-Violet Radiation Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• Aramid fibres
 UV degradation of mechanical properties

• Carbon and glass fibres


 Insensitive to effects of UV radiation

• Polymer matrices
 slight degradation and discolouration

• UV protection options
 matrix additives, pigmented gel coats, painting
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Alkalinity Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• FRP reinforcement of concrete is becoming more


common

• pH inside concrete is normally 12-13.5

• Glass fibres
• Reduced toughness Alkalinity-induced
• Reduced strength embrittlement

• Thus, use alkali-resistant polymer matrices


Composites
FRP
For Construction
Fire Section: 4
Environmental Durability

• All polymers soften at elevated temperatures


• Potential concerns during fire:
Reduced strength
Reduced stiffness
Loss of bond
Flame spread
Toxic smoke generation

• Research is ongoing in this area...


Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP Applications in Infrastructure Section: 5

All-FRP structures
FRP-reinforced concrete
Repair and rehabilitation
Hybrid FRP structures
Smart materials
FRP ground anchors
architectural panels
Infinite possibilities...
Composites
FRP
For Construction
All-FRP Structures Section: 5
Applications

FRP road bridge

Laboratory testing of an FRP bridge deck panel


Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Applications

Case study 1: Taylor Bridge

Headingley, Manitoba

Opened 1998

165.1 metre span

2-lanes
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Taylor Bridge

Flexural reinforcement

Tokyo Rope
carbon FRP
reinforcement

LeadlineTM carbon FRP reinforcement


Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Taylor Bridge

Shear reinforcement

Epoxy coated
steel bar stirrups

LeadlineTM carbon FRP stirrups


Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Taylor Bridge
Bridge during construction
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Taylor Bridge
Placing the deck slab concrete
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Taylor Bridge

Intelligent sensing system:


Fibre optic sensors
Strain gauges “Smart bridge”

Monitor long-
term behaviour

Compare FRP
with conventional
materials
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Applications

Case study 2: Joffre Bridge

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Re-opened 1997

30.6 metre span

25 000 vehicles daily


Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Joffre Bridge

Flexural reinforcement

Portions
reinforced with   
carbon FRP
Barrier Wall
Sidewalk
Deck
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Joffre Bridge
Placement of instrumented carbon FRP
deck reinforcement grids
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Joffre Bridge

Sensing system
Over 180
monitoring
instruments

Measure
long-term
performance
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Applications

Case study 3: Wotton Bridge

Wotton, Quebec

Re-opened 2001

30.6 metre span


ISOROD GFRP and
CFRP in deck slab
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Wotton Bridge
Placement of glass FRP
deck reinforcement
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Applications

Case study 4: Morristown Bridge

Morristown, Vermont

Re-opened 2002

43 metre span
ISOROD GFRP in
deck slab
Bridge deck reinforcement
Composites
FRP
For Construction
FRP-Reinforced Concrete Section: 5
Morristown Bridge
GFRP reinforcement for the deck slab
just prior to placing the concrete
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Repair and Rehabilitation Section: 5
Applications

Externally-bonded carbon FRP sheets for shear


strengthening of a reinforced concrete bridge girder
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Repair and Rehabilitation Section: 5
Applications

Externally-bonded carbon FRP sheet for axial strengthening


(confinement) of a reinforced concrete column
Composites
FRP
For Construction
Overhead Sign Structures Section: 5
Applications
Repair and Rehabilitation
Applications

Laboratory testing of a masonry wall strengthened


with externally-bonded glass FRP wraps
Repair and Rehabilitation
Applications

Timber bridge beams strengthened with externally-


bonded carbon FRP strips
Hybrid FRP Structures
Applications
Concrete-filled FRP tubes act as hybrid bridge piles/piers
Northbound South Temple I 15 Bridge
I-15 South Temple Bridge

EAST
DT-1 DT-3
DT-13
LOAD 4 DT's
FRAME
GRADE
BEAM 4 DT's

PILES
GEOPIERS
Southbound I-15 South Temple Bridge
Beam-Column Joints
State Street Bridge
State Street Bridge
FRP Connectors for Concrete Precast Building Panels
FRP Induced Shear Friction
Confinement of Rectangular Columns with Post-Tensioned FRP Shells