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Proceedings Paper

Use of fiber-reinforced composites to improve the durability of bridge elements
Author(s): Ronald Garon; P. N. Balaguru; Yong Cao; K. Wayne Lee
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Paper Abstract

Fiber composites made of carbon fibers and organic polymers are being used to strengthen plain, reinforced, and prestressed concrete structures. The composites are becoming more popular as compared to traditional strengthening with steel plates and jackets because they do not corrode and also have a very high strength to weight ratio. Organic polymers have been used as protective coatings for more than thirty years. The impermeable membrane of the polymer seals the concrete surface of the structures preventing the ingress of salts. Their main drawback is their inability to release vapor pressure buildup that causes damage in the concrete and delamination of the bonded fiber reinforced plastic. As a result of this and other weaknesses in the organic polymers, a new generation of breathable coating materials is being developed. These compositions range from epoxy modified portland cement coatings to completely inorganic silicate systems. The durability of five of the most promising compositions was evaluated under freeze-thaw, wet-dry, and scaling conditions. The silicate matrix was also used to bond carbon tows and fabrics to unreinforced concrete members. These beams were tested after exposure to wet-dry and scaling conditions. The results indicate that the inorganic matrix can be effectively used for repairs. The carbon tows can be used to replace the existing corroded reinforcing bars. The possibility of embedding optical fibers with the carbon fibers to monitor the field performance is being studied.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3988, Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (20 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.383165
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald Garon, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
P. N. Balaguru, Rutgers Univ. (United States)
Yong Cao, Univ. of Rhode Island (United States)
K. Wayne Lee, Univ. of Rhode Island (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3988:
Smart Structures and Materials 2000: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways
S.-C. Liu, Editor(s)

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