A study of fiberglass-reinforced plastic for reinforcing concrete bridge decks

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Virginia Tech


Deterioration of reinforced concrete bridge decks has gained widespread public attention and concern in recent years. Much of the damage can be attributed to corrosion of steel reinforcing bars. Numerous solutions have been suggested, one of which is the replacement of steel with a non-corroding reinforcement, such as fiberglass-reinforced plastic materials.

Much of the current research focuses on the applicability of FRP as the main tensile reinforcement in the slab. The nature of FRP presents many obstacles to its use in this capacity. This investigation aims to capitalize on the strengths of both steel and FRP by combining them. Traditional steel rebar should be used where it will provide strength and ductility to the deck --in the bottom layer of reinforcement. The FRP is placed where it will provide strength and non-corroding reinforcement where it is needed: the top layer. Recent research has shown that minimal negative moment is created over supports in bridge decks, suggesting that the use of the non-ductile FRP as the top reinforcement would not be detrimental.

A review of prior and current research in this area was conducted. Based on this information, four different FRP reinforcing materials were obtained. Simple-beam test specimens were designed and built. The procedure is described, and experimental results are presented and analyzed. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations for future work are outlined. This investigation provides first-hand data on the behavior ofFRP reinforced concrete and will serve as the basis for future work.



FRP, reinforced concrete, bridges