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The Feasibility of Fibre Reinforced Polymers as an Alternative to Steel in Reinforced Concrete Public Deposited

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  • Sponsored by: Dechief, Dianne Yvonne CCOM 206 -Communication in Engineering-Writing Recognition Award (Winter/Summer 2016)
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  • The corrosiveness of steel compromises the structural integrity of reinforced concrete (RC) structures and costs the infrastructure industry billions of dollars every year. In response to this, engineers have developed fibre reinforced polymers (FRPs) - non-metallic composite materials of superior strength to be used in place of steel. The three most commonly used FRPs in construction are carbon, glass, and aramid. This paper discusses the feasibility of each FRP as an alternative to steel in RC structures by comparing their mechanical properties, sustainable merits, and costs. Research reveals that while glass FRP is most sustainable, its poor strength and durability render it unusable for most RC applications. Aramid FRP’s strength and durability fell short of carbon’s and it is most expensive. Carbon FRP demonstrates the highest strength, greatest durability, and lowest final costs making it the most feasible FRP to replace steel in RC. Recommendations for future implementation include establishing building codes, improving recyclability and lowering initial costs.
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