ARCHIVED – Building envelope and structure v4n2-14

Volume 4, Number 2, Winter 1999

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Newsbrief - New consortium will study durability of FRP reinforcement

Steel-reinforced concrete structures corrode when subjected to winter de-icing salts or marine environments, creating an ongoing need to find cost-effective methods for building corrosion-resistant structures and for repairing and protecting damaged structures. Fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) materials may be the solution to this problem, as they are not subject to corrosion.

However, FRPs are not problem-free since they age when subjected to loading and environmental conditions. Before they can be used routinely for repair to existing structures, or as a replacement for steel reinforcement in new construction, their long-term behaviour must be better understood.

IRC is currently examining various aspects of the FRP aging process and is also in the process of forming a consortium to study the long-term durability of these materials. The consortium will investigate the in-service performance of FRP materials when used as a) the primary reinforcement in new construction or b) surface-applied laminates to repair, strengthen and protect concrete and masonry components in existing structures.

Public sector organizations, universities and manufacturers and suppliers of FRP products currently in partnership with IRC have been approached to join the consortium.

If you are interested in learning more about the consortium, please contact Dr. Gerry Pernica at (613) 993-9750, fax (613) 952-8102, or e-mail