How GFRP bars can improve concrete structure’s strength in seismic conditions

How GFRP bars can improve concrete structure’s strength in seismic conditions

Recent natural devastations have brought up important concerns for engineers. When it comes to preparing for a new concrete structure project, one thing that has become increasingly essential is to use preventive measures to minimize damages caused by earthquakes. 

How do earthquakes happen? Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates move in different directions causing blocks of the Earth to slip over the fault plane. This is followed by seismic waves to release the energy that is stored up when the blocks move and overcome the edges of the fault. 

So how can FRP bars prevent severe damage? There are 3 main reasons. 

They are corrosion-resistant

Concrete structures reinforced with GFRP bars are corrosion resistant which means they are less likely to succumb to cracks. Therefore, the overall structure is solidified which gives it better odds of resisting seismic behavior. One of the most common issues when dealing with steel rebar is corrosion. Corrosion causes steel to expand which leads to cracking and higher chances for the structure to collapse. This is one thing that can easily be prevented when using FRP bars. 

They can control damage for many applications

When following specifications related to the structure’s design, transverse GFRP bars can help control the consequences of seismic behavior damage. For example, when dealing with beams, the concrete must be reinforced with transverse FRP hoops or grids. Beams are used in underground buildings, facilities, etc. For columns, the concrete must be reinforced with transverse FRP circular and spiral. Columns are most commonly used in multi-storey parking facilities, commercial buildings, bridges, highways etc. These recommendations are based on design requirements and have been tested to ensure optimal results to create a durable and solid structure. 

Moment-resisting frame detailing with FRP bar can be found in chapter 12 of CSA S806-12 (2017). 

They have unique properties that minimize risk of cracking

Reinforced concrete with GFRP bars have a reduced risk of cracking thanks to their resistance to several types of natural and chemical factors. For example, FRP rebar is non-conductive electrically and is not susceptible to damage caused by marine and harsh environments. This is also another big advantage when dealing with seismic behavior considering the devastations that can occur as a result of an earthquake. Having structures that use a hybrid material consisting of GFRP and steel for concrete reinforcement will likely reduce the chances of collapsing which is why it is favorable to use GFRP bars. 

If you’d like to find out more about the technical information related to seismic behavior with concrete structures reinforced with GFRP bars, watch our recent webinar: 

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