Many of the bounties and resources of the earth such as iron, nickel and other metals are used in creating alloys. Iron is alloyed with carbon to form carbon steel and there are a number of different ways to derive alloy steel. These modifications due to the addition of various alloying elements enhance the alloy’s features. It also gives intentional attributes and characteristics to the alloy which are not present in the element alone. Steel rebars are easily available and a strong durable material used, popularly, in construction projects worldwide. But, what if another material was also available that is 3 times stronger, has a life expectancy 5 times more than steel and cost-effective, reliable and downright sensible. The popular notion that steel is the only dependable material for strength and robustness is part of history now!
GFRP Rebar has been around for a while but due to various reasons, that doesn’t really have anything to do with its features and qualities, hasn’t seen the tremendous market share of growth as it should. A number of factors contribute to this situation including commercial reasons and opposing business entities who are catering to self-interests. Also, despite large-scale recommendations and certification from civil engineering institutions of steel as dependable and reliable overshadowing much of the rising trend of using a composite material in their infrastructural and construction, this lightweight, sturdy material is here to stay. With establishments and entities producing their own guidelines for the usage of GFRP, this revolution in civil engineering is doing a hundred twenty on the information highway and going places fast.
The benefits of GFRP rebar outweigh those of steel in many ways. Starting with steel, its safe to conclude that some, while not all, rehabilitation needs rise around ten years after completion but others need major rehabilitation in as little as twenty years. Also, due to corrosion and weather effects, steel loses stability and deteriorates. And, if, God forbid, moisture seeps into the concrete, rehabilitation needs are accelerated. Another disadvantage of steel is its massive weight. Its heavy and cumbersome work lifting and transporting steel rebars. Imagine the workload of an average worker and the amount of effort needed to install steel. Its sturdy strength is brought along with great weight. Delivering a project can be delayed due to completion problems and many do occur during installation phases. Shipping and mobilization costs are high and more manpower is needed to be able to complete as per schedule.
As compared to steel, glass-fiber reinforced polymer rebar has a shelf life of above a hundred years, so rehabilitation work is not required soon. It does erode nor corrode. Totally resistant to weather conditions and even bears moisture attacks with grace making it non-susceptible to water and chemicals. It is lightweight with being 1/3 times lighter by ratio-wise comparison against steel. Easy in loading and highly resistant to damage while transporting. Utilizing it also increases the chances of completing a project well before time as it is easily handled and installed. By opting for GFRP rebars, costs are lowered with less manpower and shipping expenditures.
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Source by Syed Ali Zain-ul-Abideen
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