It is a common sight to see old structures made with steel collapsing with time due to corrosion of the metal by natural elements. For this reason, much cost is incurred in an attempt to lengthen the life span of a structure through regular repair and maintenance. The presence of fiber reinforcement processes has been a godsend to property developers. fiber reinforcement
In the past polymer composites were bonded to the structure by adhesion, resulting in a material with good cracking and deformation characteristics. These methods are however being phased out after it was realized that they fail their purpose in saline environments. Salt erodes their strength and causes surface blistering which is a sign of breaking adhesive bonds.
In many upcoming structures the trend has been to replace the steel entirely with fiber forming a Fiber Reinforced Concrete(FRC). This material exhibits very desirable toughness and tensile strength and is very resistant to cracking. This method is gaining its popularity when costs are put into consideration. The materials used are in fact by production of petroleum refineries.
Most commercial FRC mixes are nowadays strengthened with polypropylene fibers. Their production involves random dispersal of small particles in the concrete during mixing. The resulting concrete will have improved properties in all directions due to the random distribution of strengthening compound.
another method would be to form the fiber into a woven mesh that has to be laid out with the concrete. They could also be formed into continuous networks of a film but the method chosen will be influenced by the material. Material choice is also a matter of personal likes and dislikes or the intended use of the structure.
glass, polypropylene and polyester are some of the commonly used compounds. All of them have different properties such as ductility, brittleness and tensile strength. A common feature is their ability to withstand stretching forces better than pure concrete. This property has very high potential to smother cracks in a building.
There are many standardizing bodies prowling the industrial sectors for the protection of innocent consumers. Only firms with stringent measures to reduce the harm their product introduces will receive permits to manufacture. Many fiber reinforcement dealers are directing much efforts into research to take advantage of the limitless polymer industry.
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March 31 2012 08:46 am | Destinations