Fibre reinforced polymer replaces steel bars in infrastructure projects

FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) is being used as an alternative solution to the traditional steel reinforcement bars on many new major projects in the UAE. FRP can be applied on top or bottom of slab and can also be used on beams or columns, due to its flexibility. It can be used in instances where there is either damage to structural parts due to ageing, fire, corrosion or where there is a need to reduce stresses in steel. Pricing is the only factor that works against the product. These rebars have been used in marine docks and waterfront structures such as Nakheel's Palm Cove Canal in Dubai Waterfront. It is ideal for buildings with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units such as hospitals or buildings having equipments sensitive to electromagnetic fields where the use of steel reinforcing bars is not advised. Currently, demolishing and reconstruction is not an economical solution given the economic conditions. However, strengthening and repairing of existing structures is gaining popularity all over the world. The solution is to use composite materials in strengthening and repair instead of concrete or steel jacketing, which are labour intensive. Concrete and steel jacketing systems are also often vulnerable to the same deterioration mechanism. Composite materials could be used for strengthening existing concrete columns, beams, and slabs without any extra space.
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