Non Metallic Concrete Reinforcements
The first applications of non-metallic reinforcements for concrete date back to the end of the ‘90s. These consisted mainly of pilot or sample projects aiming to show the potential of an innovative technology.
The realization of the first containing wall for a tunnel excavation front reinforced with Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymers (“GFRP”) took place in London in 2001. Since then this temporary application, motivated by the easiness of cutting the GFRP cage by the TBM itself during excavation, has rapidly expanded in the field of Geotechnics. Currently, tunnel construction projects worldwide utilize the technique known as Soft-Eye.
Today, non-metallic concrete reinforcements are the focus of interest and attention for a different reason. The awareness of the fact that the effective duration of existing concrete structures does not, in most of the cases, correspond to the theoretical duration of the design project has generated the need to identify efficient alternative solutions. Concerned with guaranteeing compression resistance, Civil Engineers in the past didn’t give enough attention to a number of factors affecting the duration of concrete structures, such as concrete’s porosity and permeability, electrical potential, proper concrete cover, quantity and quality of the water actually present in the concrete cast, among others. In order to avoid repeating the same mistakes of the past, the use of non-metallic concrete reinforcing cages is becoming increasingly important for the design of structures in civil engineering.
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