IIT Hyderabad proposes fibre polymer usage in concrete construction

The GFRP rebar is increasingly being used as an alternative to steel reinforcement because it doesn’t corrode, is lightweight and is non-conductive.

Hyderabad: IIT Hyderabad has developed hybrid Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) bars and discrete fibre-based reinforcing solutions to improve the performance of concrete under different loading conditions.

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A recent report from the International Zinc Association (IZA) reveals that India incurs a loss of 5-7 percent of its GDP yearly due to steel corrosion.

India, with its vast 7500 km coastline and big metropolitan centres in the coastal regions, faces substantial hurdles in protecting steel reinforcement of concrete buildings and bridges from corrosion.

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The GFRP rebar is increasingly being used as an alternative to steel reinforcement because it doesn’t corrode, is lightweight and is non-conductive.

These characteristics make GFRP rebars durable in corrosive environments, easy to transport and install, and beneficial for applications in electrical environments such as MRI Rooms, Rail Structures and Foundations of Transformers and Thyristors.

One solution is using GFRP rebar in concrete construction, which can result in reduced maintenance, extended lifespan, and lower replacement costs.

The optimum design of concrete elements with GFRP rebars is essential for its effective utilization and for improving the safety of concrete members under different loading scenarios.

Prof S Suriya Prakash’s CASTCON Lab at the IITH has developed the hybrid GFRP. Discrete fibre addition improves the capacity and ductility of GFRP-reinforced concrete elements.

Understanding the effect of fibres in reducing the brittleness ofGFRP-reinforced concrete elements is essential to developing cost-effective solutions. The present research focuses on understanding the effectiveness of different types of macro fibres in concrete with varying dosages.

Prof B Murty, Director, IITH, congratulated the research team on this innovative saying, “Increasing the service life of the civil infrastructure is essential for fueling our country’s economic growth.”

Prof S Suriya Prakash said, “We are developing efficient analytical models to pave the way for the development of simple design guidelines that practising engineers could readily use.”

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