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Structural Strengthening

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Challenges & Applications

INNOVATIVE SYSTEMS FOR STRUCTURAL REINFORCEMENT

Many ageing concrete structures feature components that no longer provide sufficient load-bearing capacity and therefore require strengthening.  Components with inadequate, corroding or damaged internal reinforcement can, however, be strengthened at low cost with carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CRFP).  Flexural strength is immediately enhanced through the use of slot-moulded or surface-bonded CFRP lamellas, while pillars of low-quality concrete can be completely bandaged with CF sheets to augment their multi-axial strength, increasing their load-bearing capacity to up to twice the original value.

LACK OF SPACE – NO PROBLEM WITH THE CFRP SYSTEM

Standard reinforcing measures with steel beams or steel embedded in shotcrete quickly reduce clear component heights by between 10 and 15 cm. However, surface-bonded CFRP lamellas exhibit thicknesses of less than 0.5 cm – including the adhesive. And with CFRP lamellas moulded into slots in the concrete, the clear height remains completely unaffected. For structures such as railway and road bridges, ceiling slabs, and roof girders in multi-storey car parks, it may be essential that previous dimensions are retained, or subject to no more than a minor reduction. With these systems, even the piping and ducting installed along the surfaces do not need to be removed.

EFFECTIVE CRACK CLOSURE

Cracks in reinforced concrete components are common.  Those exhibiting major width variations are occasionally beyond repair by conventional injection methods. Cracks can also re-open or occur at other locations. CFRP lamellas are a viable solution to restricting crack width variation. They ensure that large cracks are transformed into smaller fissures that can be overcoated with ease using an appropriate surface protection system.

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