Pros and Cons of Structural Retrofitting Using Fiber Reinforced Polymers

The manufacture of Fiber Reinforced Polymer technique came forth as a result of the recent developments in the field of plastics and composites. These days, Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials are used for retrofitting, masonry, or any other related process.

FRP retrofitting has been used to strengthen static, quasi-static, and dynamic loads in bridges and other building structures. Furthermore, flexural and shear strengthening of concrete beams is also effectively performed using Fiber Reinforced Polymer.

FRP is gaining more popularity these days; however, it does have some disadvantages on its part. Here are a few pros and cons using FRP, which would help you in the selection of the perfect retrofitting process.

Fiber Reinforcement Vs Steel Plates

There can be variation in the strength of fiber reinforced plates, but it always remain three times greater than the ultimate strength of steel of the same cross sectional area. In addition, composite plates offer the same ultimate strength even though their density is only 20 percent as that of steel.

The peeling effects at the end of the plates are much less in Fiber Reinforced Polymer materials, as composite plates are slimmer, but sturdier, and there is no need for end fixing. The transportation cost and installation cost will be comparatively less as well.

Steel plates are highly prone to corrosion, and it causes the deterioration of the structure and decreases its durability, whereas the chance of deterioration is sufficiently less in the case of composite plates. Also, composite plates offer better fire resistance due to their low heat conductivity when compared to that of steel plates. Hence, FRP system will remain unaffected from fire and heat related problems for a very long time.

Steel plates require high maintenance due to corrosion and its after affects –they require painting and coating at regular intervals to prevent corrosion. Composite plates, on the other hand, do not require such high maintenance as it is less prone to corrosion.

Even though the overall cost of installation is higher for steel plates, the cost of FRP plates is higher for fiber reinsulated composite plates. Besides that, the fiber-reinsulated plates are more prone to determined attacks and the chances of mechanical damage are higher.