Fibre Reinforced Polymer
Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) systems are extensively used in structural and civil engineering for upgrade and refurbishment of existing structures.
An ‘FRP’ is a polymer reinforced with carbon fibres, glass fibres, or kevlar which produce a high strength and lightweight composite material. Carbon fibre has at least six times the tensile strength of mild steel at only a fraction of the weight. Moreover, FRPs are non-corroding and have high resistance to aggressive environmental conditions.
Advantages that FRPs can now offer the building owner, developer or builder are:
- Flexibility in the refurbishment and strengthening of existing structures especially if there is a change of use;
- Lightweight and easy to install;
- Low life cycle costs;
- Corrosion resistance; and
- No need for chemical surface treatment.
MPN has embraced this new technology and has already utilised carbon fibres for the strengthening of existing structures including both prestressed and reinforced concrete. Detailed design procedures and work method specifications have been developed in-house that are at the leading edge of practice in Australia and overseas.
MPN has also established ties with Australia’s principal researchers to monitor the development of FRPs in Australia as structural elements in their own right. MPN can provide advice on suitability of this advanced building technology for any application.