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Composite Rebar with Enhanced Ductility and Sensing Capability
Author(s) and Affiliation(s):
Abdeldjelil Belarbi, Department of Civil Engineering K. Chandrashekhara, Department of Mechanical/Aerospace Engeering Steve E. Watkins, Department of Electrical Engineering University of Missouri, Rolla, MO
Principal Investigator:
Abdeldjelil Belarbi
Mid-America Transportation Center and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Department
Research Start Date:
September 1, 1995
Expected Completion Date:
August 31, 1996
Research Objectives:
Limited service life as well as high maintenance and repair costs are associated with corrosion, fatigue, and other degradation in bridge and highway structures. Corrosion of steel reinforcing bars (rebar) and prestressing tendons in alkaline and saline conditions is a major source of concrete deterioration and can lead to complete structural collapse. A solution to the corrosion problem is replacing conventional steel rebar with advanced fiber-reinforced-plastic (FRP) composite rebar which consist of reinforcing fibers embedded in a binding matrix material. These composite materials have been proposed and tested in a variety of civil engineering applications. For reinforced concrete (RC) structures, the margin for safety at ultimate states is based on ductility of the rebar, while FRP composite materials exhibit highly brittle behavior. The primary objective of this research is to apply recent advances in composite material technology to develop a new type of composite rebar with the required strength and ductility.
Expected Products or Deliverables:
Development of a new type of FRP rebar, with mechanical properties comparable to that of conventional steel rebar but more corrosion-resistant. The proposed FRP rebar has two important features, ductility and smart sensing, and would serve as an ideal replacement for steel rebar in structures threatened by corrosion such as highway bridges, marine structures, wastewater plants, and other structures in which health monitoring is desirable.

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