Fibre-reinforced polymer composites in construction (C564)

In the construction industry, fibre-reinforced polymer composites are widely used in applications such as cladding, pipes, for repair and in strengthening work. However, there are many situations where they are not used, where they can offer a solution through their high strength-to-weight ratio, their ability to survive harsh environments, and the fact that they can be formed into complex shapes. They can be fire resistant, and their low weight brings installation benefits in space-cramped and time-critical projects. These benefits mean that the composite solution can be cheaper than any other alternative, particularly in terms of whole life cost. This report seeks to address the reasons why FRP composites are not used more widely in construction, and to encourage their appropriate use in the future. This is carried out through a series of steps that aim: 1. to increase the confidence (through case studies) of designers and clients in the ability of the materials to 'deliver the goods' over the desired life time

2. to demonstrate the types of application that are practical now or could be in the future

3. to help designers to choose the 'right' materials and design with them.

Chapters 3 and 4 give a set of case studies, in full colour, showing examples of what has already been built with FRP composites and what can be achieved in the future. This book addresses the many potential applications of FRP, attempting to balance the wide variety of possibilities with the need to provide more detail in key areas. It explains the differences between the techniques and the potential for each one to produce different products. It also helps to make sense of sales and other literature from the industry. The book discusses the key design areas: structural, fire performance, joining, finishes, environmental resistance and environmental impact.

Key words: health and safety, design and buildability, building technology.

ISBN: 978-0-86017-564-3

Author: Andrew Cripps et al

Number of pages: 168 (paperback)

Publisher: CIRIA

Date of Publication: January 2002