Research on increasing the durability of concrete structures with carbon fiber woven grout panels

A new type of carbon fiber woven screed promises to strengthen concrete structures more strongly than using carbon fiber (CFRP) or armoring plates or increasing the thickness of reinforced concrete layers.
A new type of carbon fiber woven screed promises to strengthen concrete structures more strongly than using carbon fiber (CFRP) or armoring plates or increasing the thickness of reinforced concrete layers.

Although we’ve been hearing about technologies for producing stronger concrete lately, existing structures made of concrete also use additional support systems such as iron and steel.
Currently, many concrete structures such as bridges and buildings have been reinforced with carbon fiber panels. However these panels often get stuck when organic adhesives are used, are not fire resistant and can fail when exposed to moisture. Scientists from the Korea Institute of Civil and Construction Engineering recently developed an alternative, textile fiber reinforced mortar (TRM).

At the center of each TRM is a 20mm thick sheet made up of a network of interwoven carbon fibers. They are attached to the concrete structure below through a special cement mortar. This reinforced mortar is non-flammable and impervious to even wet concrete.

In laboratory testing, the use of TRM on concrete slabs resulted in a load increase of at least 1.5 times compared with unreinforced concrete. A separate endurance test shows that the TRM can last for more than 100 years even when exposed to the chloride salts used for road de-icing.

In addition, this mortar contains up to 50% of blast furnace slag (waste of the iron and steel industry) which is finely ground, so it will solve the waste problem effectively and at half the cost of traditional mortar. As a result, TRM is said to be about 40% cheaper than existing carbon fiber sheets and organic binders.
Furthermore, TRM can double the insulation efficiency of buildings, reducing the need for internal insulation.

Dr. Hyeong-Yeol Kim, head of the research team, shared, for easier production and transportation, TRM panels are manufactured in a relatively small size of 1mx2m and will be connected at the construction site. A method for efficiently connecting reinforcing plates is currently being developed, and performance testing of this method will be conducted by the end of 2020.

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