Laboratory assessment and durability performance of vinyl-ester, polyester, and epoxy glass-FRP bars for concrete structures

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In the last decade, noncorrosive glass fiber-reinforced-polymer (GFRP) bars have become more widely accepted as cost-effective alternatives to steel bars in many applications for concrete structures (bridges, parking garages, and water tanks). Also, these reinforcing bars are valuable for temporary concrete structures such as soft-eyes in tunneling works. The cost of the GFRP bars can be optimized considering the type of resin according the application. Yet limited research seems to have investigated the durability of GFRP bars manufactured with different types of resin. In this study, the physical and mechanical properties of GFRP bars made with vinyl-ester, isophthalic polyester, or epoxy resins were evaluated first. The long-term performance of these bars under alkaline exposure simulating a concrete environment was then assessed in accordance with ASTM D7705. The alkaline exposure consisted in immersing the bars in an alkaline solution for 1000, 3000 and 5000 h at elevated temperature (60 °C) to accelerate the effects. Subsequently, the bar properties were assessed and compared with the values obtained on unconditioned reference specimens. The test results reveal that the vinyl-ester and epoxy GFRP bars had the best physical and mechanical properties and lowest degradation rate after conditioning in alkaline solution, while the polyester GFRP bars evidenced the lowest physical and mechanical properties and exhibited significant degradation of physical and mechanical properties after conditioning.

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Composites Part B: Engineering



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