Strengthen Corroded Steel with CFRP
In recent years, structural steel members, with long service lives, started to show evidence of corrosion damage that has accumulated over time. In North America, the use of de-icing salts is prevalent in winter months, which will accelerates the deterioration process.
The traditional approach used to mitigate the strength loss due to corrosion involves welding or bolting on additional steel plates. However, this approach has several drawbacks; the steel plates increase the dead load, welding or drilling stresses the structure and steel is corrosive so it’s only going to corrode again.
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) is used as an alternative to steel reinforcement, without any of the drawbacks. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer strengthening can be completed by applying fabric made of carbon fiber to the structures after impregnating the fabric with compatible epoxy. The main advantages of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer are its high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion. Studies have shown that wet lay-up of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer can help recover the strength of steel I-beams that have corroded by as much as 80%.