Carbon Fibre Strengthening: A Detailed Overview
Why is Carbon Fibre so Strong?
Carbon fibre is among the strongest materials on earth due to the chainlike bonds of its molecules.
This chainlike bond allows the fibre to be exceptionally strong. When combined with other carbon fibres, the material becomes even stronger. The manufacturing process binds thousands of small strands and mixes them with epoxy. This material can be woven into strong material or formed into permanent shapes.
Although extraordinarily light in weight, carbon fibre has exceptionally high stiffness and tensile strength.
For example, Carbon Fibre has 15 times more stiffness than steel but only half the density!
What is Carbon Fibre Strengthening?
Carbon fibre strengthening is a process where carbon fibres are inserted into an object to make it more durable and strong.
Carbon fibre strengthening is utilised in many industries, including aerospace, automotive, chemical processing, civil engineering and construction.
The benefits of using carbon fibre reinforcement include:
- Improved strength and durability.
- Lower weight.
- Increased stiffness.
- Improved fatigue resistance.
- Reduced corrosion from humidity or saltwater exposure.
What is Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP)?
CFRP uses carbon as reinforcement instead of fibreglass or basalt (natural fibres). Typically stronger than steel, CFRP can be used for structural elements like beams and columns inside buildings – providing an alternative to traditional concrete construction.
The composite’s strength also makes it highly resistant to corrosion at high temperatures due to its low thermal expansion coefficient compared to metals such as copper or aluminium.
Slabtec for Carbon Fibre Strengthening Services
Slabtec is an industry leader in the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) strengthening of concrete structures. Our team has over two decades of experience with the product, and our knowledge has helped us provide innovative solutions for various industries across Australia.
What is ‘Sika’ in Carbon Fibre Strengthening?
Sika are a leading global supplier of adhesives, sealants, coatings and insulation solutions and a key supplier to Slabtec for their CFRP composites.
What Are Some Advantages of Carbon Fibre Strengthening?
Improved Strength and Durability
Carbon Fibre improves strength and durability when used in a building structure because it’s stronger and more durable than concrete.
Carbon Fibre weighs less than steel, so it can be beneficial for repairing structures, and it also reduces costs as the material is cheaper than steel and aluminium.
Stiffness is essential because it helps resist bending or flexing from forces applied against them like gravity, wind and snow loads.
CFRP tends not to lose stiffness over time, making it better suited for long-term projects that need stability.
Improved Resistance to Fatigue, Corrosion or Humidity/Saltwater Exposure.
CFRP is more resistant to damage from environmental factors like humidity and saltwater because it does not absorb moisture. It also has low electrical conductivity, which is beneficial when exposed to corrosive environments (i.e., high-salt environments), preventing electric current corrosion/damage.
Carbon Fibre for Structural Strengthening?
Carbon fibre is used for structural strengthening because the material allows engineers to increase the load structures can withstand.
Carbon fibre’s high strength-to-weight ratio means it does not need as much reinforcement as other materials.
CFRP is ideal for situations where weight restrictions might otherwise make them impractical.
Carbon Fibre Reinforced Concrete (CFRP) can withstand higher loads than traditional reinforced concretes because it bears mainly compressive stress, while steel-reinforced concrete carries both tensile and shear stresses.
Is Carbon Fibre a Cost-Effective Solution for Structural Strengthening?
Carbon fibre is a cost-effective solution for structural strengthening, especially compared to more traditional methods such as steel-reinforced concrete.
A study at McGill University by Professor Maurice Dusseault found that CFRP panels for bridge rehabilitation could offer an attractive alternative because their simple design does not require the complicated reinforcement mesh layout of other materials.