structures built from the available materials such as; Timber, masonry,
concrete, and steel suffered from number of problems which necessitate the need
for new materials. These problems are corrosion, degradation and other aging
problems not only affect the normal use function and service life of the
structure, and the maintenance costs, but also cause a large number of safety
and accident risks.
In 1967, the Silver Bridge, which connected Point
Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio collapsed and killing 46 people, in 2007, the
I-35W steel truss bridge in the United States caused a lot of casualties due to
the joint fatigue corrosion. In the United States, there are more than 600
thousand bridges, more than one-fourth of the bridges are over 50 years old,
and the annual maintenance costs estimated by $17 billion.
Fiber reinforced composite materials consists of two
essential material, the fibers (around 10
the matrix, resulted in a new combination of high performance composite
materials as shown in fig. 1-1. The fibers are responsible for the strength and
the stiffness of the composite material, and it is the load carrying member.
There are several types of fibers such as carbon, aramed, and the most used is
the glass fiber. The matrix is the binder material and the fiber were embedded
in it. Its play an important role to support the fiber and transfer the loads
to the fibers. Aluminium, silicon, and polymeric are some of matrix’s types.
The most popular is the polymeric such as epoxies and polyesters.
The corrosion rate for FRP is far lower than that of
steel, FRP also has the advantages of light weight, chemical resistance, no
magnetic and other advantages, which make it extremely attractive to structural
engineers. FRP materials, especially the application of FRP profiles will
effectively solve the corrosion problem, reduce the cost of maintenance, and to
achieve high performance and long life. Nevertheless, FRP disadvantages are its
low elasticity, there is no warning before failure because there is no yielding
stage like steel, in addition there is no a specific codes or design standards
The beginning of the use of fiber reinforced composites
were in aerospace, shipbuilding, chemical, medical and mechanical industry.