Concrete Reinforced With GFRP (glass-Filament-Reinforced-Plastic) in Lieu of Conventional Steel


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Title: Concrete Reinforced With GFRP (glass-Filament-Reinforced-Plastic) in Lieu of Conventional Steel

Author(s): S. Paul Bunea

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 125


Appears on pages(s): 97-124

Keywords: glass; glass fibers; lunar bases; plastics, polymers, and resins; precast concrete; reinforcing materials; silica; tests; Materials Research

Date: 5/1/1991

This paper suggests establishing the applicability and manufacturing technique of GFRP, particularly dimethylisophtalate glass-filament rod. The use of GFRP reinforcement in lieu of conventional steel rods and wires has great potential for precast structural concrete elements. GFRP may be cheaper, lighter, and formed from materials found in abundance on earth and on the moon, namely silica (SiO2). GFRP can be manufactured with the same, if not higher, tensile properties of steel. If synergically composed with a plastic carrier, a new science in construction and structural analysis could be born. No doubt remains that lunar soil is cementitious. Rocks for aggregate and silica are also abundant on the moon. Heavy fabricated steel rods are counterproductive for transport to the moon. Glass fibers fabricated on the moon have great potential. Permanent settlement/habitats on the moon are within the realm of possibility and may be considered immediate projects. Therefore, the idea of using local materials is appropriate within the concept of a third phase of permanent underground reinforced concrete construction facilities, the first being the Apollo landings and the second a temporary above-ground lunar establishment yet to come. This analysis could lend itself not only to permanent reinforced concrete structures on the moon, but to any other planet where silica is abundant and cement could become a local product, through refining and reducing appropriate local ores. Manufacture of glass-fiber filaments is incomparably cheaper than steel. Additional research, at a later date, will encompass the application of pre- and post-tensioned GFRP reinforcements, using the same structural form elements. This paper proves the positive applicability of GFRP as reinforcement for precast concrete elements.