With time, structures like buildings will inevitably show signs of wear and tear. It is also a fact that as a structure grows old; it is no longer strong enough as it used to be in its younger years. It is here, structural strengthening comes in.
Structural strengthening is an engineering process that helps upgrade a structure, improve its performance under the existing loads and improve the strength of the structure to take additional load. It helps to increase the longevity of a structure for many more years to come.
Structural strengthening is a very complex process and needs a lot of expertise to do it. In modern times, with changing functionality, increasing load, and much higher building standards being implemented, structures need to be must be made to the complaint.
How do you increase the strength of an old structure?
Continuous stress for years can compromise structure integrity, making it weak and underperforming. Several methods can be made use of in repairing a building to increase the performance of a building. But before you decide to carry out restoration and repair work, you must learn about the correct and best way to approach it. It is highly advisable to get such jobs done by experts who deal in repair and restoration.
One of the most commonly used structural strengthening and repair options that are used these days is the FRP System.
The FRP System
FRP or Fiber – Reinforced Polymer system is used when there is needed to increase the lead-bearing strength of a building. With time and excessive load, the load-bearing structural column of a building starts deteriorating in strength and starts developing cracks. To increase the weight-bearing capacity of these building columns FRP sheets are wrapped around them. The superior tensile strength of the sheets adds valuable strength to these dying columns.
This system is used to strengthen a variety of structures. GFRP (Glass FRP) and CFRP (Carbon FRP) are the two FRP sheets that are brought into use with CFRP being popular amongst the two. FRP has been used for a long time in various applications with manufacturing, aerospace, and all other areas where high tensile strength, lesser weight, and non-corrosive qualities are a must.
One of the major reasons why CFRP is being used the most in such applications is because of its lower creep quality, as compared with other metals like steel, and is thinner.
There are few other methods also that is applied in strengthening a structure, like the:
- Span Shortening (adding extra support column in places where a large section is left unsupported, putting the entire building at risk of collapse, when overwhelmed with weight).
- Section Enlargement (this involves making sections like slabs and columns that are thicker so that these can support heavier loads than earlier).
- Bonded Steel Elements (it is the process of bonding steel into the structures using mechanical fasteners and epoxy adhesives).
Slabtech specializes in the repair, strengthening, and remediation of mold and fading structures. It is their expertise in structural engineering delivering innovative solutions for our clients.