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Fiber Reinforced Polymer / Plastic (FRP)

FRP is a composite material that use natural or synthetic fibers to mechanically enhance the strength and stiffness of a polymer matrix and it can be used to reinforce and strengthen structures up to eight times stronger than typical reinforcing steel. Like externally bonded reinforcement used to strengthen concrete, steel etc. FRP is used as internal reinforcement. The predominant fibers used in FRPs related to structure reinforcement are glass fiber, aramid fiber, carbon fiber and basalt fiber. Common matrices used in FRP reinforcement products are Epoxy and Vinyl Ester. The matrix of a FRP transfers the stresses from the exterior of the FRP component to the individual fibers so the quality of the matrix is extremely important to the function and strength of the FRP.

High Strength Composite

FRP sets synthetic fibers in a straight, parallel and continuous arrangement within a polymeric matrix to provide tensile strength in the direction of fibers and these FRPs are known as high-strength composites among civil engineering community.

Important Milestones of FRP

  • 1975 - Russia - Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP)-prestressing tendons were used to reinforce a glued timber bridge.

  • 1980 - Europe - Alternative to steel plate bonding for bridge repair and strengthening.

  • 1990 - Japan- Train support structures

  • 1996 - Japan- Design guidelines for FRP reinforced concrete


  • Faster installation time

  • High Strength

  • Lightweight material

  • Impact Resistant

  • Dimensionally Stable

  • Resistance to corrosion

  • Electromagnetically Transparent

  • Cost savings

  • Design flexibility

  • Low Lifecycle Costs

  • Low Thermal Conductivity

  • Nonconductive


  • Lack of Ductility

  • Mechanical Damage Susceptibility

  • Fire Susceptibility

  • Poor Shear Strength

  • Longer Lap length

  • Rigid

Comparison of FRP Reinforcement Materials to Steel

  1. E-glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP)- Lowest Cost

  2. Basalt fiber reinforced polymer (BFRP)- Better strength and resistance to alkalies

  3. Aramid fiber reinforced polymer (AFRP) - Ballistic resistant textile

  4. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) - Highest Strength; High resistance to cyclic and fatigue failures

Applications of FRP

  1. Structural Strengthening and repair of concrete , masonry, timber and steel structures.

  2. In roads, bridges, slopes, tunnels and marine environments

  3. In Hospitals-

External Strengthening

  1. Structural Strengthening : The axial and eccentric loading of columns can be increased by wrapping columns with FRP reinforcements.

  2. Flexural Strengthening : FRP reinforcement products such as tow sheets, plates, and bars are bonded to the tension side of a concrete, masonry, or timber substrate with a epoxy resin and leads to increasing the load bearing capacity of up to 40 percent

  3. Shear Strengthening : Shear strengthening of walls, such as unreinforced masonry walls and under-reinforced concrete walls, can be accomplished by bonding FRPs to one or both sides on the wall in either a vertical, horizontal, or X-pattern.

Universal Engineering Services has more than a decades experience in the pressure vessel design for clients in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and many more countries all over the world. UES work to many ASME standards to design and validate pressure vessels, boiler, fittings and piping systems. We are also experts in Stress analysis of piping, structural design, ASME Joint review, Design of Storage tanks, code calculations, FEA/FEM, and spotless service on design management.

**The content of this article is taken from web open source. The blogs are intended only to give technical knowledge to young engineers. Any engineering calculators, technical equations, and write-ups are only for reference and educational purposes.

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