CFRC (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composites)
The research done by Chawla (2010, p. 118) demonstrates the fact that carbon fiber reinforced composite has been very useful in the construction industry. This is because of its two most important characteristics. The first characteristic is the strength it offers to structures. Mallick (2008, p. 87) says that carbon fiber reinforced composites have a super bond both chemically and mechanically reinforced.
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Such structures as bridges must be developed in a manner that would enable them withstand the pressure exerted by the weight. When this strength is lacking, then such a bridge or any other building may easily come down when exposed to excessive pressure.
The second characteristic is that such composites can withstand very high temperatures. This makes them appropriate in civil engineering, especially in construction of structures that holds or works within a heated environment.
Limitations of CFRP Application in Civil Engineering
According to Vaidya (2011, p. 33), the limitations of CFRP application in civil engineering is majorly associated with limited research in this field. For instance, it is a common knowledge in this field that coefficient of thermal expansion is very different in the traverse direction as compared to the longitudinal one, a fact that causes longitudinal splitting in concrete when exposed to extreme temperatures.
However, measures that can be taken to address this issue have not been developed. The fact that the coefficient of thermal expansion is dissimilar causing the split means that if this issue is addressed, then CFRP can last longer than they do currently.
However, this issue is not yet addressed due to limited research in this area, making carbon fiber reinforced composite unattractive in this industry when it comes to constructing structures expected to last long.
The limited knowledge and experience on properties of CFRP has also resulted in scenarios where CFRP is used wrongly, creating even more distrust towards it when it finally fails to deliver what it was expected to by the responsible authorities.
Why Carbon Fiber and Concrete
Sanders (1982, p. 84) says that another reason why carbon fiber and concrete has majorly been used is that it has a high chemical resistance. This makes the structure able to withstand chemicals that will always be exposed to in under various circumstances.
The nature of carbon fiber and concrete makes it able to withstand up to 99% sulfuric acid. Vaidya (2011, p. 56) says, “100% solids hybrid NOVOLAC systems contains no solvents, no volatile or organic compounds.”
This has made carbon fiber and concrete popular because there is an effort from various quarters to protect the environment. Given that this can help in protecting the environment, it has become very popular in civil engineering. Another factor that has made it popular in civil engineering is its superior abrasion resistance, which further enhances its chemical resistance ability.
Ashbee (1993, p. 57) also notes that carbon fiber and concrete has reinforcing Kevlar fibers which are considered as being six times as strong as steel to the epoxy matrix. This increases tensile and flexural strength tremendously. This increases its resistance to wear.
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer and Epoxy Resins
According to Jones and Owen (2000, p. 78), use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer is not only popular in the aviation industry but also in others such as textile. Although the process is relatively expensive, the resultant material is always of very high quality and last long. The following diagram shows a fabric with a carbon-reinforced polymer.
Figure 1: Typical Carbon Fiber Weave (Fabric)
Source: (Hayes & Gammon 2010, p. 67)
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The above fabric shows how epoxy bond are strong even on a fabric, making it able to withstand a lot of pressure. Chawla (2010, p. 78) says that given the reduced weight of carbon fiber reinforced polymer and epoxy resins, its application is slowly expanding beyond civil and mechanical engineering to other fields. This scholar says that carbon fiber reinforced polymer has become very popular in the sporting industry.
The current poles for pole vaulting are made of carbon fiber because of its strength, flexibility and its lightweight (Bunsell & Renard 2005, p. 90). Other sporting areas where carbon fiber reinforced polymer is common include manufacture of basketball shoe sneakers, fishing rods, rackets, long boards, arrows for archery and rowing shells.
Types of Debonding and Minimization
According to Jain and Lee (2012, p. 71), debonding of carbon fiber reinforced polymer should be avoided as much as possible if the strength of the structure is to be assured. These scholars say that detachment of polycrystalline and monocrystalline ceramic brackets can be avoided by managing the physical stress that is applied on the structure.
Delamination has always been considered as a preferably way of debonding than the twisting approach. It is important to minimize cracks when constructive debonding is needed (Kim & Mai 1998, p. 89). This means that in such cases, delamination type of debonding may be useful at this point.
Gap of project researching and investigation
As Mallick (2008, p. 46) states, the society has also become very conscious of issues concerning the environment. In civil engineering and other related fields, carbon fiber matrix is increasingly becoming relevant. However, the process of developing these projects should be conscious of the impact they may have on the environment.
There is need to develop extensive research on the possible benefits of fiber reinforced polymers and epoxy resins and the possible consequences on the environment. This can then be compared with other available materials in order to determine the most appropriate materials that would help protect the environment.
Such investigative projects should be done having in mind that technological developments will continue to prosper, and the only thing that needs to be considered is how this prosperity can be done in a safe manner. Safety in this case should not be limited to the environment alone. The users of this equipment should also be safe while using them.
The discussion above has given a clear picture of the effects of rubber modifiers on the epoxy bond strength for carbon fiber composite. As illustrated in the discussion above, carbon fiber reinforced polymer has a bright future. This is so given the fact that more industries are now considering its materials as appropriate in various sectors.
The lightweight and the sheer strength of these materials have seen them become very popular in various sporting events. The textile industry has also realized the importance of these materials in developing high quality fabrics.
The aviation industry is largely depending on these materials to construct planes. Civil and mechanical engineers have realized that carbon fiber is the solution to many of the problems that had affected their field. If well managed, then carbon fiber reinforced polymers can be of great help in many fields.
List of References
Ashbee, K 1993, Fundamental principles of fiber reinforced composites, Technomic Publishers, Lancaster.
Bunsell, A & Renard, J 2005, Fundamentals of fibre reinforced composite materials, Institute of Physics Publishers, Bristol.
Chawla, K 2010, Composite materials: Science and engineering, Springer, Berlin.
Hayes, B & Gammon, L 2010, Optical microscopy of fiber reinforced composites, ASM International, Materials Park.
Jain, R & Lee, S 2012, Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for infrastructure applications: Focusing on innovation, technology implementation and sustainability, Springer, Dordrecht.
Jones, I & Owen, M 2000, Integrated design and manufacture using fibre-reinforced polymeric composites, CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Kim, J & Mai, Y 1998, Engineered interfaces in fiber reinforced composites, Elsevier Sciences, Amsterdam.
Mallick, P 2008, Fiber-reinforced composites: Materials, manufacturing, and design, CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Sanders, B 1982, Short fiber reinforced composite materials, ASTM, Philadelphia.
Vaidya, U2011, Composites for automotive, truck and mass transit: Materials, design, manufacturing, DEStech Publications, Lancaster.