Performance of Fiber Composite Wrapped Columns and Beams in a Corrosive Environment

H.S. Karpate, D.P. Whitney, J.O. Jirsa, D.W. Fowler, and H.G. Wheat


The objective of this project is to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of fiber reinforced (FRP) composite wraps in preventing corrosion of reinforced concrete elements in severe environments. The experimental program was established to help determine if FRP wraps provide barriers against the transportation of chlorides into the concrete, or if impermeable wraps trap chlorides and moisture beneath the wrap and thereby accelerate the corrosion process. The focus of this report is on performance of 43 specimens that were removed from exposure testing 5 – 7 years. The specimens represent typical rectangular (beam) and cylindrical (column) elements in reinforced concrete bridges. Partially wrapped versus unwrapped elements were studied. Other parameters of interest in design and construction included: cast-in chlorides to represent specimens already exposed to a corrosive environment prior to wrapping, cracked versus uncracked elements, addition of corrosion inhibitors, and materials of repair for damage to concrete due to corrosion or the construction traffic prior to wrapping. Guidelines for use of these materials are developed using the results of the test program.

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