The use of polymer composites in construction

Humphreys, Matthew F. (2003) The use of polymer composites in construction. In 2003 International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, November, 2003, Brisbane, Australia.

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The construction sector is one of the world’s largest consumers of polymer composites. Unreinforced polymer composite materials have been used by the construction industry for many years in non-load bearing applications such as trimmings, kitchenware, vanities and cladding. In the last decade there has been a concerted effort to migrate reinforced polymer composites (RPCs) into the construction industry for use in primary load bearing applications. Potential advantages commonly expounded by proponents of RPC materials include high specific strength, high specific stiffness, tailorable durability, good fatigue performance, versatile fabrication and lower maintenance costs. As a result reinforced polymer composites are being investigated in applications such as rehabilitation and retrofit, alternative reinforcement for concrete and, in rare cases, entire fibre composite structures. However, to date the number of primary structural applications of RPCs in construction remains relatively low and there appears to be a number of issues contributing to their slow uptake by the construction industry. Issues such as cost, absence of design codes, lack of industry standardisation, poor understanding of construction issues by composites industry, lack of designers experienced with polymer composite materials and civil/building construction are commonly claimed to place these materials at a disadvantage when considered against traditional construction materials. However, this paper proposes that as issues of sustainability become increasingly important to material choice, some fibre composite materials could be at an advantage over traditional materials

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ID Code: 139
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: polymer composites, fibre composites, natural fibre composites, bio, composites, construction materials, advanced materials, reinforced plastics, civil structures
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Construction Engineering (090502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > MATERIALS ENGINEERING (091200) > Polymers and Plastics (091209)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:21

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