Strengthening of Concrete Structures
Concrete structures are strengthened with jacketing and Carbon fiber wrappings.
Strengthening of concrete structures must be considered when the existing structure deteriorates or any alteration to the structure has to be made due to which the structure may fail to serve its purpose. Concerns must be taken to existing materials, often in deteriorated condition, loads during strengthening and to existing geometry. In some cases it can also be difficult to reach the areas that need to be strengthened.
The strengthening should also designed with consideration to minimize the maintenance and repair needs. When a strengthening is designed the consequences from loss of strengthening effectiveness by fire, vandalism, collision etc. must in addition be considered.
The need of structural strengthening
Concrete structures need to be strengthened for any of the following reasons:
- Load increases due to higher live loads, increased wheel loads, installations of heavy machinery, or vibrations.
- Damage to structural parts due to aging of construction materials or fire damage, corrosion of steel reinforcement, and/or impact of vehicles.
- Improvements in suitability for use due to limitation of deflections, reduction of stress in steel reinforcement and/or reduction of crack widths.
- Modification of structural system due to elimination of walls/columns and/or openings cut through slabs.
- Errors in planning or construction due to insufficient design dimensions and/or insufficient reinforcing steel.